Top Financial Stocks For 2014

Last week, Wall Street couldn’t think about anything other than the specter of Fed tapering. This week, it’s found a new central bank to disapprove of. China’s central bank, opting not to interfere to drive money market rates lower, is being fingered as the villain behind today’s drop, which took more than 6% off China’s most prominent equities index on Monday. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) lost 19 points, or 1.2%, ending at 1,573, a nine-week low. As you can imagine, its three biggest laggards all sold off ruthlessly.Â

The largest decliner was the pharmaceutical company Allergan (NYSE: AGN  ) , which slumped 11.6% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed less stringent requirements for companies applying to market generic versions of an Allergan product. This column cited rumors of emerging generic competition for Allergan’s Restasis eye drop as a reason for the stock’s 3.7% drop on Friday. While today’s FDA release doesn’t leave the door wide open for generics, it makes the path to approval far less daunting.Â

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Consolidated Graphics Inc. (CGX)

Consolidated Graphics, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides general commercial printing and print-related services in the United States and internationally. The companyÂ’s services include traditional print services, such as electronic prepress, digital and offset printing, finishing, and storage and delivery of custom manufactured printed documents; and fulfillment and mailing services for such printed materials. It also offers technology solutions that enable its customers to procure and manage printed materials and/or design, procure, distribute, track, and analyze results of printing-based marketing programs and activities; and multi-media capabilities, which allow customers to supplement the message of their printed materials through other media, such as the Internet, email, or text messaging. The company prints multi-color marketing materials, product and capability brochures, point-of-purchase displays, packaging, direct mail pieces, shareholder communicat ions, trading cards, calendars, and photo books, as well as customized materials for the financial services, insurance, healthcare, and other industries. In addition, it offers e-commerce software solutions and other print-related services. The companyÂ’s customers include national and local corporations operating in a range of industries, as well as advertising agencies, graphic design firms, catalog retailers, direct mail marketers, state and local governments and quasi-governmental agencies, educational institutions, not-for-profit associations, and political campaign organizations. Consolidated Graphics, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]Breaking news

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: HOT) reported a gain in its third-quarter core earnings and lifted its full-year earnings forecast. To read the full news, click here. Procera Networks (NASDAQ: PKT) and Skyfire, a fully-owned subsidiary of Opera Software, today announced a joint solution and partnership to tackle the rapid growth of video traffic on global mobile networks, based on an open, scalable ICAP architecture. To read the full news, click here. R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company (NASDAQ: RRD) and Consolidated Graphics (NYSE: CGX) jointly announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement by which RR Donnelley will acquire Consolidated Graphics, a provider of digital and commercial printing, fulfillment services, print management and proprietary Internet-based technology solutions. To read the full news, click here. Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN) reported a 36% rise in its third-quarter income. To read the full news, click here.Posted-In: Jobless Claims JP Morgan US Stock FuturesNews Eurozone Futures Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

  • [By Seth Jayson]Consolidated Graphics (NYSE: CGX  ) reported earnings on May 15. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q4), Consolidated Graphics met expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Mylan Inc (MYL)

Mylan Inc. (Mylan), incorporated in 1970, is a pharmaceutical company, which develops, licenses, manufactures, markets and distributes generic, branded generic and specialty pharmaceuticals. The Company operates a specialty business, which is focused on respiratory, allergy and psychiatric therapies. Through Mylan Laboratories Limited, an Indian subsidiary, it manufactures and supply active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for its own products and pipeline, as well as for third parties. On December 23, 2011, Mylan completed the acquisition of rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize a generic equivalent to GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair Diskus and Seretide Diskus incorporating Pfizer Inc.’s, (Pfizer) dry powder inhaler delivery platform (the Respiratory Delivery Platform). In February 2012, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. announced that it has completed the divestiture of 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide gel (IDP-111), a generic version of Benzaclin, and 5% fluorouracil cream, (5-FU), an authorized generic of Efudex, to the Company.

 

As of December 31, 2011, Mylan marketed a global portfolio of approximately 1,100 different products covering a range of therapeutic categories. It offers a range of dosage forms and delivery systems, including oral solids, topicals, liquids and semi-solids. In addition, it focuses on transdermal patches, high potency formulations, injectables, controlled release and respiratory delivery products. Mylan operates in two segments: Generics and Specialty. Its revenues are derived from the sale of generic and branded generic pharmaceuticals, specialty pharmaceuticals and API. Its generic pharmaceutical business is conducted in the United States and Canada (collectively, North America); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (collectively, EMEA), and India, Australia, Japan and New Zealand (collectively, Asia Pacific). Its API business is conducted through Mylan Laboratories Limited, which is included within the Asia Pacific region in its Generics segment. Its specialty pharmaceutical business is conducted by Dey Pharma, L.P. (Dey).

 

Generics Segment

 

The Company sales in the United States are derived through its wholly owned subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (MPI), its primary United States pharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution subsidiary, as well as through Mylan Institutional (MI). MPI’s net revenues are derived from the sale of solid oral dosage and transdermal patch products. MI’s net revenues are derived from the sale of its unit dose and injectable product offerings. In the United States, it has product portfolios consisting of approximately 340 products, of which approximately 305 are in capsule or tablet form in an aggregate of approximately 740 dosage strengths. Included in these totals are approximately 40 extended release products in a total of approximately 105 dosage strengths. Also included in it’s the United States product portfolio are four transdermal patch products in a total of 18 dosage strengths, which are developed and manufactured by Mylan Technologies, Inc. (MTI), its wholly owned transdermal technology subsidiary, and marketed and distributed by MPI.

 

The Company’s North America revenues also include those generated by its wholly owned subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC (MPC), which markets generic pharmaceuticals in Canada. MPC offers a portfolio of approximately 115 products in an aggregate of approximately 250 dosage strengths. Its generic pharmaceutical sales in EMEA are generated by its wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe, through which it has operations in 21 countries.

 

In France, through the Company’s subsidiary Mylan S.A.S., it markets a retail portfolio of approximately 215 products in an aggregate of approximately 455 dosage strengths. In Italy, it markets through its subsidiary Mylan S.p.A. a portfolio of approximately 150 products in an aggregate of approximately 285 dosage strengths. In Italy, it has market share, based on value and volume, in the company-branded generic retail prescription market. In Spain, it markets through its subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals S.L. a portfolio of approximately 100 products in an aggregate of approximately 220 dosage strengths. In Germany, it markets through its subsidiary Mylan dura a portfolio of approximately 150 products in an aggregate of approximately 330 dosage strengths. In the United Kingdom, it offers a product portfolio of approximately 175 products in an aggregate of approximately 315 dosage strengths. It markets generic pharmaceuticals in Asia Pacific through subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and Taiwan.

 

In Australia, the Company offers a portfolio of approximately 170 products in an aggregate of approximately 440 dosage strengths. Mylan Seiyaku, its wholly owned Japanese subsidiary, offers a portfolio of more than 380 products in an aggregate of approximately 500 dosage strengths. At Mylan Laboratories Limited, its dosage business produces antiretroviral (ARV) products, which are sold outside of India, and other finished dosage form (FDF) products, which are sold to third parties by other Mylan operations globally. In addition, Mylan Laboratories Limited offers a line of FDF products in the ARV market and manufactures non-ARV FDF products that are marketed by Mylan.

 

Specialty Segment

 

The Company’s specialty pharmaceutical business is conducted through Dey. Dey’s portfolio consists of branded specialty injectable, nebulized and transdermal products for life-threatening conditions. Dey’s revenues are derived through the sale of the EpiPen Auto-Injector. The EpiPen Auto-Injector, which is used in the treatment of severe allergic reactions, is an epinephrine auto-injector that has been sold in the United States and internationally.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ: MYL) is also in generics and projected to be a considering a broad range of assets and deals. The note here is that a transaction needs to have a strategic rationale, and not solely for tax or cost synergy reasons. The company wants to make sure that it must maintain its investment grade credit rating and that any deal needs to be accretive to earnings. Potential transactions are benchmarked against repurchasing securities here. Mylan was shown to have done four deals in the past decade worth almost $10 billion, and its current market cap is almost $17 billion.
  • [By Ben Levisohn]That decision has helped make Allergan the top performing pharmaceutical stock in the S&P 500. Its shares have gained 4.3% to $108.18, today at 2:32 p.m., besting Merck’s (MRK) 1.2% rise to $49.36, Mylan’s (MYL) 1.1% advance to $42.98, Hospira’s (HSP) 0.7% increase to $41.34 and Eli Lily’s (LLY) 0.6% rise to $50.42.
  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]We’re seeing the exact same price setup in shares of Mylan (MYL) right now. MYL has been one of the best-in-breed pharma stocks over the course of 2013, rallying more than 50% between January’s first open and yesterday’s close, and with shares approaching trendline support again, this stock looks primed for a bounce.

    Mylan’s channel has provided a high-probability range for this stock’s price action all the way since the summer. In fact, it’s been more than high-probability; it’s been textbook over that time.

    The 50-day moving average has been a stellar proxy for support all the way up Mylan’s channel, so it’s the perfect place to put a protective stop after the bounce in shares. Relative strength continues to be outsized in MYL right now – that means that this stock is statistically more likely to continue to beat the S&P 500 for the next 10 months. Wait for the bounce off of support before you buy…

  • [By Diane Alter]Statin drugs are already a profitable niche in the drug market. But the biggest winners will be makers of lower-priced generics. Those include Mylan Labs (MYL) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA).

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: American States Water Co (AWR)

American States Water Company (AWR), incorporated on February 25, 1998, is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc. (ASUS) and its subsidiaries (Fort Bliss Water Services Company (FBWS), Terrapin Utility Services, Inc. (TUS), Old Dominion Utility Services, Inc. (ODUS), Palmetto State Utility Services, Inc. (PSUS) and Old North Utility Services, Inc. (ONUS)). AWR operates in three segments: water, electric and contracted services. Within the segments, AWR has two principal business units, water and electric service utility operations, conducted through GSWC, and contracted services conducted through ASUS and its subsidiaries.

 

GSWC is a California public utility company engaged principally in the purchase, production and distribution of water in 75 communities in 10 counties in the State of California. GSWC also provides electric service to the City of Big Bear Lake and surrounding areas in San Bernardino County, California through its Bear Valley Electric Service (BVES) division. GSWC served 255,657 water customers and 23,379 electric customers as of December 31, 2012. ASUS, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, has contracted with the United States government to provide water and/or wastewater services at various military installations, including the operation, maintenance, renewal and replacement of the water and/or wastewater systems, pursuant to 50-year firm, fixed-price contracts. As of December 31, 2012, GSWC’s physical properties consisted of water transmission and distribution systems which included 2,786 miles of pipeline together with services, meters and fire hydrants and approximately 425 parcels of land.

 

As of December 31, 2012, GSWC owned 244 wells, of which 188 are active operable wells equipped with pumps with an aggregate production capacity of approximately 202.7 million gallons per day. GSWC has 63 connections to the water distribution facilities of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), and other municipal water agencies. GSWC’s storage reservoirs and tanks have an aggregate capacity of approximately 111 million gallons. GSWC owns no dams. GSWC’s electric properties are located in the Big Bear area of San Bernardino County, California. As of December 31, 2012, GSWC owned and operated 29.6 miles of overhead 34.5 kilovolt transmission lines, 1.4 mile of underground 34.5 kilovolt transmission lines, 179.6 miles of 4.16 kilovolt or 2.4 kilovolt distribution lines, 53.2 miles of underground cable, 13 sub-stations and a natural gas-fueled 8.4 megawatt peaking generation facility. GSWC also has franchises, easements and other rights of way for the purpose of constructing and using poles, wires and other appurtenances for transmitting electricity.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Band]American States Water (AWR) provides water service to one of 36 Californians throughout the northern, coastal and southern regions of the state.

    In their recent earnings report, AWR showed an 11.1% increase in diluted earnings per share, but revenues fell short of analyst estimates by 2% due to an increase in the effective income tax rate for the company’s water segment.

  • [By MONEYMORNING]American States Water Co. (NYSE: AWR) is one of the best examples I can think of. Its current payout of 2.88% may not seem like much when compared to the likes of a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) at 6.5%, but when you consider that AWR has increased its dividend for the last 59 years, you begin to understand why this is pivotal to building your wealth, especially now.
  • [By MONEYMORNING]If you’re buying a stock for income, note that, along with how much money you expect it to kick off. That way you can look back years from now and really appreciate something like an American States Water (NYSE: AWR) pick, which has increased its dividend for 59 years.
  • [By Insider Monkey]American States Water (AWR), meanwhile, is another dividend giant that has seen bullish insider activity of late. The Western US-focused water utilities company has raised dividends in 59 straight years and currently offers a yield of 2.9%. Somewhat astoundingly, American’s payout ratio (47%) is still below its industry’s average (59%), so the dividend growth doesn’t look set to end anytime soon.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P.(BBEP)

BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. engages in the acquisition, exploitation, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States. The company?s properties include natural gas, oil, and midstream assets comprising fields in the Antrim Shale in Michigan, and the New Albany Shale in Indiana and Kentucky; and fields in the Evanston and Green River basins in southwestern Wyoming, the Wind river and Big Horn basins in central Wyoming, the Powder River basin in eastern Wyoming, the Los Angeles basin in California, and fields in Florida?s Sunniland Trend. As of December 31, 2011, its total estimated proved reserves were 151.1 million barrels of oil equivalent. BreitBurn GP, LLC serves as the general partner to the company. BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]In our September chat, I was asked about Memorial Production Partners (Nasdaq: MEMP), another upstream MLP like BreitBurn Energy Partners (Nasdaq: BBEP). I addressed this question in the September article Upstream Turbulence Yields Bargains, writing that Breitburn looked attractive as a cheaper alternative to MEMP. Since that time, MEMP is down 0.6 percent and BBEP is up 6.4 percent. So the discount has narrowed somewhat since September.
  • [By Matt DiLallo]Among its peers in the MLP and LLC space, LINN by far hedges the most production. BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) , for example, has hedged roughly 75% of its production through 2015, whereas LINN is 100% hedged through 2016. BreitBurn almost exclusively uses swaps as its hedge of choice. It’s a similar story at Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR  ) , which also uses swaps to almost exclusively hedge natural gas while using three-way collars to hedge about a third of its oil production. While LINN could get more creative, one thing I’d be surprised to hear is that it’s going to join these two peers and leave some of its production unhedged.
  • [By Matt DiLallo]Its success has not gone unnoticed by its peers which is why a strategy shift might not be limited to just Vanguard. I’m interested to hear what BreitBurn’s (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) management has to say when it reports earnings on May 3. The company has already declared its first-quarter distribution so a switch to monthly payouts probably isn’t on the table just yet. However, given its ramp-up in growth spending last year, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear mention of a possible BreitCo.
  • [By Matt DiLallo]Oil and gas partnership BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) is out with its first quarter earnings. The company reported a loss of $0.38 a unit on revenue of $120.4 million. Both missed estimates, as analysts were expecting earnings of $0.15 a unit on revenue of $138.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter came in at $64.1 million, which is up 4% from the first quarter of last year. However, this is down from last quarter, which saw adjusted EBITDA of $78 million.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Linn Energy LLC (LINE)

Linn Energy, LLC (LINN Energy) is an independent oil and natural gas company. The Company’s properties are located in the United States, primarily in the Mid-Continent, the Permian Basin, Michigan, California and the Williston Basin. Mid-Continent Deep includes the Texas Panhandle Deep Granite Wash formation and deep formations in Oklahoma and Kansas. Mid-Continent Shallow includes the Texas Panhandle Brown Dolomite formation and shallow formations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Illinois. Permian Basin includes areas in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Michigan includes the Antrim Shale formation in the northern part of the state. California includes the Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin. Williston Basin includes the Bakken formation in North Dakota. On December 15, 2011, the Company acquired certain oil and natural gas properties located primarily in the Granite Wash of Texas and Oklahoma from Plains Exploration & Production Company (Plains).

 

On November 1, 2011, and November 18, 2011, it completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Permian Basin. On June 1, 2011, it acquired certain oil and natural gas properties in the Cleveland play, located in the Texas Panhandle, from Panther Energy Company, LLC and Red Willow Mid-Continent, LLC (collectively Panther). On May 2, 2011, and May 11, 2011, it completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Williston Basin. On April 1, 2011, and April 5, 2011, the Company completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Permian Basin. On March 31, 2011, it acquired certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Williston Basin from an affiliate of Concho Resources Inc. (Concho). During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company completed other smaller acquisitions of oil and natural gas properties located in its various operating regions. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 7,759 or 69% of its 11,230 gross productive wells.

 

Mid-Continent Deep

 

The Mid-Continent Deep region includes properties in the Deep Granite Wash formation in the Texas Panhandle, which produces at depths ranging from 10,000 feet to 16,000 feet, as well as properties in Oklahoma and Kansas, which produce at depths of more than 8,000 feet. Mid-Continent Deep proved reserves represented approximately 47% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 49% were classified as proved developed reserves. The Company owns and operates a network of natural gas gathering systems consisting of approximately 285 miles of pipeline and associated compression and metering facilities that connect to numerous sales outlets in the Texas Panhandle.

 

Mid-Continent Shallow

 

The Mid-Continent Shallow region includes properties producing from the Brown Dolomite formation in the Texas Panhandle, which produces at depths of approximately 3,200 feet, as well as properties in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Illinois, which produce at depths of less than 8,000 feet. Mid-Continent Shallow proved reserves represented approximately 20% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 70% were classified as proved developed reserves. The Company owns and operates a network of natural gas gathering systems consisting of approximately 665 miles of pipeline and associated compression and metering facilities that connect to numerous sales outlets in the Texas Panhandle.

 

Permian Basin

 

The Permian Basin is an oil and natural gas basins in the United States. The Company’s properties are located in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico and produce at depths ranging from 2,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Permian Basin proved reserves represented approximately 16% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 56% were classified as proved developed reserves.

 

Michigan

 

The Michigan region includes properties producing from the Antrim Shale formation in the northern part of the state, which produces at depths ranging from 600 feet to 2,200 feet. Michigan proved reserves represented approximately 9% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 90% were classified as proved developed reserves.

 

California

 

The California region consists of the Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin. California proved reserves represented approximately 6% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 93% were classified as proved developed reserves.

 

Williston Basin

 

The Williston Basin is one of the premier oil basins in the United States. The Company’s properties are located in North Dakota and produce at depths ranging from 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Williston Basin proved reserves represented approximately 2% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 48% were classified as proved developed reserves.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]Yesterday, Linn Energy (LINE) reported earnings and promptly fell 4.6%. After a day to consider the numbers, where does Linn Energy stand?

    Dan Strumpf/The Wall Street JourRaymond James’ Kevin Smith thinks Linn Energy look’s OK despite yesterday’s disappointment:

    As the clouds start to clear in the wake of the [Linn Energy] / Berry merger, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic company with lots of options at its disposal. In addition to a best-in-class hedging program and a well-oiled acquisition machine, LINN Energy is now in possession of a large amount of horizontal Wolfcamp acreage and is evaluating a number of options to monetize this acreage. Given the stability in the distribution, the upside from the horizontal Wolfcamp acreage position, and the sheer breadth of growth outlets available to the partnership, we reiterate our Outperform rating.

    UBS analyst Shneur Gershuni and team maintained their Buy rating but lowered their price target to $33 from $34. They explain:

    Combing through the updated guidance for 2014, the most surprising result was the surge in LOE, followed by lean distribution coverage in 2014 assuming no growth in distribution. The troubling implication of today’s guidance is that either BRY is not as accretive as first thought or the legacy biz is declining faster than modelled. While guidance was clearly disappointing, the proved reserve update was encouraging in our opinion as [Linn Energy] was able to replace 123% of reserves with the drillbit (excluding acquisitions) at a cost of $2.21.

    Mgmt carefully laid out strategic options for its Midland Basin acreage by evaluating asset swaps or a JV (as a reminder [Linn Energy] has net acreage 55k in the Wolfcamp). Firstly we would prefer an asset swap into a longer lived slow decline reserve productive asset as it is presents an asset profile more consistent with how we think about Upstream MLPs. We are encouraged by mgnt strongly

  • [By David Dittman]Question: Do you have any comments on Linn Energy LLC (NSDQ: LINE)?

    Answer: The merger with Berry Petroleum is complete, and now it’s on to executing plan to get production growing again. The SE’’s informal inquiry is still in process, and I won’t hazard a guess as to what if anything will come of it.

  • [By Jayson Derrick]Analysts at Raymond James upgraded Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) to Strong Buy from Outperform with a $37 price target. The analysts noted that the SEC’s endorsement of its S-4 coupled with an increased fourth quarter cash flow guidance could remove the overhand in shares. Shares gained 3.47 percent, closing at $29.80.
  • [By Robert Rapier]We got numerous questions about Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE) in the chat. I commented on this in last week’s MLP Investing Insider, but it bears repeating here as there is obviously still a lot of interest. Igor’s answer to this question was “I expect the merger to close by year’s end, but I think Linn has some structural issues that go beyond [pending merger partner Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY)] with its debt load and past acquisition quality, so I’m steering clear. There are better upstream MLPs in our portfolios.”

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Westell Technologies Inc.(WSTL)

Westell Technologies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, distribution, marketing, and servicing a range of broadband, digital transmission, remote monitoring, power distribution, and demarcation products used by telephone companies and other telecommunications service providers. It operates in three segments: Customer Networking Systems (CNS) equipment, Outside Plant Systems (OSP) equipment, and ConferencePlus services. The CNS equipment segment provides networking and high-speed transmissions products, such as modems, routers, versatile gateway devices, and wireless broadband home routers that allow service providers to deliver broadband services over existing copper, fiber, coax, or wireless infrastructures. The OSP segment offers next generation outdoor cabinets; enclosures; power distribution; fiber, Ethernet, and coax edge connectors; remote monitoring equipment; and DS1 and DS3 transmission plugs. This segment also markets and sells power distribu tion and remote monitoring solutions. The ConferencePlus services segment provides audio, Web, and video conferencing services to businesses and individuals. This segment sells its services directly to Fortune 1000 companies, and indirectly through its private reseller programs. The company offers its products through field sales organizations and selected distributors in the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Westell Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Aurora, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]On Friday, the diversified manufacturer named Brian S. Cooper to replace interim CFO Braden Waverley on May 28. Waverly will remain acting CFO until Cooper joins the company next month. Cooper comes to Federal Signal by way of smaller telecommunications equipment maker Westell Technologies (NASDAQ: WSTL  ) , where he has served as CFO since 2009.
  • [By Rich Smith]Late last month, the networking equipment maker had to scramble when its acting chief financial officer, Tom Minichiello, announced plans to retire on July 12 to become the new CFO at Westell Technologies (NASDAQ: WSTL  ) . On Friday, though, just as the deadline was happening, Tellabs announced that it has found a replacement.
  • [By Geoff Gannon]1. Steel Excel (SXCL)
    2. FormFactor (FORM)
    3. Imation (IMN)
    4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
    5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
    6. Maxygen (MAXY)
    7. Westell (WSTL)
    8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
    9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS)

Universal Health Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and radiation oncology centers. The companyÂ’s hospitals offer various services comprising general and specialty surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, emergency room care, radiology, oncology, diagnostic care, coronary care, pediatric services, pharmacy services, and/or behavioral health services. As of February 24, 2012, it owned and/or operated 25 acute care hospitals and 198 behavioral health centers located in 36 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Washington, D.C. The company also operates six surgical hospitals, and surgery and radiation oncology centers located in four states and Puerto Rico. Universal Health Services, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]Tenets plunge has helped drag other healthcare stocks lower. Community Health (CYH) has dropped 3.6% to $42.21, HCA Holdings (HCA) has fallen 2.1% to $46.72 and Universal Health Services (UHS) is off 1% at $80.59.
  • [By John Moore]Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS  ) has aggressively attacked a grown concern in America: diabetes. The company is currently developing specialty services to treat type 1 diabetes and mental health. Universal Health Services provides expert home, hospice and personal assistance care. They specialize in providing nurses who are skilled in diabetes and disease management.Â
  • [By Asit Sharma]Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS  )
    King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services operates acute-care hospitals and behavioral health centers in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands.The company books more than $7 billion in annual revenue, and has grown its quarterly earnings more than 220% over the last five years.Â

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: DTE Energy Company(DTE)

DTE Energy Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company in Michigan. It also involves in non-utility operations. The company?s Energy Utility segment engages in the generation, purchase, distribution, and sale of electricity in southeastern Michigan. It generates electricity from various fuels, including coal, as well as from nuclear and hydro facilitates. As of December 31, 2010, this segment owned and operated approximately 674 distribution substations and approximately 412,100 line transformers; and supplied electricity to 2.1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in southeastern Michigan. The company?s Gas Utility segment engages in the purchase, storage, transmission, distribution, and sale of natural gas in Michigan. As of December 31, 2010, this segment?s distribution system included approximately 19,000 miles of distribution mains, 1,036,000 service lines, and 1,319,000 active meters. It also o wned approximately 2,000 miles of transmission lines that deliver natural gas; and supplied natural gas to approximately 1.2 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout Michigan, as well as to approximately 17,000 customers in Adrian, Michigan. The company?s non-utility operations include natural gas pipelines and storage; unconventional gas exploration, development, and production; power and industrial projects, and coal transportation and marketing; and energy marketing and trading operations. Its customers include electric utilities, merchant power producers, integrated steel mills, and industrial companies. DTE Energy Company was founded in 1995 and is based in Detroit, Michigan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Stavros]Michigan-based ITC Holdings Corp (NYSE: ITC) is the largest electric transmission company in the US. The company is in charge of the electric transmission system formerly owned by DTE Energy Holding Co (NYSE: DTE) and CMS Energy Corp (NYSE: CMS).
  • [By Marie Mawad]European telecommunications companies are disposing of peripheral assets as they increase investments in high-speed mobile networks in their largest markets and cut debt. Last week, Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) agreed to sell a 70 percent stake in its Scout24 Holding digital-classifieds business.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: GSI Group Inc.(GSIG)

GSI Group Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells laser-based solutions, laser scanning devices, and precision motion and optical control technologies worldwide. The company?s Laser Products segment provides lasers and laser-based systems for photonics-based applications, such as cutting, welding, marking, engraving, micro-machining, and scientific research. Its Precision Motion and Technologies segment designs, manufactures, and markets air bearing spindles, encoders, thermal printers, laser scanning devices, and light and color measurement systems to original equipment manufacturers. The company?s Semiconductor Systems segment offers laser based production systems for semiconductor, microelectronics, and electronics manufacturing. This segment?s products comprise WaferRepair for dynamic random access memory, flash memory chips, and LCDs; WaferMark for silicon suppliers and integrated circuit factories; and WaferTrim and Circuit Trim for analog and mixed signal sensor and chip resistor devices, as well as for resistor devices. The company sells its products primarily through direct sales force, resellers, distributors, and system integrators. It serves industrial, electronics, automotive, medical, packaging, aerospace, scientific, semiconductor, lighting, military, and motion picture markets. The company was formerly known as GSI Lumonics Inc. and changed its name to GSI Group Inc. in 2005. GSI Group Inc. was founded in 1970 and is based in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]Electro Scientific Industries (NASDAQ: ESIO  ) has a new division under its corporate wing. The company has inked a definitive agreement to purchase the semiconductor systems unit of GSI Group (NASDAQ: GSIG  ) . The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: Williams Partners L.P.(WPZ)

Williams Partners L.P. focuses on natural gas transportation, gathering, treating and processing, storage, natural gas liquid fractionation, and oil transportation activities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline, and Midstream Gas and Liquids. The Gas Pipeline segment owns and operates approximately 13,900 miles of pipelines with annual throughput of approximately 2,700 trillion British thermal units of natural gas and delivery capacity of approximately 13 million dekatherms of gas. This segment also owns interests in joint venture interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline systems. The Midstream Gas and Liquids segment includes natural gas gathering, processing, and treating facilities; and crude oil gathering and transportation facilities that serve the producing basins in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, the Gulf of Mexico, and Pennsylvania. Williams Partners GP LLC serves as the general partner of the company. Williams Partners L.P . was founded in 2005 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]Large MLPs with geographically diversified operations will fare better because they can shift assets around and make sure that all their distribution-paying subsidiaries meet the payroll, so to speak. Here are the seven largest MLPs by market cap:

     

    Enterprise Product Partners LP (NYSE: EPD) – $61.23 billion Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) – $35.13 billion Williams Partners LP (NYSE: WPZ) – $21.95 billion Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) – $19.3 billion Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) – $17.78 billion Magellan Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: MMP) – $15.52 billion Oneok Partners LP (NYSE: OKS) – $12.95 billionSize is not the only thing that matters, but size can help overcome some of the cash flow issues these MLPs face. The differentiating factor is a company’s distribution coverage ratio which is the cash the MLP has to distribute to its limited partners divided by its maintenance capex and interest on the company’s debt. Anything number larger than 1 is solid.

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]You’d be forgiven for thinking that natural gas pipeline owner Williams Partners (WPZ) is a commodity-driven stock. It certainly seems like one at first glance. But while this master limited partnership owns one of the largest midstream natural gas operations in the country, it’s not a commodity-driven play. It’s an income play.

    Williams owns one of the largest pipeline networks in the country, transporting natgas in huge volumes. It also operates a huge midstream operation that gathers and processes natgas with a focus on the lucrative Marcellus shale. But more than three-quarters of WPZ’s cash comes from fee-based sources that aren’t subject to swings in commodity prices (the firm makes most of its money by charging customers to transport their gas). That, and the tax advantages of a MLP, mean that this stock was basically purpose-built for building income. And a huge 7.05% dividend yield proves it.

    After spending several years in acquisition mode, Williams owns a mature portfolio of assets that should continue to pay off in the years to come. Hedge funds made a big bet on WPZ, buying up 6.22 million shares in the most recent quarter. Collectively, that entitles funds to a $62 million dividend payout in the year ahead.

  • [By Aaron Levitt]When it comes to natural gas, Williams Partners (WPZ) is simply one of the biggest players. The firm is one of the leading midstream players in the prolific Marcellus shale. That dominance has WPZ’s network of pipelines carrying roughly 14% of all the natural gas consumed in the U.S.

Top Financial Stocks For 2014: MCG Capital Corporation(MCGC)

MCG Capital Corporation is a private equity firm specializing in investments in middle market companies. The firm does not prefer investments in highly cyclical and volatile industry sectors and businesses with significant volatility exposure. It seeks to invest in small to mid sized companies. The firm prefers to invest in acquisitions, growth financings, organic growth, recapitalization, and leveraged buyouts. It invests in companies based in the United States. The firm seeks to invest upto $75 million in debt and equity in companies having revenues between $20 million and $200 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $25 million. It seeks to invest in the form of senior debt, including amortizing, bullet maturity, term loans, and revolving credit facilities; institutional sub debt, including junior capital; second lien debt, that includes term loans on sole source and participant basis; secured and unsecured subordinate loans structured as current interest, deferred in terest, and equity linked components; mezzanine debt and equity that includes minority equity investments. The firm may invest in minority or control equity positions. It was formerly known as MCG Credit Corporation. MCG Capital Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Equities Lab]The stocks that currently pass the stock screen in order of market cap are Frontier Communications Corp , Crown Media Holdings (CRWN), Vonage Holding (VG), MCG Capital Corp (MCGC), 1-800-FLOWERS.COM (FLWS), MTR Gaming Corporation (MNTG), Alaska Communications (ALSK), and Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN).