Top Cheap Companies For 2015

Safeway (NYSE: SWY  ) is leaving the Canadian market.

On Wednesday, the American supermarket chain announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Canadian operations to wholly owned Empire Company Limited subsidiary Sobeys, a Canadian food retailer, for $5.7 billion. Sobeys will also take on “certain liabilities” as part of its purchase.

Safeway CEO Robert Edwards characterized the sale as motivated by a desire to take advantage of “the higher multiples attributed to Canadian supermarket companies” as compared with U.S. supermarket chains. Edwards noted that the net proceeds from this sale after taxes and expenses — just under $4 billion — will be used to pay down some of Safeway’s debt and to buy back stock.

Safeway currently has about $6.2 billion in debt on its books (against $357 million in cash). It has more than 237 million shares outstanding, which, at $23.11 apiece, adds up to a market cap of $5.5 billion — a market cap, though, that is rapidly climbing in the wake of positive investor reaction to news of the sale.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Rent-A-Center Inc.(RCII)

Rent-A-Center, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, primarily engages in leasing household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company?s stores offer durable products, such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, and furniture and accessories under flexible rental purchase agreements that allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. It also provides merchandise on an installment sales basis in its stores. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 3,008 company-owned stores in the United States, and in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, including 42 retail installment sales stores under the names ?Get It Now? and ?Home Choice?; and 18 rent-to-own stores located in Canada under the ?Rent-A-Centre? name. It also operates 209 franchised rent-to-own stores in 32 states under the ColorTyme trade name; and 384 kiosk locations under the ?RAC Acceptance? model. In addition, the company, th rough its ColorTyme?s franchised stores, offers custom rims and tires for sale or rental under the trade names ?RimTyme? or ?ColorTyme Custom Wheels?. Rent-A-Center, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII) were down 21.51 percent to $24.51 on Q4 results.

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares tumbled 7.80 percent to $507.55 after the company issued weak sales forecast for the second quarter and reported downbeat holiday iPhone sales.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Rent-to-own consumer products company Rent-A-Center (RCII) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 23 cents per share, payable on Jan. 23 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 3.
    RCII Dividend Yield: 2.77%

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Lionbridge Technologies Inc.(LIOX)

Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. provides language, development, and testing services. Its Global Language and Content segment provides product localization services, such as creating foreign language versions of its clients? products and software applications, including the user interface, online help systems, and documentation; and content translation services, such as translating and maintaining clients? Web-based content, eLearning courseware and training materials, technical support, and sales and marketing information. It also offers technical authoring, eLearning courseware development, and production and integration of content; and global language and content services delivery. The company?s Global Development and Testing segment develops and maintains on-premise, SaaS, and smart phone and tablet applications, as well as provides Web production services. This segment also offers various testing services under the VeriTest brand, including managed test teams, test proc ess design, test automation, functional testing, performance testing, globalization testing, and product certification. In addition, it provides specialized search relevance, online content editorial, keyword optimization, and related services. Its Interpretation segment offers interpretation services for government business and healthcare organizations that require experienced linguists to facilitate communication. It provides interpretation communication services, such as onsite interpretation, over-the-phone interpretation and interpreter testing, training, and assessment services in approximately 360 languages and dialects. The company serves the technology, mobile and telecommunications, Internet and media, life sciences, government, manufacturing, automotive, retail, and aerospace sectors in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Lionbridge (LIOX) is the kind of cheap, small-cap stock that investors love. This player has soared 60% in the last three months thanks to nice earnings and improving investor sentiment.

  • [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 Lionbridge Technologies (Nasdaq: LIOX  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [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 Lionbridge Technologies (Nasdaq: LIOX  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway meeting for shareholders this weekend let investors – not just Berkshire (NYSE: BRK.A; BRK.B) investors – get some nuggets of wisdom from the 83-year-old billionaire.

    Berkshire’s earnings are meticulously scrutinized every quarter because its investments include a number of well-known consumer-oriented components. Stock holdings include American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

  • [By Philip Springer]

    The U.S. economy grew, sort of, at a miniscule annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Dept. This preliminary reading, the first of three, was far below pessimistic expectations. This underperformance has occurred several times since the on-again, off-again recovery officially began in June 2009.

    No wonder U.S. government bond yields have declined this year, contrary to most expectations, with the 10-year Treasury going from 3 percent to as low as 2.6 percent.

    The first quarter’s economic weakness was attributed primarily to a 7.6 percent decline in exports, partly because of economic weakness in Europe and Asia. Poor weather, a favorite excuse for everything that went wrong during the winter, probably played a part in the export slump.

    Also noteworthy, however: Business spending on equipment fell at a 5.5 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year, the largest decline since 2009.

    Regardles s of the causes, the tepid (to be generous) GDP reading marks a continuation of the still-sluggish growth in the current five-year economic expansion.

    The report came right before the Federal Reserve announced that it is continuing to reduce, or taper, its bond purchases to $45 billion a month, from the original $85 billion. The Fed says it’s starting to see faster growth after the harsh winter.

    The Fed also maintained its guidance on short-term interest rates, saying they would remain near zero for a “considerable time” after the bond-buying program ends later this year. The current expectation is that the Fed won’t start to raise interest rates until well into 2015.

    However, evidence of a possible economic rebound came the next day, May 2. The federal government’s jobs report for April showed a jump of 288,000, with a sharp decline in the official unemployment rate to 6.3 percent.

    Meanwhile, corporate profits continue t o grow, albeit modest

  • [By Rex Crum]

    IBM Corp. (IBM)  shares rose almost 2% to $193.14.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Advance Auto Parts Inc(AAP)

Advance Auto Parts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items. It operates in two segments, Advance Auto Parts (AAP) and Autopart International (AI). The AAP segment operates stores, which primarily offer auto parts, including alternators, batteries, chassis parts, clutches, engines and engine parts, radiators, starters, transmissions, and water pumps; accessories comprising floor mats, mirrors, vent shades, MP3 and cell phone accessories, and seat and steering wheel covers; chemicals consisting of antifreeze, freon, fuel additives, and car washes and waxes; and oil and other automotive petroleum products. This segment also provides battery and wiper installation, battery charging, check engine light reading, electrical system testing, video clinics and project brochures, loaner tool programs, and oil and battery recycling services; and sells its products through online. The AI segm ent operates stores that offer replacement parts for domestic and imported cars, and light trucks to customers in northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, as well as to warehouse distributors and jobbers in North America. As of January 1, 2011, the company operated 3,369 AAP stores, including 3,343 stores located in the northeastern, southeastern, and Midwestern regions of the United States under the Advance Auto Parts and Advance Discount Auto Parts trade names; 26 stores situated in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands under the Advance Auto Parts and Western Auto trade names; and 194 stores under the Autopart International trade name in the United States. It serves do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or commercial customers. The company was founded in 1929 and is based in Roanoke, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY), AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO), The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY), and Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP) may all technically be in the same business, but they’re hardly in the same proverbial boat. In fact, their performances – sales and earnings – are oddly disparate. Which among PBY, AZO, ORLY, and AAP are the winners and the losers, and perhaps more important, why? The question can at least partially be answered by a chart, and what the chart can’t tell us about each, the narrative can.

    O’Reilly Automotive

  • [By kcpl]

    Monro Muffler Brake (MNRO) is a popular name in the DIFM & Services segment, while Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY) is a hybrid of DIFM-DIY. The present perspective seems bright for such aftermarket service providers. However, these two are entirely different from aftermarket retailers such as Advance Auto Parts (AAP). Let us take a look at the present aftermarket scenario and its prospects.

  • [By Matt Thalman]

    Competitor Advanced Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP  ) also announced earnings this morning, which resulted in shares of the company increasing by 12.74% today. Revenue at Advanced rose 6% year over year to hit $1.41 billion, but that was below the $1.43 billion analysts were expecting. Despite that miss, earnings per share came in at $0.94, which was $0.13 higher than Wall Street had predicted. The company maintained a strong gross margin at 49.8%, but that fell from 49.9% during the same quarter last year, which was explained as a side effect from a higher mix of commercial sales, an area that has lower margins. Lastly, management forecasted that 2014 fiscal year earnings per share will fall within a range from $7.20-$7.40, while analysts had that number pinned at just $7.03 per share. 

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Capstone Turbine Corporation(CPST)

Capstone Turbine Corporation develops, manufactures, markets, and services turbine generator sets and related parts for use in stationary distributed power generation applications. Its stationary distributed power generation applications include cogeneration combined heat and power (CHP), integrated (CHP), resource recovery, and secure power, as well as combined cooling, heat, and power; and its products are used as battery charging generators for hybrid electric vehicle applications. The company primarily offers microturbine units, subassemblies, and components. It also provides various accessories, including rotary gas compressors with digital controls, heat recovery modules for CHP applications, dual mode controllers that allow automatic transition between grid connect and stand-alone modes, batteries with digital controls for stand-alone/dual-mode operations, power servers for multipacked installations, and protocol converters for Internet access, as well as frames, ex haust ducting, and installation hardware. Further, it remanufactures microturbine engines; and provides after-market parts and services, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, and factory and on-site training services. The company?s microturbines can be fueled by various sources, including natural gas, propane, sour gas, landfill or digester gas, kerosene, diesel, and biodiesel. It primarily sells its products directly to end users, as well as through distributors in North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Russian Federation, and South America. Capstone Turbine Corporation was founded in 1988 and is based in Chatsworth, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    I was so scarred by their subsequent crash that when I heard a portfolio manager rhapsodizing about the recent performance of Plug Power Inc (NSDQ: PLUG), Fuelcell Energy Inc (NSDQ: FCEL) and Capstone Turbine Corp (NSDQ: CPST), I could scarcely believe it. These were names that I had not heard in years, names that many investors would like to forget. Indeed, even with the recent run-up in their share prices, the value of these firms today is just a small fraction of what it was back then.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST) soared 14.29% to $2.24 in the pre-market trading after surging 7.10% on Monday.

    Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP) shares jumped 10.17% to $7.58 in pre-market trading after jumping 30.30% on Monday.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST  ) will release its quarterly report on Monday, and investors have been increasingly optimistic about the microturbine maker’s immediate prospects. Yet, even though the company’s stock rose recently to its best levels in almost three years, Capstone still has to demonstrate that its niche offerings give it a viable market that is too insignificant for larger rivals General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) to go after.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Kohl’s Corporation(KSS)

Kohl?s Corporation operates department stores in the United States. The company?s stores offer private and exclusive, as well as national branded apparel, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children; soft home products, such as sheets and pillows; and housewares primarily to middle-income customers. As of January 29, 2011, it operated 1,089 stores in 49 states. The company also offers on-line shopping on its Web site at Kohls.com. Kohl?s Corporation was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Zahid Waheed]

    Most US retailers didn’t post a strong holiday quarter as severe weather conditions kept hurting their sales, and this included Ross Stores  (NASDAQ: ROST  ) . Does this mean that Ross is no longer a buy? Let’s find out what the future holds for the company and explore where it stands in relation to peers Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS  ) and Gap (NYSE: GPS  ) .

  • [By Annalisa Kraft-Linder]

    Annalisa Linder A glorious Saturday afternoon, and Sears is virtually empty. Merchandise is all jumbled; aisles are blocked; it looks dispirited. After a spate of photo stories on the disarray at Sears, I wanted to look for myself. The sadder side of Sears, indeed. J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy’s (M) in the same mall in suburban Maryland were busier, neater and drawing younger customers. Annalisa Linder If you remember the slogan, “the softer side of Sears,” then you’re the typical Sears age demographic, and if you never heard it, you are the younger shopper it desires but can’t attract. Sears Holdings’ (SHLD) sales have declined for years as it loses customers to Kohl’s (KSS) and J.C. Penney and younger customers throng to Macy’s. Most mall anchor stores are struggling. A recent Piper Jaffray survey found that teens aren’t hanging out at the mall anymore and prefer a social “experience,” preferably at a restaurant. Sears and Sears Holdings’ Kmart stores have been hit particularly hard. CEO Eddie Lampert noted on the most recent earnings call that shoppers only visit three stores per mall trip now, compared to five in 2007. The Sadder Side of Sears

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The combination of the two retailers will create the fourth largest retailer of menswear, behind department-store chains Macy’s (NYSE: M  ) , Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS  ) , and J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) with 1,700 stores, 23,000 employees, and pro forma sales of $3.5 billion. Yet Men’s Wearhouse has rightly said it’s not going to rebrand Bank’s stores in recognition of the two companies’ separate customer bases and different corporate cultures.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated(UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated provides healthcare services in the United States. Its Health Benefits segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; and non-employer based insurance options for purchase by individuals. It also provides health and well-being services for individuals aged 50 and older; and for services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals, as well as health plans for the beneficiaries of acute and long-term care Medicaid plans. This segment offers its services through a network of 730,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and 5,300 hospitals. Its OptumHealth segment provides health, financial, and ancillary services and products that assist consumers through personalized health management solutions; benefit administration, and clinical and network management; health-based financi al services; behavioral solutions; and specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, life, critical illness, short-term disability, and stop-loss product offerings. The company?s Ingenix segment offers database and data management services, software products, publications, consulting and actuarial services, business process outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical data consulting and research services. Its Prescription Solutions segment provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services comprising retail network pharmacy contracting and management, claims processing, mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy, benefit design consultation, rebate contracting and management, drug utilization review, formulary management programs, disease therapy management, and adherence programs to employer groups, union trusts, managed care organizations, Medicare-contracted plans, Medicaid plans, and third party administrators. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Minn e tonka, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) rose 32 points, falling just short of setting another new high. Still, the Dow managed to do much better than the rest of the stock market, as both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost ground on the day. A large set of earnings reports last night and this morning added volatility on several fronts, as a mixed earnings season begins to draw to a close. Within the Dow, though, Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) were the biggest decliners on the day.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Humana have gained 6.5% to $116.92 at 3:08 p.m., and its big gain has helped boost competitors like UnitedHealth (UNH), which has risen 3.3% to $77.71, and Aetna (AET), which has advanced 2.3% to $73.70.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Wednesday proved to be a good day for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , which closed the day up almost 118 points. But the Dow had to earn its gains, recovering from losses early in the session prompted by domestic economic fears. All it took to boost the Dow, though, was news that Russia’s armed forces had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border, taking away some of the risk of economic sanctions that could have directly and dramatically affected many components of the Dow Jones Industrials and other U.S. companies. In the end, though, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) were the big winners on the day.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) didn’t finish the week well, falling back on two straight sessions after setting a new all-time record high on Wednesday. Yet the Dow still managed to finish the week on a positive note, rising almost 1%. Nevertheless, not all of the members of the Dow Jones Industrials participated in the rally, and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) were left to bring up the rear with modest losses that nevertheless left them the worst performers of the week.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Partner Communications Company Ltd.(PTNR)

Partner Communications Company Ltd. provides various telecommunications services in Israel. It offers cellular telephony services on GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA networks. The company also provides basic services, including domestic mobile calls, international dialing, roaming, voice mail, short message services, intelligent network services, content based on its cellular portal, data and fax transmission, and other services. In addition, it offers Internet services provider services that provides access to the Internet, as well as home WiFi networks; value added services, such as anti-virus and anti-spam filtering; and transmission services; and Web video on demand services, music tracks, and games. Further, the company provides voice over broadband and primary rate interface fixed-line telephone services; and data capacity services. Additionally, it offers content services comprising voice mail, text, and multimedia messaging, as well as downloadable wireless data application s, including ring tones, music, games, and other informational content; and sells handsets, phones, routers, and related equipment. The company markets its products through its sales centers, business sales representatives, traditional networks of specialized dealers, and non-traditional networks of retail chains and stores under the Orange brand name. Partner Communications Company Ltd. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Rosh Ha-ayin, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another under-$10 wireless telecom player that’s starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Partner Communications (PTNR), a telecommunications company, provides cellular and fixed-line telecommunication services in Israel. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up sharply by 29%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Partner Communications, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last month, with shares moving between $7.28 on the downside and $7.96 on the upside. Shares of PTRN are bucking the overall market weakness today as the stock starts to move within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its sideways trading chart pattern.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in PTNR if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $7.80 to $7.85 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high at $7.96 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that registers near or above its three-month average volume of 107,303 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PTNR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $10 to $12.20 a share.

    Traders can look to buy PTNR off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $7.38 to $7.28, or below its 50-day at $6.97 a share. One can also buy PTNR off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

Top Cheap Companies For 2015: Alliance Holdings GP L.P.(AHGP)

Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 697.4 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition, the company leases land; and operates a coal loading terminal, with a capacity of 8.0 million tons with ground storage of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons, on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Further, it engages in purchasing and selling coal; and providing services, including ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. Alliance GP, LLC, serves as the general partner of the company. Allian ce Holdings GP, L.P. is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).

  • [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 Alliance Holdings GP (Nasdaq: AHGP  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.