Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015

In this segment of The Motley Fool’s everything-financials show, Where the Money Is, banking analysts Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson take a look back at a key driver that led some banks to crumble during the crisis and other to thrive.

Matt tells investors a simple way to gauge the strength on a bank’s balance sheet and how it can be compared across competitors.

Will bank earnings drive the market higher?
Banks are set to begin reporting second-quarter earnings over the next few weeks. Many investors are terrified about investing in big banking stocks after the crash, but the sector has one notable stand-out. In a sea of mismanaged and dangerous peers, it rises above as “The Only Big Bank Built to Last.” You can uncover the top pick that Warren Buffett loves in The Motley Fool’s new report. It’s free, so click here to access it now.

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Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Franklin Universal Trust (FT)

Franklin Universal Trust (the Fund) is a diversified, closed-end investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide high current income consistent with preservation of capital. Its secondary objective is growth of income through dividend increases and capital appreciation. The Fund invests primarily in two asset classes: high-yield bonds and utility stocks.

The Fund invests in sectors, such as non-energy minerals, utilities, commercial services, communications, consumer durables, consumer non-durables, electronic technology, industrial services, process industries, technology services and transportation. The Fund may invest in the Franklin Institutional Fiduciary Trust Money Market Portfolio (the Sweep Money Fund), an open-end investment company managed by its investment manager. The Fund may invest in restricted securities. The Fund’s investment manager is Franklin Advisers Inc. Its administrative manager is Franklin Templeton Servi ces, LLC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Canadian Value]

    (FT): A 500-tonne gap in China’s gold consumption data is fueling talk that the central bank took advantage of weak prices last year to bulk up its holdings of the precious metal.

  • [By Canadian Value]

    (FT): Russia’s central bank has warned that Russia’s consumer lending sector threatens the country’s “financial stability”, the same day that it revoked the licence of Master Bank, a midsized retail lender.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: StoneMor Partners L.P.(STON)

StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of cemeteries in the southeast, northeast, and west regions of the United States. It offers funeral and cemetery products and services in the death care industry. The company sells interment rights, caskets, burial vaults, cremation niches, markers, and other cemetery related merchandise; provides opening and closing that is the digging and refilling of burial spaces to install the vault and place the casket into the vault; and various other services, including the installation of other cemetery merchandise and the perpetual care related to interment rights. It also offers various funeral-related services, such as family consultation, the removal of and preparation of remains, and the use of funeral home facilities for visitation. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 274 cemeteries, including 253 own cemeteries in 26 states and Puerto Rico; and owned and operated 69 funeral homes in 18 states and Puerto Rico. StoneMor GP LLC serves as the general partner of the company. StoneMor Partners L.P. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dr. Kent Moors]

    Of course, there are some exceptions. My favorite outlier, about as non-oil and gas as you can get, is StoneMor Partners LP (NYSE: STON). StonMor is an MLP that manages cemeteries… and it pays a 9.5% yield!

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Just in time for tax day, Levittown, Pa.-based StoneMor Partners (NYSE: STON  ) is off the hook with the IRS. The funeral services provider announced Friday that an audit of its 2010 federal income tax returns conducted by the Internal Revenue Service has resulted in a finding that no changes are necessary.

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    StoneMor Partners (NYSE: STON  ) also showed signs of life with its payouts. The only death-care company structured as a high-yielding limited partnership boosted its quarterly rate from $0.59 per unit to $0.595 per unit. It’s the second time in six months that StoneMor — operator of 276 cemeteries and 92 funeral parlors — has hiked its distributions. Why push up daisies when you can also push up your yield?

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    On Tuesday, StoneMor Partners (NYSE: STON  ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: LinkedIn (LNKD)

LinkedIn Corporation operates an online professional network. The company, through its proprietary platform, allows members to create, manage, and share their professional identity online; build and engage with their professional networks; access shared knowledge and insights; and find business opportunities. Its platform also offers members with solutions, including applications and tools to search, connect, and communicate with business contacts, learn about career opportunities, join industry groups, research organizations, and share information. In addition, the company provides LinkedIn mobile applications across various platforms and languages, such as Android, Blackberry, iPad, and iPhone mobile devices; a public Website that allows developers to integrate its content and services into their applications; and a set of embeddable widgets to allow Web developers to include content from the company’s network into their Website or application. Further, it offers hiring solutions comprising LinkedIn Corporate Solutions that enable enterprises and professional organizations to find, contact, and hire qualified candidates; LinkedIn Jobs that allow enterprises and professional organizations to advertise job opportunities on the company’s network; and Subscriptions, which enable recruiters and hiring managers to find, contact, and manage potential candidates. Additionally, the company provides marketing solutions, such as LinkedIn Ads, a self-service platform that enable advertisers to build and target their advertisement to its members; and LinkedIn Ads for Enterprise, which are marketing solutions to target larger advertisers that receive dedicated account management and additional marketing solutions. It also offers premium subscriptions that are subscription packages designed for general professionals to manage their professional identity and connect with talent. LinkedIn Corporation was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Mountain Vi ew, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Taulli]

    But the fact is that there are only a small group of social stocks getting most of the attention, like Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Pandora (P) and Linked (LNKD). Yet there are many other social stocks worth looking at — and yes, they have done well too.

  • [By Benjamin Pimentel]

    Other social media stocks posted gains. LinkedIn (LNKD)  was up 2.3% to close at $207.74, while Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)  gained nearly 1% to close at $5.69 and Twitter (TWTR)  was up a fraction to close at $54.38.

  • [By Rich Bieglmeier]

    [Related -LinkedIn Corp (LNKD) Q4 Earnings Preview: Can LinkedIn Deliver Another EPS Upside?]

    Mahaney cites four reasons for LNKD’s laggard behavior, “Over the past 6 months LNKD shares have traded down 13% vs. a 12% increase in the S&P 500. Drag Issues have included: 1) overly aggressive Street estimates, 2) a heavier than expected investment outlook for ’14, 3) a greater-than-expected slowdown in Talent Solutions revenue growth, and 4) uncertainty over Marketing Solutions format changes.”

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH)

ARM Holdings plc (ARM), incorporated on October 16, 1990, designs microprocessors, physical intellectual property (IP) and related technology and software, and sells development tools. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in three business segments: the Processor Division (PD), the Physical IP Division (PIPD) and the System Design Division (SDD). ARM licenses and sells its technology and products to international electronics companies, which in turn manufacture, markets and sells microprocessors, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard processors (ASSPs) based on ARM’s technology to systems companies for incorporation into a range of end products. It also licenses and sells development tools directly to systems companies and provides support services to its licensees, systems companies and other systems designers.

ARM processor architecture and physical IP is used in embedded microprocessor applications, i ncluding cellular phones, digital televisions, mobile computers and personal computer peripherals, smart cards and microcontrollers. ARM’s principal geographic markets are Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific. ARM’s product offering includes microprocessor Cores: RISC microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as video and graphics IP and on-chip fabric IP; embedded software; physical IP; development tools, and support and maintenance services.

Processor Division

The PD encompasses those resources that are centered on microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as graphics IP, fabric IP, embedded software IP and configurable digital signal processing (DSP) IP. Service revenues consist of design consulting services and revenues from support, maintenance and training.

Physical IP Division

The PIPD is focused on building blocks for translation of a circuit design into actual silicon. Durin g the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s total av! erage PIPD headcount was 557. ARM is a provider of physical IP components for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits, including systems-on-chip (SoCs). ARM Artisan physical IP products include embedded memory, standard cell and input/output components. Artisan physical IP also includes a limited portfolio of analog and mixed-signal products. ARM’s physical IP components are developed for a range of process geometries ranging from 20 nanometer – 250 nanometer. ARM licenses its products to customers for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits used in complex, high-volume applications, such as portable computing devices, communication systems, cellular phones, microcontrollers, consumer multimedia products, automotive electronics, personal computers and workstations and many others.

ARM’s embedded memory components include random access memories, read only memories and register files. These memories are provided in the form of a configurabl e memory compiler, which allows the customer to generate the appropriate configuration for the given application. ARM’s memory components include many configurable features, such as power-down modes, low-voltage data retention and fully static operation, as well as different transistor options to trade off performance and power. In addition, ARM’s memory components include built-in test interfaces that support the industry test methodologies and tools. ARM memory components also offer redundant storage elements.

ARM’s memory components are designed to enable the chip designer maximum flexibility to achieve the optimum power, performance, and density trade-off. ARM offers standard cell components that are optimized for high performance, high density or ultra high density. ARM logic products deliver optimal performance, power and area when building ARM Processors, Graphics, Video and Fabric IP along with general SoC subsystem implementation. ARM delivers phy sical interface for a range of DDR SDRAM (double-data rate s! ynchronou! s dynamic random-access memory) applications ranging from mission critical applications to low-power memory sub-systems. Silicon on Insulator (SOI) products is an alternative methodology to traditional semiconductor fabrication techniques.

System Design Division

The SDD is focused on the tools and models used to create and debug software and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. ARM’s software development tools help a software design engineer deliver products right the first time. Engineers use these tools in the design and deployment of code, from applications running on open operating systems right through to low-level firmware. The ARM Development Studio is a hardware components that allow the software designer to connect to a real target system and control the system for the purposes of finding errors in the software. The ARM DSTREAM unit allows the software developer to control the software running on the prototype product and examine the internal st ate of the prototype product. ARM Development Boards are ideal systems for prototyping ARM-based products. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit supports ARM-based microcontrollers and 8051-based microcontrollers from companies, such as Analog Devices, Atmel, Freescale, Fujitsu, NXP, Samsung, Sharp, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit is used by developers who are building products and writing software using standard off-the-shelf microcontrollers.

The ARM Microprocessor Families

ARM architecture processors offers a range of performance options in the ARM7 family, ARM9 family, ARM11 family, ARM Cortex family and ARM SecurCore family. The ARM architecture gives systems designers a choice of processor cores at different performance/price points. The ARM7 offers 32-bit architecture capable of operating from 8/16-bit memory on an 8/16-bit bus through the implementation of the Thumb instruction set . The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in ! the 150-2! 50MHz range. Each processor has been designed for a specific application or function, such as an application processor for a feature phone or running a wireless fidelity (WiFi) protocol stack. The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 150-250 megahertz range. The ARM11 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 300-600 megahertz range. ARM Cortex family is ARM’s family of processor cores based on version 7 of the ARM Architecture. The family is split into three series: A Series, A Series and M Series.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Perhaps the biggest wild card of them all is speculation that a buyer could swoop AMD up without anyone noticing. This buyout is not even really a rumor, but as Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) and others want a better way to compete against Intel, we do not view this as impossible.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) were down 6.92 percent to $42.64 after the company posted a loss in the fourth quarter.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) saw an 18.8% drop in short interest to 5.61 million shares, which represents about 1.2% of the total float. There is no date scheduled yet for the company’s earnings announcement, but analysts expect EPS of $0.26 on revenues of $295.94 million. Both numbers are above the company’s year-ago results.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Frontline Ltd (FRO)

Frontline Ltd., incorporated on June 12, 1992, is a shipping company. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership and operation of oil tankers and oil/bulk/ore (OBO) carriers. The Company operates tankers of two sizes: very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which are between 200,000 and 320,000 deadweight tons, and Suezmax tankers, which are vessels between 120,000 and 170,000 deadweight tons. As of December 31, 2010, its tanker and OBO fleet consisted of 73 vessels. The fleet consists of 44 VLCCs, which are either owned or chartered in, 21 Suezmax tankers, which are either owned or chartered in and eight Suezmax OBOs, which are chartered in. The Company also had five VLCC newbuildings and two Suezmax newbuildings on order and three VLCCs under its commercial management. In February 2010, it purchased the VLCC Front Vista from Ship Finance International Limited (Ship Finance). In January 2011, it sold the VLCC Front Shanghai.

The Company operates through sub sidiaries and partnerships located in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, India, the Isle of Man, Liberia, Norway, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The Company is also engaged in the charter, purchase and sale of vessels. In April 2010, the Company delivered the single hull Suezmax Front Voyager. During the year ended December 31, 2010, six newbuildings were completed. Four Suezmax vessels were delivered: the Northia, on January 5, 2010; the Naticina, on March 9, 2010; the Front Odin, on May 5, 2010, and the Front Njord on August 12, 2010. Two VLCCs were delivered: the Front Cecilie on June 10 and the Front Signe on August 9, 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the Company’s newbuilding program consisted of two Suezmax tankers and five VLCCs.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Karee Venema]

    One equity that falls under the small-cap umbrella, and looks poised to benefit from a contrarian boon is shipping concern Frontline Ltd. (FRO).

    Shares of Frontline have more than doubled in value since hitting a decade-plus low of $1.71 last May. In fact, the stock tagged a new annual high of $5.18 in early January.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) is up 9.1% at $27.37 after beating on both the top and bottom lines last night. 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) is down 10% at $33.56. Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) is up 16.6% at $2.74.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Lakeland Industries Inc (LAKE)

Lakeland Industries, Inc. (Lakeland), incorporated on April 30, 1986, manufactures and sells a line of safety garments and accessories for the industrial protective clothing markets. Lakeland’s product categories include limited use/disposable protective clothing, chemical protective suits, fire fighting and heat protective apparel, fire fighting and heat protective apparel, reusable woven garments, high visibility clothing and glove and sleeves. The Company’s industrial customers include integrated oil, chemical/petrochemical, utilities, automobile, steel, glass, construction, smelting, munition plants, janitorial, pharmaceutical, mortuaries and high technology electronics manufacturers, as well as scientific and medical laboratories. In addition, Lakeland supplies federal, state and local governmental agencies and departments, such as fire and law enforcement, airport crash rescue units, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers f or Disease Control.

Limited Use/Disposable Protective Clothing

Lakeland manufactures a line of limited use/disposable protective garments, including coveralls, laboratory coats, shirts, pants, hoods, aprons, sleeves, arm guards, caps and smocks. Limited use garments can also be coated or laminated to splash protection against harmful inorganic acids, bases and other hazardous liquid and dry chemicals. Limited use garments are made from several nonwoven fabrics, which are made of spunlaced polyester, polypropylene, laminates, micropourous films and derivatives. Lakeland incorporates many seaming, heat sealing and taping techniques depending on the level of protection needed in the end uses application.

The users of these garments include integrated oil/petrochemical refineries, chemical plants and related installations, automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, construction companies, coal, gas and oil power generation utilit ies and telephone utility companies, laboratories, mortuarie! s and governmental entities. The Company warehouses and sells its limited use/disposable garments primarily at its Decatur, Alabama and China manufacturing facilities and secondarily from warehouses in Hull, United Kingdom; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Moscow, Russia; Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan; Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

High-End Chemical Protective Suits

Lakeland manufactures and sells protective chemical suits and protective apparels from its CRFR, ChemMax 3, 4, Interceptor and other fabrics. These suits are worn by individuals on hazardous material teams and within general industry to provide protection from concentrated and lethal chemical and biological toxins, such as toxic wastes at super fund sites, toxic chemical spills or biological discharges, chemical or biological warfare weapons and chemicals and petro-chemicals present during the cleaning of refineries and nuclear facilities.

Lakeland has also introduced two garments approved by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) for varying levels of protection, which include Interceptor, two multilayer films laminated on either side of durable nonwoven substrate, and ChemMax 4 is a multilayer barrier film laminated to a durable nonwoven substrate. Lakeland manufactures chemical protective clothing at its facilities in Decatur, Alabama, Mexico and China. Using fabrics, such as ChemMax 1, ChemMax 2, ChemMax 3, ChemMax 4 and Interceptor, Lakeland designs, cut, glue and /or sews the materials to meet customer purchase orders.

Fire Fighting and Heat Protective Apparel

The Company manufactures a line of products to protect individuals who work in heat environments. Lakeland’s heat protective aluminized fire suit product lines include kiln entry suit, proximity suits and approach suits. Lakeland manufactures fire fighter protective apparel for domest ic and foreign fires departments. Lakeland developed the 32-! inch coat! high back bib style (Battalion) bunker gear.

Gloves and Sleeve Products

The Company manufactures and sell glove and sleeve protective products made from Kevlar, a cut and heats resistant fiber produced by DuPont; Spectra, a cut resistant fiber made by Honeywell and its engineered yarns. Lakeland manufactures these string knit gloves primarily at its Mexican facility.

Reusable Woven Garments

Lakeland manufactures and markets a line of reusable and washable woven garments. The Company’s product lines include electrostatic dissipative apparel, clean room apparel, flame resistant Nomex/FR Cotton coveralls/pants/jackets and cotton and polycotton coveralls, lab coats, pants and shirts. Lakeland manufactures and sells woven cloth garments at its facilities in China, Mexico and Decatur, Alabama.

High Visibility Clothing

Lakeland Reflective manufactures and markets a line of reflective apparel. The li ne includes vests, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, coats, raingear, jumpsuits, hats and gloves. Lakeland’s domestic vest production occurs at Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. Much of the manufacturing at this facility is focused on custom vest requirements. In addition to ANSI Reflective items, Lakeland Hi-Visibility manufactures Nomex and FR cotton garments which have reflective trim as a part of their design criteria. These garments are used in rescue operations, such as those encountered with a vehicular crash.

The Company competes with DuPont, Kimberly Clark, Ansell Edmont and Honeywell.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] ADDvantage (AEY). How you feel about how those companies use working capital has a lot to do with whether or not you like those stocks long-term.

    Then there are companies that have increased working capital very, very fast over the last decade or so – but they’ve also increased sales at a startling clip.

    That’s Carbo.

    Let’s look at where the difference between EBITDA and operating cash flow is coming from.

    Cash flow from others as shown on GuruFocus’s 10-year financials page for Carbo – I’ll use this as a proxy for working capital changes – was positive in only two years. And not by much. Usually, it’s been negative. Over the 10 years, that single line has added up to a negative $173 million. Wow.

    Okay. Then there’s the difference between free cash flow and owner earnings. Owner earnings as you’ll remember is Warren Buffett’s calculation of what a business could pay out to owners in cash at the end of the year – if it st opped growing. But didn’t shrink. More on that later. For now, let’s look at the difference between Carbo’s depreciation and Carbo’s spending on property, plant and equipment.

    Over the last 10 years, cap-ex has been: $546 million (or $425 million if you allow cap-ex to provide cash flow in certain years, this is a weird issue I don’t want to touch right now)

    And over the last 10 years, depreciation has been: $201.52 million

    That’s a big gap. We’ve got some combination of Carbo underreporting economic depreciation by anywhere from $225 million to $350 million or so – or we’ve got Carbo investing something like $225 million to $350 million in growth.

    Which is it?

    Let’s check the growth angle first.

    Over the last 10 years, Carbo has grown total sales by just under 18% a year. Now, I happen to know their new product development record had not been so hot during the 1990s or earlier part of the 2000s. For about 15 years they spent on R&D without

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Western Asset Inflation Management Fund Inc (IMF)

Western Asset Inflation Management Fund Inc. (the Fund), incorporated on March 16, 2004, is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is total return.

Current income is a secondary investment objective. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (LMPFA) is the Fund’s investment manager and Western Asset Management Company (Western Asset) is the Fund’s sub adviser.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Good news on consumer spending in November, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone deal with China Mobile (CHL), and an upgrade on US economic prospects in 2014, from International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde, pretty much guarantees that Santa will visit Wall Street this year. And just about on schedule. The Santa Claus rally is short and, in most years, sweet. It takes in the last five trading sessions of the old year and the first two trading sessions of the new. The average annual gain for that period, since 1972, for the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) is about 1.5%, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

  • [By Canadian Value]

    From a macroeconomic viewpoint, our optimism for Asian markets’ strong long-term potential is based on three main factors. First, when compared with developed markets generally, Asia’s emerging markets have had higher rates of historic economic growth, and growth expectations for the year ahead are generally higher as well. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects growth in developing Asia of 6.5% in 2014, compared with 2% in developed markets generally.1Since 1999, the region has seen strong growth even in 2009 when developed markets fell into recession, as you can see in the chart below.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Alvarion Ltd.(ALVR)

Alvarion Ltd. supplies top-tier carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and private network operators with solutions based on the worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) standard, as well as other wireless broadband solutions. The company provides WiMAX and non-WiMAX wireless broadband systems, and launched 250 commercial WiMAX deployments worldwide. Its solutions are designed to cover a range of frequency bands with fixed, portable, and mobile applications to enable the delivery of personal broadband services, business and residential broadband access, corporate virtual private network (VPN), toll quality telephony, mobile base station feeding, hotspot coverage extension, and services for various vertical markets, such as municipalities, public safety, mining, utilities, video surveillance, and border control. The company?s business mainly focuses on solutions, based on the WiMAX standard, that are used for primary wireless broadband access. In addit ion, Alvarion sells its non-WiMAX products, which address point-to-point and point-to-multipoint architectures for various end-user profiles, including residential, small office/home office, small/medium enterprises, multi-tenant/multi-dwelling units, and large enterprises, as well as provides network management solutions for its wireless solutions. Its solutions provide high-speed wireless ?last mile? connection to the Internet for homes and businesses in both developed and emerging markets. The company was formerly known as BreezeCOM Ltd. and changed its name to Alvarion Ltd. as result of merger with Floware Wireless Systems Ltd. in August 2001. Alvarion Ltd. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Alvarion (NASDAQ: ALVR  ) is now on the hunt for a new chief executive. Hezi Lapid has resigned as CEO, although he will stay in the position until “such time that a smooth transition is completed,” the company said in a press release announcing the move.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Indus Motor Company Ltd (INDU)

Indus Motor Company Limited is a Pakistan-based company mainly engaged in the manufacture of automobiles and trucks. The Company is a joint-venture between the House of Habib, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation for assembling, progressive manufacturing and marketing of Toyota-branded vehicles in Pakistan. It also acts as the sole distributor of Toyota-branded vehicles in Pakistan. In addition, the Company also acts as the sole distributor of Daihatsu-branded vehicles in Pakistan and has a license for assembling, progressive manufacturing and marketing of these vehicles in Pakistan. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    At the close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SPX) was down 2.09% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) was off 1.94%. Mexico was 1.33% lower and Brazilian stocks were down 1.1% in Sao Paulo. In Europe, the German DAX (DAX) had tumbled 2.48% by the close of that market; in Milan, Italian stocks were down 2.30%; and in Spain, the IBEX 35 index (IBEX) was lower by 3.64%.

  • [By Kelley Wright]

    This theory can also be applied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU), which has also displayed a long-term, repetitive tendency to fluctuate between high and low dividend yield extremes. Indeed, looking at broad market behavior, we’ve seen three signs of Overvalued conditions.

  • [By Carol Hymowitz]

    When a CEO retires, most of the payout comes from shares accumulated in the tenure, Wood said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) closed above 16,000 for the first time last week.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Iamgold Corporation(IAG)

IAMGOLD Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral resource properties worldwide. It primarily explores for gold, silver, zinc, copper, niobium, diamonds, and other metals. The company holds interests in eight operating gold mines, a niobium producer, a diamond royalty, and exploration and development projects located in Africa and the Americas. Its advanced exploration and development projects include the Westwood project in Canada; and the Quimsacocha project, which consists of 3 mining concessions covering an aggregate area of approximately 8,030 hectares in Ecuador. The company was formerly known as IAMGOLD International African Mining Gold Corporation and changed its name to IAMGOLD Corporation in June 1997. IAMGOLD Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    At just $6.50, AKS is still one of the cheap stocks, but it may not be cheap for long.

    Cheap Stocks to Buy Now: Iamgold (IAG)

    Without a doubt, the most hated metals and mining sector has to be gold mining stocks. Faced with rising costs and falling gold prices, many of the precious metals miners have tanked, moving them into the cheap stocks category.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    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.

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) and Air France-KLM (AF) Group rose with as a gauge of travel stocks as oil prices fell after Iran’s accord. PSA Peugeot Citroen gained 3.7 percent after people familiar with the matter said its chief executive officer plans to step down next year. Fresenius Medical Care AG surged the most in five years after U.S. regulators scrapped a plan to cut Medicare payments next year.

  • [By Daniel Putnam]

    The second factor working in gold stocks’ favor is that analysts are growing optimistic again. Yesterday, HSBC put out a bullish note on gold and upgraded Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM), Yamana Gold (AUY), Barrick Gold, Iamgold (IAG), and Goldcorp. Most gold stocks are ranked “Hold” or “Buy” (as opposed to “Strong Buy”) by the majority of analysts, meaning that there’s plenty of room for continued positive news flow on this front.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: Air France KLM SA (AFLYY.PK)

Air France-KLM SA (Air France-KLM), incorporated on April 23, 1947, is an airline engaged in the business of passenger transportation. It has four segments: Passenger, Cargo, Maintenance and Other. The Company’s primary business is to hold direct or indirect interests in the capital of air transport companies and, more generally, in any companies in France or elsewhere whose purpose is related to the air transport business. Air France-KLM activities also include cargo, aeronautics maintenance and other air-transport related activities including, principally, catering and charter services. At March 31, 2011, the Air France-KLM group fleet consists of 609 aircraft, of which 593 were operational. At March 31, 2011, 274 aircraft were fully owned (45% of the fleet), 117 aircraft were under finance lease representing 19% of the fleet and 218 under operating lease representing 36% of the fleet.

Passenger

Passenger operating revenues primarily come from passenger transportation services on scheduled flights with the Company’s airline code, including flights operated by other airlines under code-sharing agreements. They also include commissions paid by SkyTeam alliance partners, code-sharing revenues, revenues from excess baggage and airport services supplied by the Company’s to third party airlines and services linked to information technology (IT) systems.

Cargo

Cargo operating revenues come from freight transport on flights under the companies’ codes, including flights operated by other partner airlines under code-sharing agreements. Other cargo revenues are derived principally from sales of cargo capacity to third parties. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, the Company transported more than 1.5 million tons of cargo, of which 66% in the bellies of passenger aircraft and 33% in the cargo fleet, to a network of approximately 254 destinations in approximately 111 countries. Air Fra nce-KLM Cargo has a product range organized around four prod! uct families, Equation, Cohesion, Variation and Dimension.

Maintenance

Maintenance operating revenues are generated through maintenance services provided to other airlines and customers globally. The Company’s two engine shops are located in Amsterdam and Paris. CFM56 engine shops support the fleet of CFM56-5 power plants in the world, with nearly 400 engines operated by numerous airlines. CF6-80E1 provides full-service maintenance. KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) provides an alternative to the manufacturer’s services in terms of overhaul and services on this engine with its offering supported by technological infrastructure.

Other

The revenues from this segment come primarily from catering supplied by the Company to third-party airlines and to charter flights operated primarily by Transavia. The catering business is regrouped around Servair, an Air France subsidiary which generates more than 90% of the reve nues of this activity, and KLM Catering Services, a subsidiary of KLM.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By El Torero]

    The airline will undoubtedly pounce on the likely failings of rival companies, though this is also an area where easyJet will be eager to move in. Spanair is gone as is Malev Zrt, two former Ryanair rivals. Air France-KLM (AFLYY.PK) and Iberia are in trouble, among other European airlines. Ryanair will take advantage of such weaknesses in its aim of becoming Europe’s out-and-out dominant short-haul carrier. As other airlines cut routes, airports are now looking to Ryanair to take up the newly available airport space. As a result of this, with "opportunities opening up in Germany, Scandinavia and Central Europe" in particular, Ryanair’s deputy chief executive, Howard Millar sees the Irish company increase its market share from 15 percent to 20 percent before the end of the decade.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks For 2015: MICROS Systems Inc (MCRS)

MICROS Systems, Inc. (MICROS), incorporated on September 8, 1977, is a global designer, manufacturer, marketer, and servicer of enterprise information solutions for the global hospitality and retail industries. The Company operates in two segments: the United States/Canada and International. The retail industry consists of retail operations selling directly to consumers, including retailers of clothing, shoes, food, hardware, jewelry, and other specialty items. Its enterprise information solutions consists three areas: hotel information systems, restaurant information systems and retail information systems. In addition to its software enterprise solutions and hardware products, it offers a range of services and other products for its hotel, restaurant and retail information systems. The hotel information systems consist of software, encompassing property based management systems (PMS), related property-specific modules and applications, and central systems, including centr al reservation systems (CRS). The restaurant information systems consist of hardware and software for point-of-sale (POS) and operational applications, a range of back office applications, including inventory, labor and financial management, and centrally hosted enterprise applications. The retail information systems consist of hardware and software encompassing POS, loss prevention, Web commerce applications, business analytics, customer gift cards, electronic payments and enterprise applications. Its retail solutions are provided through its MICROS-Retail group of subsidiaries, which includes Datavantage, CommercialWare, Advance Retail Systems (Mexico), MICROS Retail and Manufacturing Ltd. (United Kingdom), eOne, Fry, Fortech (Italy), MICROS eCommerce EAME (London), and MICROS Retail Austria GmbH. On May 31, 2012, MICROS acquired Torex Retail Holdings, Ltd. of Dunstable, England (Torex).

Hotel Information Systems

For the hotel and resort industry, the Company develops, distributes, and supports a range of ! hotel software products and services under the OPERA brand name. Its OPERA suite includes PMS, sales and catering, CRS, customer information system, revenue management, sales support, data mining, financial statements, condominium reservations and accounting, golf reservations, spa management, and quality management. It also offers a range for OPERA, which enables guest check-in and check-out, and other interactive features, through a kiosk.

The PMS software provides for hotel room check-in and checkout, reservations, guest accounting, travel agent accounting, and engineering management. The PMS software also interfaces to central reservation systems, to on-line travel services, and to global distribution systems. The OPERA sales and catering software enables hotel sales staff to evaluate, reserve and invoice meetings, banquets and related events for a property. The OPERA CRS software enables hotels to coordinate, process, track, and analyze hotel room reservati ons at a central facility for electronic distribution to the appropriate lodging site. The OPERA revenue management software enables hotels to manage room rates, occupancy, and the mix of business between corporate and transient customers. It also offers an Internet-based hotel reservation service through its myfidelio.net service. This service enables corporations, tourist representation services, and consumers to reserve rooms and manage reservations directly with designated hotels. This service also enables those hotel properties without internal reservation capabilities to outsource to us the maintenance of their connectivity to the global distribution systems and certain alternative distribution systems. The Company offers limited versions of the OPERA property management system called OPERA Xpress, OPERA Lite, and Operetta. As of June 30, 2012, approximately 20,200 hotel sites have installed either OPERA, OPERA Xpress PMS, OPERA Lite, or Operetta.

OPERA ru ns on two operating systems: Microsoft Windows (Server and X! P) and IB! M AIX, and uses an Oracle database. It offers hosting services for hotel customers in various data centers globally (including Ashburn and Manassas, Virginia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Frankfurt, Germany, and Singapore) with the OPERA applications accessed through Internet or high speed connections. In addition to OPERA, it supports a range of hotel software products (PMS and other modules) under the Fidelio Version 7.0 brand name. Fidelio Version 7.0 uses the Microsoft Windows graphical user interface and runs on an Oracle database. As of June 30, 2012, approximately 2,875 hotels were using Fidelio Version 7.0. The Company also markets a PMS product in Europe under the brand name Fidelio Version 8. This product uses the Windows operating system with an Oracle database. As of June 30, 2012, the product was installed in over 3,750 hotel sites.

Through the Company’s subsidiary Fidelio Cruise, it markets the Ships Property Management System (SPMS) suite of applica tions, which includes a PMS product designed for use by the cruise industry. The SPMS application enables cruise operators to manage passenger, visitor, group, and crew information at various stages from check-in to check-out, invoicing, credit card handling with online functionality, safety and security, and automated check-in with picture taking for passengers, crew, and visitors. The software maintains the count of passengers and staff on-board, as required by international industry regulations. In addition SPMS modules support the operation of on-board health spas, on-board MICROS point-of-sale systems, on-board business centers, on-board medical centers, and on-board casinos, as well as shore excursions. It also markets Fidelio Cruise Crew Management System, which supports the shore side and shipboard crew resource operations for a cruise ship, and the Fidelio Cruise Fleet Management System, which enables fleet-wide data analysis for cruise ship operators. Fidelio Cruis e software is installed on approximately 220 cruise ships.

Restaurant Information Systems

The Company’s restaurant systems include POS applications, kitchen product applications, mobile applications, marketing applications, and hardware. Its front-of-house restaurant products operate on either industry standard personal computers (PCs) or terminals that have additional functionality and design appropriate for food service environments. The workstations the Company has designed, and which it markets and sells, are the Workstation 5A and 2015 PC Workstation. It also integrates other hardware devices into its complete product offerings.

Workstation 5A is a PC based POS terminal using Microsoft’s Embedded CE 6.0 and POSReady 2009 operating systems. The MICROS 2015 PC Workstation is a POS terminal designed to operate its restaurant applications and other third party PC-based software applications. The product uses Intel chip architecture. It can be configured to accommodate memory and storage requirement s. The product supports Microsoft operating systems and Linux.

The Protege Customer Display System and MICROS Order Confirmation Systems are designed for the quick service restaurant market, and provide information to a restaurant’s customers regarding their order. The Protege Customer Display System is connected to a MICROS Workstation. It is a Microsoft Windows CE client equipped with a touchscreen allowing for interactive use. The MICROS Order Confirmation System is also a Microsoft Windows CE client, and provides order detail through a remote 15 inches daylight viewable display. It also markets a product named the Keyboard Workstation 270. This product enables orders to be entered through the MICROS Simphony and 9700 HMS through a workstation with a keyboard interface in lieu of a touchscreen. The Keyboard Workstation is used in institutional food service environments, convention centers, and sports complexes. Through its JTECH subsidiary, it offers pagers , wireless systems, alert software, and related products for! use in r! estaurants, retail, medical, and other environments.

The Company resells various other hardware products, including personal computers, servers, printers, network cards, and other related computer equipment. The Company’s restaurant POS software systems are Simphony, the MICROS Restaurant Enterprise Series (3700 POS) system, the MICROS 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS), Hospitality Solution’s Profit Series, and the MICROS e7 Series. These systems provide transaction control for table service, quick service and food service and entertainment venues. Its design architecture enables existing users of MICROS POS products to access third party software applications in conjunction with their existing MICROS POS systems. In addition, MICROS restaurant information system products interface with back office accounting and property management systems, including its hotel PMS products.

The Simphony software solution is designed to be an all-inclusiv e software application for use by table service restaurants, quick service restaurants, and enterprise operations. It is capable of operating at single site venues, such as airport and other travel-related food service concessions, casinos, theme parks, and resorts as well multi-unit quick service and table service restaurant operations. The enterprise Simphony database is supported either by Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. As of June 30, 2012, MICROS has installed over 9,300 sites with Simphony, and hosts approximately 800 of those sites.

The MICROS 9700 HMS is designed for leisure and entertainment venues, which include resorts, casinos, airport and other travel-related food service concessions, stadiums/arenas, theme parks, table service and quick service restaurants in hotels, and restaurants. The MICROS 3700 POS is designed for table service and quick service restaurants. It has an open systems architecture using the Microsoft’s Windows operating system a nd a Sybase relational database, and can run on standard PCs! or works! tations. It uses a color touch screen with a Microsoft Windows based graphical user interface.

The Company markets a range of back office and operation focused software solutions, which extend beyond point-of-sale. The suite is called the MICROS Restaurant Enterprise Series (RES). The MICROS RES software solutions include point-of-sale transaction control, restaurant operations, data analysis, and communications. The POS software comprises the front-end application for the RES system. The restaurant operations modules include inventory, product forecasting, labor management, financial management, gift cards, customer loyalty and enterprise data management. Other components include Mobile MICROS and MICROS RES Kiosk, which enables customer information and self-ordering on third-party kiosks or directly through the use of smart phones and tablets.

For management of multiple restaurants, MICROS RES includes a range of software products called Enterpri se Management. This suite enables data to be transmitted to a remote site for data collection and analysis. In addition, pricing and menu changes can be made from a remote site and downloaded to specified restaurant locations. It also markets a POS system called MICROS e7. This product runs on the MICROS Workstation 5 and 5A series and uses the Microsoft Windows CE Operating system. The Company markets an Internet-based portal product called mymicros.net. The mymicros.net product posts restaurant transaction POS detail to a centralized data warehouse in near real time. This product enables the customer to view reports and charts for a single site, a group of restaurants, or the entire enterprise from any location that has an Internet connection. In addition, mymicros.net incorporates additional products for inventory management, labor scheduling and control, gift cards, loyalty cards and other marketing programs. The mymicros.net software product can either be purchased thro ugh a perpetual use license or by an annual or multi-year so! ftware-as! -a-service (SaaS) subscription contract. It hosts mymicros.net, Simphony, and other hosted POS-related applications in the same data centers where it offers hosting services for its OPERA PMS. As of June 30, 2012, it hosted applications supporting over 29,000 restaurants.

Retail Information Systems

Through the Company’s MICROS-Retail group of subsidiaries (MICROS-Retail), it markets retail store software systems, direct commerce solutions and business intelligence applications. The retail store software systems are called Store21 Store Management System (Store21), Tradewind Store Management System (Tradewind) and Xstore Store Management System (Xstore). Store21 is a POS product designed for specialty retailers. The products operate on Microsoft’s Windows NT and 2000 and 2003 operating systems and use a Sybase database. Both products can be integrated with the retailer’s back office systems, and it also offers additional back office, communicat ions, and reporting modules for use with Tradewind and Store21.

Xstore is the Company’s retail POS software system. It is a full service oriented architecture (SOA) compliant architecture. It runs on the Sun Microsystems Java operating system, and its architecture enables it to be integrated to both Windows and Linux-based back office systems. It can operate on any Java compatible operating system and database. Like Store21 and Tradewind, its predecessor products, Xstore is a front-end POS software system. Xstore is designed to run in a Windows or a Linux environment, while Store21 and Tradewind, as designed, can operate only in a Windows environment.

The Company offers the MICROS-Retail Home Office Business Intelligence Suite for retail stores, which includes loss prevention (marketed under the trade name XBR), customer relationship management, gift cards (marketed under the trade name Relate), and audit control (marketed under the trade name Bal ance). It also offers XBR to its restaurant customers throug! h MICROS ! provided centrally hosted or self-hosted environment. MICROS-Retail also offers in-store mobile solutions with Apple Corporation’s iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad systems. These solutions enable the store associate to ring up sales, handle inventory and service customers using the mobile devices. MICROS-Retail offers an eCommerce platform with features, marketed under the trade name Open Commerce Platform, as well as creative and design services to help customers create custom Websites.

MICROS-Retail offers order management and order broker software and services (marketed under the trade names CW Serenade and Locate, respectively), which enable a retailer to manage customer purchase transactions through multiple sources, including a store, the Internet, catalog phone-in orders, call centers, kiosks, and wireless devices. MICROS-Retail develops, supports, and distributes software solutions, which provides for collaborative end-to-end product and supplier lifecycle management and ingredient legal compliance tracking under the names Creations and myCreations. Creations and myCreations customers include accounts, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Wm Morrison, Sobeys, H.E. Butt, Metro, Kodak, Bodyshop and Booker.

The Company provides a range of services to its customers, including system installation, operator and manager training, on-site hardware maintenance, customized software development, application software support and credit card software support. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), service revenue constituted approximately 65.6% of its total revenue. Maintenance service contracts include on-site and depot hardware maintenance, application software support, credit card software support, and software hosting. The Company provides on-site hardware maintenance and software support through a combination of direct and indirect channels. The on-site hardware maintenance is provided to customers using MICR OS POS hardware and software systems. It also operates other! more lim! ited help desk operations, including Fidelio Cruise support desks in Hamburg, Germany and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the JTECH help desk in Boca Raton, Florida, and a help desk in Scottsdale, Arizona for certain legacy POS products. Its corporate customer support center in Columbia, Maryland provides back-up support for its regional centers in Buenos Aires, Singapore, and Galway, and its research and development operation in Naples, Florida, provides support for its hotel software products. The regional support centers also provide back-up support and guidance for local and in-country support providers.

The Company operates data centers in Ashburn and Manassas, Virginia, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Frankfurt, Nottingham, England, and Singapore in conjunction with third-party vendors to serve as hosting centers for customers deploying its hosted and application service products. It offers Website design and portal management services, for the retail industry. These inc lude the development and management a customer’s Website for ordering, sales promotion, and marketing. It also offers Web based marketing services to hotels, restaurants and retail companies.

The Company competes with NCR, Panasonic, Par Technology, Sharp, Agilysys, Positouch, Xpient Solutions, Casio, Dell, HP, IBM, Toshiba, Multi-Systems, Newmarket, Northwind, Par Technology, Protel, Softbrands, Pegasus, Trust International/TravelPort, Vantis, Sabre, TravelClick, Epicor, Escalate Retail, JDA Software, Oracle, SAP, DemandWare and eBay.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    MICROS Systems (Nasdaq: MCRS  ) is expected to report Q3 earnings on April 25. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict MICROS Systems’s revenues will expand 18.9% and EPS will grow 8.9%.

  • [By Damian Illia]

    Although my track record as an investor is not at all comparable to Carl Icahn´s, one thing can still be said: Following Icahn´s investments blindly is not a good idea. Icahn is not just an investor, but also an activist, with his own agenda, his own interests, which many times can diverge from yours. Having said this, I would recommend staying away from Nuance at the time, mainly in account of its high valuation and somewhat uncertain prospects. Instead, I would recommend considering Autodesk or Micros Systems (MCRS), which I will look into in my next article, for your long-term portfolios.