Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014

Another quarter is in the books, and not all that much has changed at healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The company’s drug business continues to grow exceptionally well, lifting margins along the way. Meanwhile, the recovery in the consumer business continues to be slow, as is the progress in producing better growth from the large device business. Although I’ve been lukewarm on JNJ’s shares relative to other (better-performing) stocks in the drug and device space, the shares have done pretty well over the past year and while not cheap, aren’t all that expensive for long-term holders.

Q2 Comes In Strong Due To Drugs
Johnson & Johnson reported that revenue grew about 10% this quarter (on an “operational” basis), with organic growth a bit below 6%. That was good for a slight (roughly 1%) outperformance relative to to expectations but all of the upside seemed to come from the pharmaceutical operations.

SEE: Positive Start To Q2 Earnings Season

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: Pall Corporation(PLL)

Pall Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets filtration, purification, and separation products and integrated systems solutions worldwide. The company?s Life Sciences segment provides technologies that facilitate the process of drug discovery, development, regulatory validation, and production used in the research laboratories, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, food and beverage industry, blood centers, and hospitals at the point of patient care. It also offers medical products that enhance the safety of the use of blood products in patient care and help control the spread of infections in hospitals; and cell therapy products that enable technologies for the regenerative medicine market. In addition, this segment sells various filtration and purification technologies, appurtenant hardware, and engineered systems for the development and commercialization of chemically synthesized and biologically derived drugs, plasma, and vaccines, as well as offers filtration solutions; validation services to drug manufacturers; and laboratory products for use in drug research and discovery, quality control testing, and environmental monitoring applications. Further, it serves the filtration needs of the food and beverage market. The company?s Industrial segment provides enabling and process enhancing technologies for the industrial market. It offers filtration and fluid monitoring equipment to the aerospace industry; filtration and purification technologies for the semiconductor, data storage, fiber optic, advanced display, and materials markets; and a suite of contamination control solutions for chemical, gas, water, chemical mechanical polishing, and photolithography processes. This segment also provides various technologies to producers of energy, oil, gas, renewable and alternative fuels, electricity, chemicals, and municipal water. The company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Port Washington, New Yo r k.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James Miller Phd]

    Pall Corporation (PLL) is a supplier of filtration, separation and purification technologies, principally made by the company, for the removal of solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants from a range of liquids and gases. The company serves customers through two businesses globally: Life Sciences and Industrial. While Pall competes with many companies in the Life Sciences markets and Industrial, few companies operate in both, like ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) and Danaher Corp. (DHR).

  • [By Benjamin Shepherd]

    Pall Corp (NYSE: PLL) is another company that provides water filtration, separation and purification technology, but it tends to focus more on industry users. Just as we all need clean, fresh water to drink, a number of industrial users such as pharmaceutical makers and chip manufacturers require pristine water for their manufacturing processes.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY)

Mechanical Technology, Incorporated (MTI), incorporated on October 4, 1961, operates in two segments: the Test and Measurement Instrumentation segment, which is conducted through MTI Instruments, Inc. (MTI Instruments), a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the New Energy segment, which is conducted through MTI MicroFuel Cells, Inc. (MTI Micro), a variable interest entity (VIE) as of December 31, 2011. MTI Instruments is a worldwide supplier of precision non-contact physical measurement solutions, portable balance equipment and wafer inspection tools. MTI Micro is developing Mobion, a handheld energy-generating device. Mobion handheld generators are based on direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 47.6% of MTI Micro’s interest.

The Test and Measurement Instrumentation Segment

MTI Instruments is a worldwide supplier of precision non-contact physical measurement solutions, portable balance equ ipment and wafer inspection tools. MTI Instrument’s products use a range of technologies to solve applications in numerous industries including manufacturing, semiconductor, solar, commercial and military aviation, automotive and data storage. The Company’s test and measurement segment has three product groups: Precision Instruments, Semiconductor and Solar Metrology Systems, and Aviation Balancing Systems. The Company’s products consist of electronic, computerized gauging instruments for position, displacement and vibration applications for the design, manufacturing/production and test and research markets; metrology tools for wafer characterization of semiconductor and solar wafers; tensile stage systems for materials testing in research and industrial settings; and engine balancing and vibration analysis systems for both military and commercial aircraft.

The Precision Instruments group employs capacitance, laser and fiber optic technologies to make nano-accur ate measurements. These advanced sensing and physical measur! ement technologies are used to produce products that range from basic sensors to complete, fully integrated measurement systems, and are available as single sensors for integration into existing data acquisition systems or as complete system level solutions that can be further integrated into a facility wide communication backbone. MTI Instruments’ Precision Instruments product offerings & technologies include Accumeasure Family, Microtrak Family, Microtrak II Series, Microtrak Pro-2D, MTI-2100 Fotonic Sensor Series, MTI Tensile Stages, Semiconductor and Solar Metrology Systems, Aviation Balancing Systems, PBS-4100+ /4100R+ Portable Balancing System, TSC-4800A Tachometer Signal Conditioner, and 1510A Calibrator.

The Accumeasure family of products is designed to address the needs of product developers, process engineers, researchers, designers, and others who need measurements. MTI Instrument’s Microtrak family of laser triangulation sensors offers displacement, position and vibration measurements. The Microtrak II comes with an interface controller that provides a digital display of the target position, alarm set points and connections for analog and RS-485 outputs. The Microtrak II Stand-Alone Laser Head also uses complementary metal oxide semiconductors with charged coupled device (CMOS – CCD) detection technology. During the year ended December 31, 2011, MTII launched its Microtrak PRO-2D laser triangulation scanners, which provides profile, displacement and dimensional information in real time.

The MTI-2100 features fiber-optic and electronic technologies for precise measurements of displacement, position and vibration. MTI Instruments’ miniature tensile, compression and bend testing machines are designed for use in scanning electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and light microscopes. The Company’s family of wafer metrology systems includes manual and semi-automated systems. The Semiconductor and Solar Me trology Systems include Proforma 200SA/300SA, Proforma 300 a! nd PV-100! 0. The Proforma 300 is a manual tool. The PV-1000 is incorporated into solar cell production lines to help manufacturers determine quality control issues. The computer-based portable balancing systems (PBS) products collect and record aircraft engine vibration data, identify vibration or balance trouble in an engine, and calculate a solution to the problem.

The portable PBS-4100+ detects if an engine has a vibration problem or a trim balance problem and provides a solution, resulting in reduced engine vibration, longer engine life, and lower fuel costs. The PBS-4100R+ rack mounted system offers the same features and functions as the portable PBS-4100+ with added data channels, speed input channels, direct current (DC) outputs and diagnostic options. TSC-4800A Tachometer Signal Conditioner is targeted for operators of Engine Test cells, where accurate and reliable conditioning of speed signals is essential. The TSC-4800A features multiple output circuits that pr ovide more than 10 different signals types for the monitoring devices. The PBS family of products includes a 1510A calibrator – a product that automatically performs a calibration check of the PBS unit which otherwise would take hours.

The New Energy Segment

MTI Micro has been developing an off-the-grid power solution for various portable electronic devices to address this power gap. The Company’s DMFC technology platform, called Mobion, converts methanol fuel to usable electricity. The Company’s fuel cell power solution consists of two components integrated into a manufactured device: the direct methanol fuel cell power engine, which the Company refers to as its Mobion Chip, and methanol fuel cartridges. MTI Micro is focusing the development of an external power charger product as a standalone device that uses a universal serial bus (USB) interface as a power output connector that can be used to recharge handheld mobile devices. A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device, which is similar t! o a batte! ry that produces electricity from a liquid or gaseous fuel, such as methanol, and an oxidant, such as oxygen.

The Company competes with KLA-Tencor, Sigma Tech Corporation, E+H Eichhorn+Hausmann GmbH, Chadwick-Helmuth Company, Inc., ACES Systems, Micro-Epsilon, and Keyence Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap Plug Power Inc was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between Michigan utility owner DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE) and Mechanical Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: MKTY) to develop fuel-cell systems to power homes and small businesses. Plug Power Inc says it has revolutionized the material handling industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints as it manufactures a full suite of products designed to fit seamlessly into the existing battery compartment of all major OEM material handling equipment. In addition, the company says its GenDrive fuel cell is a superior alternative to lead-acid batteries for electric lift trucks in the $20 billion global material handling market.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Meanwhile, Plug Power Inc was formed in 1997 as a joint venture of Michigan utility owner DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE) and Mechanical Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: MKTY) to develop fuel-cell systems to power homes and small businesses. Plug Power Inc says it has revolutionized the material handling industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints as it manufactures a full suite of products designed to fit seamlessly into the existing battery compartment of all major OEM material handling equipment. The company also says that its GenDrive fuel cell is a superior alternative to lead-acid batteries for electric lift trucks in the $20 billion global material handling market.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: RMP Energy Inc (OEXFF.PK)

RMP Energy Inc. (RMP) is a crude oil and natural gas company. The Company is engaged in the exploration for, development and production of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) reserves within the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. RMP conducts its operations in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, primarily in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Company’s principal properties include Gilby, Pine Creek, Kaybob, Waskahigan, Ante Creek, Ricinus, Gordondale, Resthaven/Bilbo and Big Muddy. The Gilby property is located 110 kilometers southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Kaybob property is located 250 kilometers northwest of Edmonton, Alberta and consisted of 31 producing and non-producing gas wells as of December 31, 2011. In November 2013, RMP Energy Inc closed the purchase of complementary Montney light oil assets located in its core areas of Ante Creek and Waskahigan in West Central Alberta. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Value Digger]

    As peers, I selected Artek Exploration (ARKXF.PK), RMP Energy (OEXFF.PK), Synergy Resources (SYRG) and Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR). The first two firms trade also on the main Toronto board under the tickers RTK.TO and RMP.TO respectively. These peers comply with the following criteria:

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: LDK Solar Co. Ltd.(LDK)

LDK Solar Co., Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of photovoltaic (PV) products; and development of power plant projects. It offers solar-grade and semiconductor-grade polysilicon; and multicrystalline and monocrystalline solar wafers to the manufacturers of solar cells and solar modules. The company also provides wafer processing services to monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cell and module manufacturers; and sells silicon materials, such as ingots and polysilicon scraps. In addition, it engages in the production and sale of solar cells and modules to developers, distributors, and system integrators; and design and development of solar power projects in Europe, the United States, and China, as well as provides engineering, procurement, and construction services. LDK Solar Co., Ltd. operates in Europe, the Asia Pacific, and North America. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Xinyu City, t he People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonathan Yates]

    For investors looking to profit from shorting stocks in the sector, JA Solar Holdings (NASDAQ: JASO) and LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) are both vulnerable. For those looking to go long, Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) is very strong in natural gas, which is expected to increase its market share, according to a recent report from the Department of Energy.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) is up 8.7% at $88.05 following positive results and a raised outlook. Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is down 6% at $15.45 as the bookseller watches its revenue slide. JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) is down 10.3% at $XX on a mixed earnings report and LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) is flat at $1.60.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: IDEX Corp (IEX)

IDEX Corporation (IDEX), incorporated on September 24, 1987, is an applied solutions business that sells an array of pumps, flow meters and other fluidics systems and components and engineered products to customers in a variety of markets worldwide. All of the Company’s business activities are carried out through wholly owned subsidiaries. IDEX operates in three business segments: Fluid & Metering Technologies, Health & Science Technologies and Fire & Safety/Diversified Products. Reporting units in the Fluid & Metering Technologies segment consist of Banjo; Energy and Fuels (Energy); Chemical, Food & Process (CFP) and Water & Waste Water (Water). Reporting units in the Health & Science Technologies segment consist of IDEX Health & Science (IH&S); IDEX Optics and Photonics (IOP); Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE); Gast; Micropump and Materials Process Technologies (MPT). Reporting units in the Fire & Safety/Diversified Products segment consist of Fire Suppression; Rescu e Tools and Band-It. In July 20, 2012, it acquired Matcon Group Limited. In March 2013, it announced the acquisition of FTL Seals Technology, Ltd. On April 11, 2012, the Company acquired the stock of PPC. On April 30, 2012, the Company acquired the stock of ERC.

Fluid & Metering Technologies Segment

The Fluid & Metering Technologies Segment designs, produces and distributes displacement pumps, flow meters, injectors, and other fluid-handling pump modules and systems and provides flow monitoring and other services for the water and wastewater industries. Fluid & Metering Technologies pump and metering solutions serve a range of end markets, including industrial infrastructure (fossil fuels, refined and alternative fuels, and water and wastewater), chemical processing, agricultural, food and beverage, pulp and paper, transportation, plastics and resins, electronics and electrical, construction and mining, pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical, machine ry and other markets. Fluid & Metering Technologies accounte! d for 43% of IDEX’s sales and 82% of IDEX’s operating income, with approximately 46% of its sales to customers outside the United States as of December 31, 2012, with approximately 46% of its sales to customers outside the United States. Banjo is a provider of pumps, valves, fittings and systems used in liquid handling. Banjo is based in Crawfordsville, Indiana and its products are used in agricultural and industrial applications. Approximately 11% of Banjo’s sales during 2012 were to customers outside the United States.

Energy consists of the Company’s Corken, Faure Herman, Liquid Controls, S.A.M.P.I. and Toptech businesses. Energy is a supplier of flow meters, electronic registration and control products, rotary vane and turbine pumps, reciprocating piston compressors, and terminal automation control systems. Energy has facilities in Longwood, Florida and Zwijndrech, Belgium (Toptech products), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Corken products), La Ferte Bernar d, France (Faure Herman products), Vadodara, Gujarat, India (Liquid Controls products), and Altopascio, Italy (S.A.M.P.I. products). Applications for Liquid Controls and S.A.M.P.I. positive displacement flow meters, electronic, registration and control products include mobile and stationary metering installations for wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum and liquefied petroleum gas, aviation refueling, and industrial metering and dispensing of liquids and gases. Corken products consist of rotary vane pumps, single and multistage regenerative turbine pumps, and small horsepower reciprocating piston compressors. Toptech supplies terminal automation hardware and software to control and manage inventories, as well as transactional data and invoicing, to customers in the oil, gas and refined-fuels markets. Faure Herman is a supplier of ultrasonic and helical turbine flow meters used in the custody transfer and control of fluids and gases. Approximately 53% of Energy’s sales during 2012 were to customers outside the United State! s.

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CFP consists of the Company’s Richter, Viking and Warren Rupp businesses. CFP is a producer of air-operated and motor-driven double-diaphragm pumps and replacement parts, lined pumps, valves and control equipment for the chemical, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and external gear pumps. Richter’s corrosion resistant fluoroplastic lined products offer solutions for applications in the process industry. Viking’s products consist of external gear pumps, strainers and reducers, and related controls used for transferring and metering thin and viscous liquids sold under the Viking and Wright Flow brands and air-operated double-diaphragm pumps sold under the Blagdon brand. Markets served by Viking products include chemical, petroleum, pulp and paper, plastics, paints, inks, tanker trucks, compressor, construction, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical and biotech. Warren Rupp products (which also include Pumper Parts and Versa-Matic products) ar e used for abrasive and semisolid materials, as well as for applications where product degradation is a concern or where electricity is not available or should not be used. Markets served by Warren Rupp products include chemical, paint, food processing, electronics, construction, utilities, mining and industrial maintenance. CFP maintains operations in Kampen, Germany (Richter products), Cedar Falls, Iowa (Richter and Viking products), Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, Shannon, Ireland (Viking products) and Mansfield, Ohio (Warren Rupp products). CFP primarily uses independent distributors to market and sell its products. Approximately 54% of CFP’s sales during 2012 were to customers outside the United States.

Water consists of the Company’s ADS, IETG, iPEK, Knight and Pulsafeeder businesses. Water is a provider of metering technology and flow monitoring products and underground surveillance services for water and wastewater markets, as well as a manufacture r of pumps and dispensing equipment for industrial laundries! , commerc! ial dishwashing and chemical metering, and a provider of metering pumps, special-purpose rotary pumps, peristaltic pumps, fully integrated pump and metering systems, custom chemical-feed systems, electronic controls and dispensing equipment. ADS’s products and services provide integrated solutions that enable industry, municipalities and government agencies to analyze and measure the capacity, quality and integrity of wastewater collection systems, including the maintenance and construction of such systems. IETG’s products and services enable water companies to manage their water distribution and sewerage networks, while its surveillance service specializes in underground asset detection and mapping for utilities and other private companies. iPEK supplies remote controlled systems used for infrastructure inspection. Knight is a manufacturer of pumps and dispensing equipment for industrial laundries, commercial dishwashing and chemical metering. Pulsafeeder products are u sed to introduce precise amounts of fluids into processes to manage water quality and chemical composition, as well as peristaltic pumps. Its markets include water and wastewater treatment, oil and gas, power generation, pulp and paper, chemical and hydrocarbon processing, and swimming pools. Water maintains operations in Huntsville, Alabama and various other locations in the United States, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (ADS products), Leeds, England (IETG products and services), Hirschegg, Austria, and Sulzberg, Germany (iPEK products), Lake Forest, California, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, Unanderra, Australia, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico (Knight products), Rochester, New York, Punta Gorda, Florida and Milan, Italy (Pulsafeeder products). Approximately 47% of Water’s sales during 2012 were to customers outside the United States.

Water Services & Technology (WST) consists of t he Company’s ADS, IETG and iPEK businesses. WST is a provi! der of me! tering technology and flow monitoring products and underground surveillance services for wastewater markets. ADS’s products and services provide integrated solutions that enable industry, municipalities and government agencies to analyze and measure the capacity, quality and integrity of wastewater collection systems, including the maintenance and construction of such systems. IETG’s products and services enable water companies to manage their water distribution and sewerage networks, while its surveillance service specializes in underground asset detection and mapping for utilities and other private companies. iPEK supplies remote controlled systems used for infrastructure inspection. WST maintains operations in Huntsville, Alabama and various other locations in the United States and Australia (ADS products and services); Leeds, England (IETG products and services); and Hirschegg, Austria, and Sulzberg, Germany (iPEK products). Approximately 40% of WST’s 2012 sales we re to customers outside the United States.

The Company competes with Pump Solutions Group, Dover Corporation, Milton Roy and Tuthill Corporation.

Health & Science Technologies Segment

The Health & Science Technologies Segment designs, produces and distributes a range of precision fluidics, rotary lobe pumps, centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, roll compaction and drying systems used in beverage, food processing, pharmaceutical and cosmetics, pneumatic components and sealing solutions, including pumping solutions required in analytical instrumentation, clinical diagnostics and drug discovery, molded and extruded, biocompatible medical devices and implantables, air compressors used in medical, dental and industrial applications, optical components and coatings for applications in the fields of scientific research, defense, aerospace, telecommunications and electronics manufacturing, laboratory and commercial equipment used in the production of micro and nano scale materials, precision pho! tonic sol! utions used in life sciences, research and defense markets, and precision gear and peristaltic pump technologies. The segment accounted for 35% of IDEX’s sales and 35% of operating income in 2012, with approximately 54% of its sales to customers outside the United States.

IH&S consists of Eastern Plastics, Rheodyne, Ismatec, Sapphire Engineering, Upchurch Scientific and ERC, which was acquired in April 2012. IH&S has facilities in Rohnert Park, California (Rheodyne products); Bristol, Connecticut (Eastern Plastics products); Wertheim-Mondfeld, Germany (Ismatec products); Middleboro, Massachusetts (Sapphire Engineering products); Oak Harbor, Washington (Ismatec and Upchurch Scientific products); and Kawaguchi, Japan (ERC products). Eastern Plastics products, which consist of high- precision integrated fluidics and associated engineered plastics solutions, are used in a set of end markets including medical diagnostics, analytical instrumentation, and laboratory automation. Rheodyne products consist of injectors, valves, fittings and accessories for the analytical instrumentation market. Rheodyne products are used by manufacturers of high pressure liquid chromatography equipment servicing the pharmaceutical, biotech, life science, food & beverage, and chemical markets. Ismatec products include peristaltic metering pumps, analytical process controllers, and sample preparation systems. Sapphire Engineering and Upchurch Scientific products consist of fluidic components and systems for the analytical, biotech and diagnostic instrumentation markets, such as fittings, precision-dispensing pumps and valves, tubing and integrated tubing assemblies, filter sensors and other micro-fluidic and nano-fluidic components, as well as advanced column hardware and accessories for the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) market. Sapphire Engineering and Upchurch Scientific products primarily serve the pharmaceutical, drug discovery, chemical, biochemical processing, genomics/proteomics research, envir! onmental ! labs, food/agriculture, medical lab, personal care, and plastics/polymer/rubber production markets. ERC manufactures gas liquid separations and detection solutions for the life science, analytical instrumentation and clinical chemistry markets. ERC’s products consist of in-line membrane vacuum degassing solutions, refractive index detectors and ozone generation systems. Approximately 52% of IH&S’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

IOP consists of CVI Melles Griot (CVI MG), Semrock and AT Films (the Precision Photonics portion of the AT Films business was acquired in April 2012). CVI MG is a into design and manufacture of precision photonic solutions used in the life sciences, research, semiconductor, security and defense markets. CVI MG’s products are focused on the generation, control and productive use of light for a variety of key science and industrial applications. Products consist of specialty lasers and light sources, electro-o ptical components, specialty shutters, opto-mechanical assemblies and components. In addition, CVI MG produces critical components for life science research, electronics manufacturing, military and other industrial applications including lenses, mirrors, filters and polarizers. These components are utilized in a number of applications such as spectroscopy, cytometry (cell counting), guidance systems for target designation, remote sensing, menology and optical lithography.

CVI MG is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with additional manufacturing sites located in Carlsbad, California; Rochester, New York; Isle of Man, British Isles; Leicester, England; Kyongki-Do, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; Didam, The Netherlands; and Singapore. Semrock is a provider of optical filters for biotech and analytical instrumentation in the life sciences markets. Semrock’s optical filters are produced using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes which enable it to offer its custo mers improvements in instrument performance and reliability.! Semrock ! is located in Rochester, New York. AT Films specializes in optical components and coatings for applications in the fields of scientific research, defense, aerospace, telecommunications and electronics manufacturing. The Precision Photonics portion of its business specializes in optical components and coatings for applications in the fields of scientific research, aerospace, telecommunications and electronics manufacturing. AT Films is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Approximately 57% of IOP’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United Sates.

Containment consists of Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE). PPE, which is located in Blackburn, England, is a provider of high performance seals and advanced sealing solutions for a diverse range of global industries and applications, including hazardous duty, analytical instrumentation, semiconductor/solar, process technologies, pharmaceutical, electronics, and food applications. Approximately 79% of PPE’s 20 12 sales were to customers outside the United States.

Gast consists of the Company’s Gast and Jun-Air businesses. The Gast business is a manufacturer of air-moving products, including air motors, low-range and medium-range vacuum pumps, vacuum generators, regenerative blowers and fractional horsepower compressors. Gast products are used in a variety of long-life applications requiring a quiet, clean source of moderate vacuum or pressure. Gast products primarily serve the medical equipment, environmental equipment, computers and electronics, printing machinery, paint mixing machinery, packaging machinery, graphic arts, and industrial manufacturing markets. The Jun-Air business is a provider of low-decibel, ultra-quiet vacuum compressors suitable for medical, dental and laboratory applications. Based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Gast also has a logistics and commercial center in Redditch, England. Approximately 27% of Gast’s 2012 sales were to customers outsid e the United States.

Micropump, headquartered i! n Vancouv! er, Washington, produces, precision-engineered, magnetically and electromagnetically driven rotary gear, piston and centrifugal pumps. Micropump products are used in low-flow abrasive and corrosive applications. Micropump products primarily serve the printing machinery, medical equipment, paints and inks, chemical processing, pharmaceutical, refining, laboratory, electronics, pulp and paper, water treatment, textiles, peristaltic metering pumps, analytical process controllers and sample preparation systems markets. Approximately 77% of Micropump’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

MPT consists of Quadro, Fitzpatrick, Microfluidics and Matcon Group Limited (Matcon), which was acquired in July 2012. Quadro is a provider of particle control solutions for the pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical markets. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Quadro’s activities include fine milling, emulsification and special handling of liquid and solid pa rticulates for laboratory, pilot phase and production scale processing within the pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical markets. Fitzpatrick is into the design and manufacture of process technologies for the pharmaceutical, food and personal care markets. Fitzpatrick designs and manufactures customized size reduction, roll compaction and drying systems to support their customers’ product development and manufacturing processes. Fitzpatrick is headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois. Microfluidics is into designing and manufacturing of laboratory and commercial equipment used in the production of micro and nano scale materials for the pharmaceutical and chemical markets. Microfluidics is the producer of the Microfluidizer family of high shear fluid processors for uniform particle size reduction, robust cell disruption and nanoparticle creation. Microfluidics has offices in Newton, Massachusetts. Matcon is into material processing solutions for high value powders used in the man ufacture of pharmaceuticals, food, plastics, and fine chemic! als.

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Matcon’s products consist of the original cone valve powder discharge system and filling, mixing and packaging systems, all of which support its customers’ automation and process requirements. Matcon is located in Evesham, Worcestershire, England. Approximately 61% of MPT’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

The Company competes with Gardner Denver, Inc., Thermo Scientific Dionex, Gooch & Housego PLC, Parker Hannifin and Valco Instruments Co., Inc.

Fire & Safety/Diversified Products Segment

The Fire & Safety/Diversified Products segment produces firefighting pumps and controls, rescue tools, lifting bags and other components and systems for the fire and rescue industry, engineered stainless steel banding and clamping devices used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, and precision equipment for dispensing, metering and mixing colorants and paints used in a variety of retail and com mercial businesses around the world. The segment accounted for 22% of IDEX’s sales and 53% of IDEX’s operating income in 2012, with approximately 56% of its sales to customers outside the United States.

Fire Suppression consists of the Company’s Class I, Hale and Godiva businesses, which produce truck-mounted and portable fire pumps, stainless steel valves, foam and compressed air foam systems, pump modules and pump kits, electronic controls and information systems, conventional and networked electrical systems, and mechanical components for the fire, rescue and specialty vehicle markets. Fire Suppression’s customers are primarily OEMs. Fire Suppression is headquartered in Ocala, Florida (Class 1 and Hale products), with additional facilities located in Warwick, England (Godiva products). Approximately 41% of Fire Suppression’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

Rescue consists of the Company’s Dinglee, Hurst Jaws o f Life, Lukas and Vetter businesses, which produce hydraulic! , battery! , gas and electric-operated rescue equipment, hydraulic re-railing equipment, hydraulic tools for industrial applications, recycling cutters, pneumatic lifting and sealing bags for vehicle and aircraft rescue, environmental protection and disaster control, and shoring equipment for vehicular or structural collapse. Rescue Tool’s customers are primarily public and private fire and rescue organizations. Rescue has facilities in Shelby, North Carolina (Hurst Jaws of Life products); Tianjin, China (Dinglee products); Erlangen, Germany (Lukas products); and Zulpich, Germany (Vetter products). Approximately 75% of Rescue’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

Band-It is a producer of stainless steel banding, buckles and clamping systems. Band-It products are used for securing exhaust system heat and sound shields, industrial hose fittings, traffic signs and signals, electrical cable shielding, identification and bundling, and in numerous other industrial and commercial applications. Band-It products primarily serve the automotive, transportation equipment, oil and gas, general industrial maintenance, electronics, electrical, communications, aerospace, utility, municipal and subsea marine markets. Band-It is based in Denver, Colorado, with additional operations in Staveley, Derbyshire, England, and a IDEX shared manufacturing facility in China. Approximately 39% of Band-It’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

Dispensing Equipment produces precision equipment for dispensing, metering and mixing colorants and paints used in a variety of retail and commercial businesses worldwide. Dispensing Equipment is a global supplier of precision-designed tinting, mixing, dispensing and measuring equipment for auto refinishing and architectural paints. Dispensing Equipment products are used in retail and commercial stores, hardware stores, home centers, department stores, automotive body shops as well as point-of-purchase dispensers. Dispensing Equipmen! t is head! quartered in Wheeling, Illinois with additional facilities in Sassenheim, The Netherlands; Unanderra, Australia; and Milan, Italy, as well as IDEX shared manufacturing facilities in India and China. Approximately 59% of Dispensing Equipment’s 2012 sales were to customers outside the United States.

The Company competes with American Cast Iron Pipe Company, Holmatro, Inc., Nordic Capital and Panduit Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Xylem’s big day has also boosted other water-infrastructure stocks. Flowserve (FLS) has gained 1.2% to $70.59, Idex Corp. (IEX) has risen 0.5% to $68.69 and Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) has advanced 0.4% t0 $98.22.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Diversified technology machinist IDEX (NYSE: IEX  ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.23 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after raising the payout 15% from $0.20 per share.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on IDEX (NYSE: IEX  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: Ballard Power Systems Inc.(BLDP)

Ballard Power Systems Inc. engages in the design, development, manufacture, sale, and service of fuel cell products for motive and stationary power applications worldwide. It offers clean energy PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stacks, modules, and complete systems. The company provides fuel cell products and services for material handling and bus, back-up power, and distributed generation applications; and fuel cell engineering solutions for various fuel cell applications. It also offers carbon-based engineered material products in the form of roll goods as woven carbon fiber textile fabrics or carbon fiber papers primarily for automotive transmissions and gas diffusion layers. Ballard Power Systems Inc., through its interests in Dantherm Power A/S develops clean energy backup power through utilization of hydrogen fuel cell technology; and Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp. develops fuel cell products for the automotive fuel cell market. The company was founde d in 1979 and is headquartered in Burnaby, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Back on March 11th, yours truly opined that the wild bullishness that had carried names like ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSEMKT:ZBB), Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG), FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL), and Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDP) to triple digit gains (in just a few days) was coming to a close, and taking profits on any and all of these stocks would be a good idea. It was an idea that went over like a lead balloon, judging from the responses I got. How ridiculous of me to turn bearish on those names! FCEL, PLUG, ZBB, and BLDP were all flying high, and obviously since they soared over the course of the two weeks leading up to that date, they could only keep going higher forever.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The news also lifted shares of FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) and Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP) by about 28% and 18%, respectively. But none of the three stocks hit a new 52-week high. That happened two weeks before when Plug Power announced a sale of 1,700 fuel cell-forklifts to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    As a result, Plug Power’s shares are tumbling. They’ve dropped 19% to $6.87 at 2:20 p.m. today–and Plug Power’s plunge has dragged FuelCell Energy (FCEL) down 15% to $2.48 and  Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) down 19% to $4.38.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Tesla have gained 0.8% to $232.83 at 12:18 p.m. That’s not bad considering that Plug Power (PLUG) is unchanged at $6.71, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) has dropped 2.8% to $5.53 and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) has fallen 4.3% to $2.89.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: Lynas Corp Ltd (LYSDY)

Lynas Corporation Limited is engaged in integrated extraction and processing of rare earth minerals, primarily in Australia and Malaysia; and development of Rare Earth deposits. The Company is engaged in commercial production and shipments of Rare Earths products. The Company has Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) for its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP). The Company’s subsidiary includes Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bdh, Lynas Services Pty Ltd, Mount Weld Holdings Pty Ltd, Mount Weld Mining Pty Ltd, Lynas Africa Holdings Pty Ltd and Lynas Africa Ltd. Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bdh operates and develops advanced material processing plant. Mount Weld Mining Pty Ltd is engaged in development of mining areas of interest and operation of concentration plant. Lynas Africa Ltd is engaged in mineral exploration. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Molycorp also needs to contend with the fact that there’s a limited market for the metals it will mine at the same time Lynas (NASDAQOTH: LYSDY  ) is already out there producing them in Malaysia, let alone what China itself is bringing to the market. To think it can substantially crack the market at a profitable price in sufficient quantities, even if it does become a low (or the lowest) cost producer, is wishful thinking of the highest order.

Top Asian Companies To Watch For 2014: Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc (MAA)

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc., incorporated on September 22, 1993, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on acquiring, owning and operating apartment communities in the Sunbelt region of the United States. The Company’s segments include Large market same store communities , Secondary market same store communities and Non same store communities and other . As of December 31, 2012 , the Company owned 100% of 160 properties representing 47,809 apartment units. Four properties include retail components with approximately 108,000 square feet of gross leasable area.

As of December 31, 2012 , the Company also had 33.33% ownership interests in Mid-America Multifamily Fund I, LLC, or Fund I, and Mid-America Multifamily Fund II, LLC, or Fund II, which owned two properties containing 626 apartment units and four properties containing 1,156 apartment units, respectively. These apartment communities we re located across 13 states. In October 2013, Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc merged with Colonial Properties Trust. In October 2013, Mid America Apartment Communities Inc and Colonial Properties Trust announced the completion of the merger of the two companies.

The Company’s Large market same store communities are generally communities in markets with a population of at least one million and at least 1% of the total public multifamily REIT units that the Company has owned and that has been stabilized for at least a full 12 months and have not been classified as held for sale. Communities are considered stabilized after achieving and maintaining at least 90% occupancy for 90 days. Secondary market same store communities are generally communities in markets with populations of more than one million but less than 1% of the total public multifamily REIT units or markets with populations of less than one million that the Company has owned and that has been s tabilized for at least a full 12 months and have not been cl! assified as held for sale. Communities are considered stabilized after achieving and maintaining at least 90% occupancy for 90 days. Non same store communities and other includes recent acquisitions, communities in development or lease-up and communities that have been classified as held for sale. Also included in non same store communities are non multifamily activities which represent less than 1% of the Company’s portfolio.

The Company’s business is conducted principally through Mid-America Apartments, L.P., which the Company refers to as its Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2012 , the Company owned or had an ownership interest in 166 multifamily apartment communities in 13 different states. The Company also provides its own in-house leadership development program, which consists of a three-module program followed by two comprehensive case studies, which was developed with the assistance of U.S. Learning, Inc. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company purchased 10.6 acres of land and began construction on a new 270-unit community located in the Charleston, South Carolina metropolitan area. As of December 31, 2012 , no units have been delivered for the land in Charleston, South Carolina. During 2012, the Company also purchased 2.0 acres of land and began construction on a new 294-unit community located in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (MAA) is an independent real estate investment trust. Dec. 3, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5% to $0.73 per share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 31, 2014, to shareholders of record on Jan. 15, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 4.8%.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Apartment community property real estate investment trust Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) raised its quarterly dividend 5% to 73 cents per share, payable on Jan. 31 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 15.
    MAA Dividend Yield: 4.69%

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Apartment-only real estate investment trust Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA  ) added yet another multi-family housing community to its portfolio, announcing yesterday it had completed the acquisition of Station Square at Cosner’s Corner, a 260-unit upscale multi-family apartment community located in Fredericksburg, Va.