Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015

It’s hard to imagine that renowned money manager Michael F. Price learned the ropes as a $200-a-week research assistant for his mentor Max Heine at Heine Securities, starting in 1974. Price bought the company as sole owner in 1988, according to Forbes. By 1996, Price had increased the value of the funds he managed to over $17 billion before selling the company to Franklin Securities for $670 million.

An expert value investor, Michael Price manages his own personal wealth through his private firm, MFP Investors LLC, a value focused hedge fund that he founded in 1998. MFP Investors has around $1.6 billion under management. On the 2012 Forbes 400 list, Guru Michael F. Price was ranked 328th richest. His net worth is around $1.25 billion, as of September 2013.

Price has a value based approach to investing. He buys stock in undervalued or out-of-favor small cap companies that are a good value. According to Price, a potential investment is best evaluate d through a simplified focus on equity and debt. He once told Columbia students that everything else had been invented by Wall Street as a rip off and to generate fees. Price looks at a company’s balance sheet and reads the fine print on the financials. He once commented that he focuses on the steak and not the sizzle, figuring out what is cheap and buying it.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy 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 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.
  • [By Selena Maranjian]Fisher reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST  ) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) . Capstone is a smallish company, making low-emission microturbines used in power generation. Its top line has been growing by double digits over the past few years, and it’s poised to profit from huge interest in shale oil, but it remains in the red. Still, it has recently announced a bunch of promising deals and some think the many folks short the stock will end up burned.
  • [By Tyler Crowe]What: Shares of Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST  ) skyrocketed 13.59% as the company announced that it had signed a major supplier deal with private real estate and investment firm Related Companies. Shares of Capstone haven’t been this high in over a year.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy 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 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.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: LifePoint Hospitals Inc.(LPNT)

LifePoint Hospitals Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities in the United States. The company?s hospitals provide a range of medical and surgical services comprising general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, emergency room care, radiology, oncology, diagnostic care, coronary care, rehabilitation services, and pediatric services, as well as specialized services, such as open-heart surgery, skilled nursing, psychiatric care, and neuro-surgery. Its hospitals also offer outpatient services, including one-day surgery, laboratory, x-ray, respiratory therapy, imaging, sports medicine, and lithotripsy. As of December 31, 2009, LifePoint Hospitals owned or leased 47 hospitals with a total of 5,552 licensed beds in 17 states. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. (NasdaqNM:LPNT) operates independently of HCA Inc. as of May 11, 1999.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Keith Speights]The fun wasn’t just limited to the big three hospital operators. Lifepoint Hospitals (NASDAQ: LPNT  ) stock jumped 5% on the CMS news, reflecting a $109 million market cap expansion. Likewise, Vanguard Health Systems (NYSE: VHS  ) shares climbed 5%, bumping its market cap up by $55 million.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: MEDIWARE Information Systems Inc.(MEDW)

Mediware Information Systems, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, and marketing of software solutions targeting specific processes within healthcare institutions. The company offers software systems consisting of company’s proprietary application software, and third-party licensed software and hardware. It licenses, implements, and supports clinical and performance management, blood donor, and blood and biologic management products in the United States; and medication management solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa. The company?s blood and biologics management solutions include HCLL Transfusion and HCLL Donor, which address blood donor recruitment, blood processing, and transfusion activities for hospitals and medical centers; BloodSafe suite of hardware and software that enable healthcare facilities to store, monitor, distribute, and track blood products; LifeTrak software for blood centers; a nd BiologiCare, a bone, tissue, and cellular product tracking software. Its medication management products comprise WORx, a pharmacy information system to manage inpatient and outpatient pharmacy operations; MediCOE, a physician order entry module; MediMAR, a nurse point-of-care administration and bedside documentation module; MediREC, which assists in achieving compliance with a Joint Commission mandate; and pharmacy management and electronic prescribing systems. The company?s performance management products include InSight software that tracks performance metrics to assist healthcare managers to manage performance. It also provides software installation and maintenance services, as well as billing and collection services to home infusion and home/durable medical equipment markets. The company markets its products primarily through its direct sales force. Mediware Information Systems, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]Mediware Information Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEDW) plans to acquire the assets of Indianapolis-based Strategic Healthcare Group LLC (SHG), a leading provider of blood management consulting, education and informatics solutions.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)

XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Mich i gan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) shot up 7.06 percent to $30.01 after the company announced its plans to acquire Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) in a deal valued at $335 million.
  • [By Travis Hoium]What: Shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO  ) jumped 13% today after announcing an acquisition.So what: The company will pay $365 million for logistics provider 3PD, consisting of $357 million in cash an $8 million in XPO restricted stock. Is will use its own cash and borrow $195 million from Credit Suisse Group for the remainder of the purchase.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy 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 Stocks To Buy For 2015: Popular Inc.(BPOP)

Popular, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of retail and commercial banking products and services primarily to corporate clients, small and middle size businesses, and retail clients in Puerto Rico and Mainland United States. It offers deposit products; commercial, consumer, and mortgage loans, as well as lease finance; and finance and advisory services. The company also offers trust and asset management, brokerage and investment banking, and insurance and reinsurance services. As of December 31, 2010, it owned and occupied approximately 94 branch premises and other facilities in Puerto Rico; and 119 offices, including 20 owned and 99 leased in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Texas. Popular, Inc. was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]Among multinationals, Sterne Agee recommends three banks. The first is Puerto Rico’s Popular Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP). The mid-cap bank’s stock closed at $28.21 on Friday in a 52-week range of $20.31 to $34.34. Based on Sterne Agee’s 2014 price target of $40.00, Popular has an upside potential of nearly 42% and a 2014 EPS estimate of $2.90. The investment firm’s forward multiple is just 9.6, below the Thomson Reuters consensus multiple of 10.3. Popular received TARP funds in 2009 and could repay the loan in the first quarter of next year, which will give the stock a shot in the arm as well.
  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]Popular (NASDAQ: BPOP) shares tumbled 5.54 percent to $27.48 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock from Equal-weight to Underweight.Pacific Coast Oil Trust (NYSE: ROYT) down, falling 7.13 percent to $16.70 after the company priced a public offering by Pacific Coast Energy Company LP and other selling unitholders of 13,500,000 trust units at a price of $17.10 per unit.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Lattice Semiconductor Corporation(LSCC)

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets programmable logic products and related software. The company offers field programmable gate array (FPGA) products, including LatticeECP family for deployment in wireless infrastructure and wireline access equipment, as well as in video and imaging applications; and LatticeXP for the security, surveillance, and display markets. It also provides programmable logic device (PLD) products comprising various versions of ispMACH4000 in-system programmable complex programmable logic device family; MachXO family that is designed for a range of low density applications; platform manager, power manager, and ispClock programmable mixed signal devices; and software development tools and intellectual property cores. The company sells its products directly to end customers through a network of independent manufacturers? representatives and indirectly through a network of independent sell-in and sell-through d istributors. It primarily serves original equipment manufacturers in the communications, computing, consumer, industrial, military, automotive, and medical end markets. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: LSCC) is a top chip stock to buy at Jefferies. The company announced last month three new complete reference designs that will make it easier for electronic OEMs to deliver media-rich experiences to their end users by taking advantage of low-cost, industry-standard MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) camera, application processor and display technologies. The Jefferies price objective for the stock is $6.50, and the consensus is also at $6.50. Lattice closed yesterday at $4.63.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Hewlett-Packard Company(HPQ)

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Its Personal Systems Group segment offers commercial personal computers (PCs), consumer PCs, workstations, calculators and other related accessories, and software and services for the commercial and consumer markets. The company?s Services segment provides consulting, outsourcing, and technology services to infrastructure, applications, and business process domains. Its Imaging and Printing Group segment provides consumer and commercial printer hardware, supplies, media, and scanning devices, such as inkjet and Web solutions, laser jet and enterprise solutions, managed enterprise solutions, graphics solutions, and printer supplies. The company?s Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking segment offers industry standard s e rvers, business critical systems, storage platforms, and networking products, including switches, routers, wireless LAN, and TippingPoint network security products. Its HP Software segment provides enterprise IT management software, information management solutions, and security intelligence/risk management solutions. The company?s HP Financial Services segment offers leasing, financing, utility programs, and asset recovery services; and financial asset management services for enterprise customers, as well as specialized financial services to SMBs, and educational and governmental entities. Hewlett-Packard Company also provides business intelligence solutions that enable businesses to standardize on consistent data management schemes, connect and share data across the enterprise, and apply analytics, as well as licenses its specific technology to third parties. The company was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Taulli]The reason: Cisco has released several disappointing earnings reports during this time. And the blame can be spread around — CSCO has had issues with emerging-market growth (or lack there of), reverberations from the NSA scandal, and the company itself fumbled the ball in its dealings with competitors like Huawei, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Juniper Networks (JNPR).
  • [By WilliamBriat]Recall what happened when the laser printer first debuted in May 1984 with Hewlett-Packard Company’s (NYSE: HPQ) desktop laser printer. The initial cost was staggeringly high at more than $3,000, but now a laser printer sells for less than $100.00. The same thing will happen for the 3D printer as prices start to decline, based on my stock analysis.
  • [By Sue Chang]After Thursday’s closing bell, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) said its fiscal first-quarter profit edged up to $1.43 billion, or 74 cents a share, from $1.41 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $28.15 billion from $29.13 billion. On an adjusted basis, the technology giant earned 90 cents a share, above the 85 cents a share forecast in a FactSet survey. Shares of Hewlett-Packard were off 0.6% in after-hours trading.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: The Travelers Companies Inc.(TRV)

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Business Insurance; Financial, Professional, and International Insurance; and Personal Insurance. The Business Insurance segment offers property and casualty products and services, such as commercial multi-peril, property, general liability, commercial auto, and workers? compensation insurance. It operates in six groups: Select Accounts, which serves small businesses; Commercial Accounts that serves mid-sized businesses; National Accounts, which serves large companies; Industry-Focused Underwriting that serves targeted industries; Target Risk Underwriting, which serves commercial businesses requiring specialized product underwriting, claims handling, and risk management services; and Special ized Distribution that offers products to customers through licensed wholesale, general, and program agents. The Financial, Professional, and International Insurance segment provides surety and financial liability coverage, which uses a credit-based underwriting process; and property and casualty products primarily in the United States., the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada. The Personal Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance covering personal risks, primarily automobile and homeowners insurance to individuals. It distributes its products through independent agents, sponsoring organizations, joint marketing arrangements with other insurers, and direct marketing. The company was founded in 1853 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]Shares of Johnson & Johnson have fallen 1.8% to $93.36 today, helping to contribute to a weaker Dow today. Other big Dow losers include Travelers (TRV), which is off 1.7% at $84.98 and Verizon Communications (VZ), which has dropped 1.6% to $47.56.
  • [By Shauna O’Brien]Insurance company Travelers Companies Inc (TRV) reported higher fourth quarter and full year results on Tuesday, which came in well above analysts’ estimates.TRV’s Earnings in Brief

    TRV reported Q4 earnings of $988 million, or $2.70 per share, up from just $304 million, or 78 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding special items, earnings were $981 million, or $2.68 per share,  up from $278 million, or 72 cents per share, last year. Analysts expected to see earnings of $2.10 per share. Total revenue for the quarter was  $6.74 billion, up from $6.48 billion last year. Analysts expected to see revenue of $5.45 billion. For FY2013, the company reported earnings of $3.67 billion, or $9.74 per share, up from 2.47 billion, or $6.30 per share, in 2012. Revenue for the year was $26.19 billion from $22.19 billion in 2012. On average, analysts expected to see earnings of $8.91 per share and revenue of $22.56 billion.

    CEO Commentary

    Chairman and CEO Jay Fishman commented on the company’s Q4 results: ”Fourth quarter operating income of almost a billion dollars provided a very strong finish to an excellent 2013. We are encouraged by the strength of our 2013 results, and we remain committed to taking the steps necessary to continue to improve returns consistent with our long-held goal of producing mid-teens operating return on equity over time.”

    TRV’s Dividend

    TRV’s board announced that it will pay its next quarterly dividend of 50 cents on March 31 to shareholders of record on March 10.  This dividend remains unchanged from the company’s previous quarterly dividend. TRV will likely announce a dividend increase in April.

    Stock Performance

    Travelers Companies shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Tuesday.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]Notable earnings releases expected on Tuesday include:Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.20 on revenue of $17.95 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $17.56 billion. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.65 on revenue of $31.04 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.45 on revenue of $30.04 billion. The Travelers Company (NYSE: TRV) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.66 on revenue of $5.79 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $2.22 on revenue of $5.70 billion. Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.63 on revenue of $9.02 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.28 on revenue of $8.60 billion. Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.89 on revenue of $7.56 billion compared to last year’s EPS of $0.63on revenue of $7.29 billion.

    Economics

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: CVS Corporation(CVS)

CVS Caremark Corporation operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. The company?s Pharmacy Services segment provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services, including mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy services, plan design and administration, formulary management, and claims processing; and drug benefits to eligible beneficiaries under the Federal Government?s Medicare Part D program. This segment primarily serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, and individuals. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 44 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 18 specialty mail order pharmacies, and 4 mail service pharmacies located in 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This segment operates business under the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, Caremark, CVS Caremark, CarePlus CVS/pharmacy, CarePlus, RxAmerica, Accordant, and TheraCom names. The company?s Retail Pharmacy segment sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its pharmacy retail stores and online, as well as offers film and photo finishing, and health care services. This segment operated 7,182 retail drugstores located in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; and 560 retail health care clinics in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the MinuteClinic name. It has a strategic alliance with Alere, L.L.C. for the management of disease management program offerings that cover chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. CVS Caremark Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]Healthcare stocks in the Fund had a strong fourth quarter and year. CVS (CVS)’s 26% performance for the quarter is reflective of the fact that 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day and will for the next 15 years. Businesses that are able to serve this growing segment with improving service, innovation, technology, product quality and value should continue to win.
  • [By Grace L. Williams]CVS Caremark (CVS) has found the perfect prescription for stock market gains after reporting earnings results this morning.Associated Press

    For the quarter ended Dec. 31, CVS reported adjusted EPS of $1.12, up from 96 cents a year ago and ahead of analyst expectations of $1.11. Revenue rose to $32.8 billion from $31.4 a year prior and forecasts for sales of $32.6 billion. CVS also disclosed that it opened 60 new retail drugstores and closed one during the period.

    Last week, CVS made headlines on the announcement that it would end tobacco sales and the market reacted accordingly. In a Barron’s Take, Teresa Rivas wrote, “With the number of U.S. smokers on the decline and regulation on the rise, CVS will likely more than make up for lost sales with public goodwill and a boost to its health-care brand. It also gets first mover advantage on a ban that may eventually have been forced on it.”

    Raymond James analyst John Ransom notes that CVS has a healthy future:

    First-quarter 2014 adjusted EPS guidance was actually raised to $1.03-$1.06 (up seven cents at the midpoint), suggesting better-than-expected near-term trends versus prior outlook. Net-net, fourth quarter capped another solid year out of CVS, with today’s stock price reaction likely less tied to the report itself and more focused on the…tobacco headwind offsets as well as initial comments with regard to the 2015 selling season and the retail competitive landscape (promotional activity high?).

    Shares of CVS have advanced 2.7% to $68.74 at 3:0 p.m., trailing Walgreen’s (WAG) 5.3% rise to $63.87 but besting Rite Aid’s (RAD) 1.5% gain to $5.72.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Ford Motor Credit Company(F)

Ford Motor Company primarily develops, manufactures, distributes, and services vehicles and parts worldwide. It operates in two sectors, Automotive and Financial Services. The Automotive sector offers vehicles primarily under the Ford and Lincoln brand names. This sector markets cars, trucks, and parts through retail dealers in North America, and through distributors and dealers outside of North America. It also sells cars and trucks to dealers for sale to fleet customers, including daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies, and governments. In addition, this sector provides retail customers with a range of after-sale vehicle services and products in the areas, such as maintenance and light repair, heavy repair, collision repair, vehicle accessories, and extended service contracts under the Ford Service, Lincoln Service, Ford Custom Accessories, Ford Extended Service Plan, and Motorcraft brand names. The Financial Services sector offers vari ous automotive financing products to and through automotive dealers. It offers retail financing, which includes retail installment contracts for new and used vehicles; direct financing leases; wholesale financing products that comprise loans to dealers to finance the purchase of vehicle inventory; loans to dealers to finance working capital, purchase real estate dealership, and/or make improvements to dealership facilities; and other financing products, as well as provides insurance services. Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 and is based in Dearborn, Michigan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]General Motors (GM) is in the news once again, as it expands its recall of cars with faulty ignition switches to 1.4 million vehicles. General Motors’ real problem, however, might have nothing to do with the quality of vehicles made from 2003 to 2007, but competition from Ford (F) and other truck makers in 2014.
  • [By Ben Levisohn]Shares of General Motors have gained 0.2% today, while Ford Motor (F) has dropped 0.5% to $15.19, Toyota Motor (TM) has gained 1.1% to $116.54 and Honda Motor (HMC) is up 0.3% at $36.26.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Cloud Peak Energy Inc(CLD)

Cloud Peak Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in coal mining operations in the Powder River Basin of the United States. It produces sub-bituminous steam coal with low sulfur content for electric utilities and industrial customers. The company owns and operates Antelope surface coal mine located to the south of Gillette, Wyoming; the Cordero Rojo surface coal mine located to the south of Gillette, Wyoming; and the Spring Creek surface coal mine located in Montana. It also owns a 50% interest in the Decker surface coal mine located in Montana. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 970 million tons of proven and probable reserves. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Gillette, Wyoming.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]Simply put, the coal stocks trio of Peabody Energy (BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) could be some of the biggest bargains out all energy stocks.
  • [By Reuben Brewer]A ready supplier
    Malaysia, which is a coal export powerhouse, is going to be there to help fill the void. However, Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE: CLD  ) notes that Malaysian coal is at the lower end of the quality spectrum, particularly compared to its U.S. Powder River Basin coal. That’s a positive sign for Cloud Peak’s export hopes, particularly as China looks to clean up the most obvious pollution problems related to coal. Right now, Cloud Peak exports about 5% of its coal, but it plans to increase that as U.S. ports increase their capacity.
  • [By Ben Levisohn]Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) has gained 3.1% to %15.03 after it was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel.Novatris (NVS) has dropped 1.2% to $74.48 after it was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan.
  • [By Tyler Crowe]At the same time, there are a few glimmers of hope for the coal industry. Cloud Peak Energy’s (NYSE: CLD  ) balance sheet shows some characteristics that could help it survive another rough patch for coal. It may not be a great balance sheet overall, but it’s certainly better than many others in the space. Tune into the following video to get Fool.com contributors Tyler Crowe and Aimee Duffy’s take on a couple other coal companies that either look like they are headed for a big fall or have stronger balance sheets to weather the storm.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: Compass Minerals Intl Inc(CMP)

Compass Minerals International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets inorganic mineral products primarily in North America and the United Kingdom. The company operates in two segments, Salt and Specialty Fertilizer. The Salt segment produces salt and magnesium chloride for use in road deicing and dust control, food processing, water softeners, pool salt, and agricultural and industrial applications. This segment also purchases potassium chloride and sells as a finished product. The Specialty Fertilizer segment produces and markets sulphate of potash crop nutrients and industrial grade sulfate of potash for use in the production of specialty fertilizers for vegetables, fruits, potatoes, nuts, tobacco, and turf grass. The company also produces and markets consumer deicing and water conditioning products, ingredients used in consumer and commercial food preparation, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural, and industrial applications. In ad dition, Compass Minerals provides records management services to businesses located in the U.K. The company operates rock salt mines in Goderich, Ontario, Canada; and Winsford, Chesire, the United Kingdom. It primarily serves producers of intermediate chemical products used in the production of vinyls and other chemicals, and pulp and paper, as well as water treatment and other industrial uses. The company markets its products through direct sales personnel, contract personnel, and a network of brokers or manufacturers? representatives. Compass Minerals International, Inc., formerly known as Salt Holdings Corporation, was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brendan Mathews]Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP  ) is a sleepy producer of a boring product: rock salt. But it has a strong competitive advantage. It owns the world’s largest rock salt mine, which luckily is conveniently located near the major deicing markets of the Great Lakes region. This combination of a great mining resource and ideal location provide the company with a wide, crocodile-filled competitive moat.
  • [By Alex Planes]PotashCorp’s difficulty sustaining its pricing power is underscored by recent reports from sulfate of potash (SOP) producer Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP  ) , which charged a hefty premium of almost $300 per ton against Potash Corp’s prices for muriate of potash. Efforts to move away from SOP sales seem to be the right choice — PotashCorp peer Intrepid Potash’s SOP sales fell by 37%, while the average price received has slumped nearly 14% in the last quarter. Even ore miner BHP Billiton has recently jumped into the fertilizer industry with a $2.6 billion build-out of a potash mine in Canada, which is all but certain to produce further downward pressure on potash prices.
  • [By Roberto Pedone]Compass Minerals (CMP) is a producer of minerals, including salt, sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer and magnesium chloride. This stock closed up 3.4% at $75.60 in Wednesday’s trading session.Wednesday’s Volume: 913,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 212,481

    Volume % Change: 315%

    From a technical perspective, CMP gapped higher here off its recent low of $64.24 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from around $90 to $64.24 with heavy downside volume. That move pushed shares of CMP into extremely oversold territory, since the stock’s current relative strength index reading is 25.78. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it’s also an area where a stock can experience a powerful bounce higher from. Shares of CMP are now starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CMP manages to take out its gap down day high of $78.20 and then once it clears its 200-day moving average at $79.14 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CMP as long as it’s trending above Wednesday’s low of $73.07 or $72.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 212,481 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CMP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started near $90.

Top Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2015: S&P GSCI(GD)

General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. Its Aerospace group designs, manufactures, and outfits various large and mid-cabin business-jet aircraft; provides maintenance, repair work, fixed-based operations, and aircraft management services; and performs aircraft completions for aircraft. The company?s Combat Systems group offers tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions. Its product lines include wheeled combat and tactical vehicles; battle tanks and infantry vehicles; munitions and propellant; rockets and gun systems; and axle and drivetrain components and aftermarket parts. This group also manufactures and supplies engineered axles, suspensions, and brakes for heavy-load vehicles for military and commercial customers. The company Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Philip Springer]This week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed a defense budget that would reduce the US Army to its smallest force since before World War II. And we were woefully under-prepared for that war.The proposals will face powerful resistance from members of Congress, veterans’ organizations, arms manufacturers and more. Complete details of the proposed federal budget are to be released next week.

    The timing is unfortunate. For example, consider this headline from last night: “Russia says it will respect the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine.” Maybe. But such statements are meaningless.

    Amid considerable other global unrest these days, reducing our spending on defense seems imprudent. However, various constraints that have built up over time require it, or reductions elsewhere.

    Fifty years ago, the military made up nearly half of government spending. Now it’s about 17 percent. Entitlements were one-third of the budg et then. Now they’re approaching two-thirds. “This is a time for reality,” Hagel said.

    Under the new approach, the emphasis is to shift from the longstanding goal of being able to fight two wars simultaneously, such as in Europe and Asia; and toward such threats as cyber warfare and terrorism.

    For instance, the size of the active-duty military would decline by 13 percent and the reserves by 5 percent in coming years. But Special Operations forces would grow by 6 percent.

    Inevitably, this would mean increased risk in the event of a second crisis. “You have fewer troops, fewer ships, fewer planes,” Hagel said.  “Readiness is not the same standard. Of course there’s going to be risk.”

    The Army currently is scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under the new proposal, the Army would decline to between 440,000 and 450,000 based on the current mandate to impose a military spending cap of about $496 billion for fis

  • [By Lee Jackson]General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is the only other defense name to be a stock to Buy at UBS. Strong orders from overseas customers are helping to offset the decline in domestic defense spending. While orders have improved, the company’s backlog is flat with last year’s numbers. Investors are paid a 2.24% dividend. The UBS price target is $118, and the consensus target is $111.76. The stock closed Wednesday at $105.26.
  • [By Lauren Pollock]General Dynamics Corp.(GD) said it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, while revenue edged up modestly. Results topped expectations, but shares edged down 1.8% to $93.55 premarket.