Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015

Well, I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but, I told you so. Back on November 22nd I told you the gain from Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:LQMT) was no ordinary gain. It was a catalyst for a much bigger bullish move. See, with that day’s advance, LQMT hopped above a nagging resistance line. The end result was a stock that was not only proverbially free to move about the cabin, but a stock that had proven it had already established some upward momentum. Sure enough, Liquidmetal Technologies shares are up 47% since then. You’re welcome.

I don’t come here to gloat about my call on LQMT though. I’m reprising my look because, thanks to this month’s volatility, the uptrend is once again threatened – at least in the short run – and some decisions need to be made.

First things first. We can now look back on the daily chart of Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. and recognize that the wedge shape I was talking about a couple of months ago did its job…. squeezing the stock to a point where a breakout was inevitable. Thing is, after a few months worth of squeezing, it was going to take at least a couple of months for the chart to make up for lost time. But, it was worth the wait. LQMT is well up now, and plenty profitable for anyone who took a swing then.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (ENDP)

Endo Health Solutions Inc. provides specialty healthcare solutions in the United States and internationally. The company’s Endo Pharmaceuticals segment offers branded prescription products, including Lidoderm, Opana ER, Percocet, Voltaren Gel, Frova, Supprelin LA, Vantas, Valstar, and Fortesta Gel for pain, urology, endocrinology, and oncology. Its Qualitest segment provides non-branded generic products in the pain management, urology, central nervous system disorders, immunosuppression, oncology, women’s health, and hypertension markets. The company’s AMS segment offers various technology solutions comprising AMS 700 MS series, AMS 800 artificial urinary sphincter, GreenLight XPS laser system, Elevate transvaginal pelvic floor repair system, and Monarc subfascial hammock products in the areas of men’s and women’s health, and BPH therapy. Its HealthTronics segment provides urological services, such as lithotripsy, prostate treatment, anatomical pathology, and electron ic medical record services to urologists, hospitals, surgery centers, and clinics; and manufactures, sells, and maintains medical devices for tissue and tumor ablation. The company’s products under development primarily include Aveed, an injectable testosterone preparation to treat male hypogonadism; BEMA Buprenorphine, a transmucosal form of buprenorphine in Phase III trials for treating moderate to severe chronic pain; ODM-201, an androgen receptor antagonist in Phase II clinical testing to treat castrate resistant prostate cancer; and EN3342, a polyurethane implant in Phase I/II trials for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults. It serves pharmacy chains directly; and hospitals, governmental agencies, pharmacies, and physicians through wholesale drug distributors. The company was formerly known as Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. and changed its name to Endo Health Solutions Inc. in May 2012. Endo Health Solutions Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquar t ered in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Endo International (ENDP) jumped out of the gate after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock this morning. Since then, its shares have given back those gains and turned negative.

    Morgan Stanley’s Christopher Caponetti and David Risinger explain why they upgraded Endo to Overweight from Equal-Weight:

    Mesh settlement removes what had been a potential multi-billion dollar liability in our bear case, and we now see a compelling risk-reward driven by M&A upside in our bull case…

    Endo’s current base business offers support, and we see limited downside in our bear case. We envision a bull case driven by dramatic value creation from M&A, and we est. Endo has $2-$3B of balance sheet flexibility (net of anticipated after-tax mesh cash outflows) to pursue M&A if mgmt. takes leverage from 3.0x to 4.0-4.25x (inc. mesh)…Mgmt’s stated objective is to complete “at least 2-3 near-term accretive, valuecreating transactions” in the $250M-$500M range.

    While noting that they have no information, Caponetti and Risinger explain that the “non-core assets of Major Pharma companies can move the needle for $10B market cap Endo.” And there are plenty of those up for sale, they note. Merck (MRK) is looking to sell a $15 billion drug portfolio, while Sanofi (SNY) is exploring a $7 billion sale, as well.

    Shares of Endo were up 2.4% at the open but have fallen 0.1% to $66.27 as of 1:57 p.m. Merck has dropped 2.4% to $58.20 and Sanofi has declined 0.6% to $54.07.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Forest Laboratories has a current ratio of 2.69% which is higher than the ones registered by Endo International Plc (ENDP), Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST). For investors looking for a higher ROE, Allergan Inc. (AGN) and Actelion Ltd. (ATLN.VX) are good options.

  • [By John Kell]

    Endo Health Solutions Inc.(ENDP) said its fourth-quarter loss widened after the drug maker warned of a significant writedown and high litigation expenses earlier this month. Revenue missed expectations, and the company also gave a weak 2014 earnings outlook. Shares edged 4% to $78.95 premarket.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Endo Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: ENDP) is executing on its own plan in the report. Merrill Lynch noted that it is agnostic to the therapeutic area, but will focus on specialty areas outside of the U.S. and look in emerging markets. They believe it will do deals in the $250 to $500 million range. Endo’s market cap is $7.4 billion and is listed as having made 5 acquisitions over the last ten years.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: POSCO(PKX)

POSCO engages in the manufacture and sale of steel products in South Korea and internationally. The company offers hot rolled steel for general structures, gas cylinders, hull structures, automobile structural uses, and machine structures; atmospheric corrosion resistant steel; steel for casting and tubing of oilwell pipes; steel for line pipes; and general machine structural steel, alloy steel, and steel for tools and machine parts, as well as steel for ships. It also provides cold rolled, galvanized, electrical, and stainless steel products, as well as titanium products. In addition, it involves in various activities, including engineering and construction, steel work maintenance and machinery installation, computer hardware and software distribution, economic research and consulting, rare and special metals manufacturing, rental houses construction and management, energy and resource development, architecture and consulting, electronic commerce, refractories manufacturi ng and sales, transporting and warehousing, and electricity generation. Further, the company engages in components manufacturing and sales, ferromanganese manufacturing, financial investment, LED lightning, coal trading, mine development, finance, iron ore mining and trading, harbor loading and unloading, spinning and weaving, and paper and cement manufacturing businesses; operates athletic facilities and a distribution center; and invests in venture companies and biotech ventures. POSCO was founded in 1968 and is based in Seoul, South Korea.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Other options include Korean steel giant Posco (PKX), though admittedly this is much more of a global player and subject to commodity trends instead of South Korean growth.

  • [By Jake Maxwell Watts]

    Markets in Korea were higher for the seventh straight session, after a break for Christmas. The Kospi (KR:SEU)  was up 0.1%, near its highest levels in over three weeks. Index heavyweights Samsung Electronics Co. (KR:005930)   (SSNLF)  lost 0.1%, while steel producer Posco (KR:005490)   (PKX)  and auto manufacturer Kia Motors Co. (KR:000270)   (KIMTF)  gained 1.1% and lost 0.2%, respectively.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Flow International Corporation(FLOW)

Flow International Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a technology-based company providing waterjet cutting, surface preparation, and cleaning solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company?s products include ultrahigh-pressure water pumps and power waterjet systems used to cut and clean materials. It also offers ultrahigh-pressure surface preparation and industrial cleaning systems used in waterjet cleaning for coating removal; and consumable parts used by the pump and cutting heads during operations, such as seals and orifices, as well as provides related services. The company sells its consumable parts online through in the United States and in Europe. It offers its products to various end-user applications and industries, including automotive, aerospace, paper, job shop, and stone and tile industries. The company was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Kent, Washington.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Flow International (FLOW) has gained 9.6% to $3.99 after it reported a loss of 2 cents a share, below forecasts for a 1 cent profit. Profits were hit by currency fluctuations and a $1.6 million charge.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Yum! Brands Inc.(YUM)

YUM! Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a quick service restaurant company in the United States and internationally. It develops, operates, franchises, and licenses a system of restaurants, which prepare, package, and sell various food items, as well as operates Chinese casual dining concept restaurants. The company?s restaurants specialize in chicken, pizza, and Mexican-style food categories. It operates approximately 37,000 restaurants in 110 countries and territories under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands, as well as approximately 450 casual dining concept restaurants in China. The company was formerly known as TRICON Global Restaurants, Inc. and changed its name to YUM! Brands, Inc. in May 2002. YUM! Brands, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

Advisors’ Opinion:


    Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images It’s apparently never too early to have a hamburger. While most chains wait until 10 or 11 a.m. to begin offering their signature burgers, early risers will be able to skip straight to lunch at thousands of participating Burger King (BKW) locations. The fast food giant’s betting that some morning commuters want more than just a breakfast burrito or a ham and egg sandwich for breakfast. Later this month Burger King is rolling out a “burgers for breakfast” campaign across 5,000 of its restaurants, offering its signature Whopper as well as a few other burgers and chicken sandwiches in the morning. Assuming that you don’t want hash browns on the side, fries will also be made available. So will apple pie. Whopper, BK King and Original Fried Chicken sandwiches will be part of the chain’s breakfast offerings. Will it confuse diners? Will the move complicate matters for employees manning the prep tables and fryers? Will the great variety stall patrons as they ponder the menu when it’s time to order, creating longer wait times for food? The questions won’t be answered right away, but Burger King doesn’t have much of a choice. Breakfast is big business, and chains have to stand out one way or another. Another Shot in the Battle for Breakfast It isn’t easy to make a difference in the morning. Just ask Wendy’s (WEN), which has already retreated twice from the national breakfast market over the past decade. The first time it thought that it could set itself apart by offering sausage gravy-soaked biscuits and breakfast versions of its then-popular Frescata sandwiches. More recently it tried to stick closer to the McDonald’s (MCD) playbook with oatmeal, breakfast burritos and biscuit sandwiches. That didn’t pan out either, and last year it discontinued breakfast at all but less than 10 percent of its restaurants. It’s not just the burger flippers hoping to woo diners with caffeinated mornings. Subway — the world’s largest restaur

  • [By vinaysingh]

    Yum! Brands (YUM), the holding company of popular brands like KFC and Pizza Hut has been facing constant issues with its KFC brand in China. The media in the region has tainted the brand for using illegal drugs for fattening chicken besides other allegations. While Yum has made all efforts to meet quality standards in order to sustain growth in this key market, it has limped on ever since the first allegation. Yum has also not been the best investment for investors as it churned out total returns of 11.8% over the last year as compared to S&P 500 total return of 24.7%.


    Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images Don’t let the recent weakness at McDonald’s (MCD) lead you to the conclusion that all burger flippers are struggling. It’s just not true, and Burger King (BKW) proved that in its latest quarter. McDonald’s longtime nemesis posted better than expected profitability during the first three months of the year, fueled by marginally positive comparable-restaurant sales for the period. It may not seem like much of a victory. Burger King’s worldwide comps rose 2 percent, with its U.S. and Canada locations clocking in with a meager 0.1 percent increase. However, even that baby step up is better than the 1.7 percent decline at McDonald’s. Unlike Ronald McDonald, Burger King isn’t clowning around. The Whopper Beats the Big Mac? This would be an opportune time for Burger King to break away from the larger chain that it’s been copying for years. We’ve seen Burger King offer up items that are blatantly similar to McCafe smoothies, Chicken McBites, Big Macs, Egg McMuffins, and even the cult fave McRibs. However, now that McDonald’s is in a rut — having posted three consecutive quarters of negative comparable-restaurant sales in this country — it appears Burger King is ready to carve its own path. “We started off 2014 strong by generating comparable sales growth across all four regions during the first quarter,” Burger King Worldwide CEO Daniel Schwartz explained in the fast food giant’s earnings release. “Despite severe winter weather in the U.S. and Canada, our commitment to launching fewer, more impactful products and simplifying in-restaurant operations helped drive improved performance.” If there’s one thing in that statement that should stand out as a sharp contrast to the current strategy at McDonald’s it’s that Burger King is rolling out “fewer” products as it is “simplifying” operations. That’s an entirely different strategy than the one being used by McDonald’s, which seems to involve rolling out a lot of new menu ite

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Oberbank AG (OBV)

Oberbank AG is an Austria-based commercial regional bank. The Company provides products and services for individual customers, as well as for corporate customers. It divides its operations into four segments: Corporate Customers, Private Customers, Financial Markets and Others. The Company offers credit and debit cards, current and saving accounts, investment services, electronic banking services, as well as financing, leasing, investment and real estate services. It operates through numerous offices in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The Company’s major shareholder is CABO Beteiligungsgesellschafts mbH with a stake of 32.54%. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Aspray]

    The monthly chart of SPY, along with its on-balance volume (OBV), paints a much different picture. The monthly OBV moved above its WMA in August of 2012, line 1, and continues to suggest strong accumulation of this ETF.

  • [By Tom Aspray]

    The high in August 2013 (point 2) just reached the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement resistance from the high at $174.07. This, therefore, was a key level of resistance. As prices declined from the highs, the daily on-balance volume (OBV) began a new downtrend and by October the OBV was acting weaker than prices.

  • [By Tom Aspray]

    I have always felt it was important to give credit to those who originally developed or used a particular analytical tool. I still refer to the TRIN as the ARMs Index as it was developed by an old friend Dick Arms.  My favorite volume tool, of course, is the on-balance volume (OBV) and I frequently give credit to its creator, Joe Granville.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Principal Financial Group Inc(PFG)

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services worldwide. The company?s Retirement and Investor Services segment provides retirement savings and related investment products and services, including a portfolio of asset accumulation products and services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in the United States. This segment offers products and services to businesses for defined contribution pension plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, defined benefit pension plans, nonqualified executive benefit plans, and employee stock ownership plan consulting services; and annuities, mutual funds, and bank products and services to the employees of its business customers and other individuals. Principal Financial Group?s Principal Global Investors segment offers a range of equity, fixed income, and real estate investments, as well as specialized overlay and advisory services to institutional inve stors. The company?s Principal International segment offers retirement products and services, annuities, mutual funds, institutional asset management, and life insurance accumulation products in Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, and Thailand. Principal Financial Group?s U.S. Insurance Solutions segment offers individual life insurance, as well as specialty benefits in the United States. Its individual life insurance products include universal and variable universal life insurance and traditional life insurance; and specialty benefit products comprise group dental and vision insurance, individual and group disability insurance, and group life insurance, as well as fee-for-service claims administration and wellness services. The company was founded in 1879 and is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patricio Kehoe] ts newest deal with private benefits company Liazon Corp., through which the firm will offer employer-sponsored group benefit plans to small and medium businesses. While the company already sells ancillary benefit plans, this deal will now also include dental, life insurance, disability insurance and critical illness coverage in an attempt to stay on top of the insurance industry. As an industry leader, Principal has over $466 billion in assets under management and 19 million customers, fragmented among small and medium-size businesses. Furthermore, its solid fourth quarter results have encouraged investment gurus like Paul Tudor Jones (Trades, Portfolio) and Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) to recently acquire large amounts of the company’s shares. So, let’s see what this insurer has in store for the future.

    Broadening Horizons

    Although Principal’s core business is in life insurance, the company has been pursuing a more diverse growth strategy lately, and is now focused on expanding its position in the retirement service and asset management segment. With almost 30,700 pension plans covering over 3.4 million customers, this business’ growth rate has not only boosted overall profitability, marked by a 31% annual increase in operating earnings for fiscal 2013, but also helped offset the headwinds of low interest rates and volatility in the emerging markets. In fact, the fourth quarter showed a 65% boost in premium and fee income for the segmenta , consequence of the rollout of total retirement suite products.

    Moreover, Principal’s emphasis on retirement products and its use of capital salesforce for distribution has added on to the natural switching cost advantage in the insurance industry. Since plan sponsors provided with pension assets rarely switch providers, the company will likely benefit in the long term from its persistency, as seen in the quarterly 9% bump in recurring deposits.

    On another note, Principal’s fee-based b

  • [By Michael Calia]

    Principal Financial Group Inc.(PFG) said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 8.6%, touting its strong results for the period amid continued economic concern.

Top Electric Utility Companies To Buy For 2015: Monolithic Power Systems Inc.(MPWR)

Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops, and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. It offers direct current (DC) to DC converter integrated circuits (IC) that are used to convert and control voltages of various electronic systems, such as portable electronic devices, wireless LAN access points, computers, set top boxes, televisions and monitors, automobiles, and medical equipments. The company also provides lighting control ICs for use in systems that offer the light source for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in notebook computers, LCD monitors, car navigational systems, and LCD televisions. In addition, it provides audio amplifier ICs to amplify sound produced by audio processors; and Class-D audio amplifiers for plasma televisions, LCD televisions, and digital versatile disk players. The company serves consumer electronics, communications, and computing markets. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. sells its products thr ough third party distributors and value-added resellers, as well as directly to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and electronic manufacturing service providers. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    McDonald is a veteran CFO, having served in that position for a number of tech companies including eASIC, Advanced Analogic Technologies, and Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR  ) .

  • [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 Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.