Parents looking to pay for their children’s college education often have plenty of options. And one that you shouldn’t overlook – if it’s available – is the bank of grandma and grandpa. That’s right, if you haven’t done so already, at least one expert recommends that you talk to your parents – your children’s grandparents – about helping to pay for college.
Of course, how grandparents can help will depend on where you are in the process.
For instance, if you’ve just completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and realize that you’ll face – even after factoring in savings, student grants, work-study, payment plans, loans, and the like – a shortfall, you’ll have one set of tactics to consider. But if your children are still in diapers, you’ll have different options.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Cenkos Securities PLC (CNKS)
Cenkos Securities plc (Cenkos) is an independent, specialist institutional securities group, focused on growth companies and investment funds. The Company’s principal activities comprise of corporate broking and advisory and institutional equities. Corporate Broking and Advisory segment reflects the corporate finance, corporate broking and market making services provided to growth companies and investment funds. Institutional Equities segment reflects the institutional equities team who provide research-driven investment recommendations and execution capabilities to institutional clients. Cenkos earns fees from primary and secondary equity fund raising, acting as a key intermediary between growth companies or investment funds and institutional providers of capital. Revenue in Corporate Broking and Advisory segment is made up of placing commissions on fund raisings, corporate finance fees and retainer income, market making profits and commissions on secondary market transact ions. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Trista Kelley]
Cenkos Securities Plc (CNKS) is running the spinoff and the share sale. Royal DSM NV (DSM), the world’s largest maker of vitamins, holds about 9 percent of SiS, while U.K. venture-capital trust Downing LLP owns 16.7 percent, Moon said. Provexis stockholders received one share of Science in Sport for every 100 shares of Provexis.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Barclays PLC (JO)
Barclays PLC (Barclays) is a global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, wholesale banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The Company’s operations include its overseas offices, subsidiaries and associates. The Company operates in eight segments: UK Retail and Business Banking (UK RBB), Europe Retail and Business Banking (Europe RBB), Africa Retail and Business Banking (Africa RBB), Barclaycard, Barclays Investment Bank, Barclays Corporate Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, and Head Office and Other Operations. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Sean Williams]
Time for a cup of joe
Two years ago I slapped a CAPScall of underperform on the iPath DJ AIG Coffee ETF (NYSEMKT: JO ) following what looked like a rampant speculative run higher. Coffee stockpiles weren’t particularly low back then and there didn’t appear to be any weather-related production concerns, so the run-up in coffee futures looked unwarranted. Sure enough, two years later that CAPScall is up nearly 90 points. Now, I’m going to turn that frown upside down and suggest it’s the perfect time to consider buying this ETF that closely tracks coffee futures!
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Salient MLP And Energy Infrastructure Fund (SMF)
Salient MLP and Energy Infrastructure Fund (the Fund), is an organized, non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. Its investment objective is to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on making quarterly cash distributions (Distributions) to its shareholders. The Fund seeks to provide its shareholders with a tax-efficient vehicle to invest in a portfolio of energy infrastructure companies that own midstream and other energy assets. The Fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities of companies in the Midstream/Energy Sector, consisting of Midstream MLPs, Midstream Companies, Other MLPs and Other Energy Companies. It will invest in equity securities, such as common units, preferred units, subordinated units, general partner interests, common shares, preferred shares and convertible securities in MLPs, Midstream Companies and Other Energy Companies. The Fund is managed by Salient Capital Advisors, LLC. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Eric Lam]
Semafo (SMF) jumped 4.8 percent to C$2.60 and Iamgold gained 2.1 percent to C$4.20 as 21 of 24 members of the S&P/TSX Gold Index increased. Gold rose from a five-month low as investors weighed the outlook for reduced U.S. stimulus as early as next week against speculation physical demand may increase at lower prices. Gold for February delivery advanced 0.6 percent in New York.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO)
LaSalle Hotel Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the purchase, ownership, redevelopment, and leasing of primarily upscale and luxury full-service hotels in convention, resort, and urban business markets in the United States. It owns 34 hotels, totaling approximately 9,200 guest rooms in 15 markets in 11 states and the District of Columbia. The company qualifies as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal corporate income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Upscale hotel operator LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.28 per share, a 40% increase in the payout made to investors from the $0.20 per share paid last quarter.
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
The other key benefit for Strategic is that it enjoys industry-leading earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) per available room. For 2012, Strategic generated $81 per room of EBITDA. Compare this to top comps LaSalle Hotel (NYSE: LHO) at $74 per room and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) at $71. The reason for this is that Strategic is much less reliant than its peers on rooms, with much greater exposure to food and beverages. Strategic earns 53% of its revenue from rooms, while its peers get around 66% of revenues from rooms.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Hovnanian Enterprises Inc (HOV)
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (Hovnanian), incorporated in 1967, designs, constructs, markets, and sells single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, mid-rise condominiums, urban infill and active adult homes in planned residential developments. The Company consists of two distinct operations: homebuilding and financial services. Its homebuilding operations consist of six segments: Northeast,including New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Mid-Atlantic, including Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C; Midwest, including Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio; Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; Southwest, including Arizona and Texas, and West, including California. Its financial services operations provide mortgage loans and title services to the customers of its homebuilding operations. During fiscal year ended October 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company had delivered 4,216 homes.
As of October 31, 2011, the Company was, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, offering homes for sale in 192 communities in 37 markets in 16 states throughout the United States. It markets and builds homes for first-time buyers, first-time and second-time move-up buyers, luxury buyers, active adult buyers and empty nesters. It offers a product range to provide housing to a range of customers. Its diverse product array includes single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, mid-rise condominiums, urban infill and active adult homes.
The Company’s residential development activities include site planning and engineering, obtaining environmental and other regulatory approvals and constructing roads, sewer, water, and drainage facilities, recreational facilities and other amenities and marketing and selling homes. These activities are performed by its associates, together with independent architects, consultants, and contractors.
The Company sells its homes to customers who finance their purchases th! rough mortgages. It originates loans in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool’s director of investment planning, looks at recent data from RealtyTrac noting that 9.3 million homeowners remain underwater on their homes by at least 25%. Dan points out how even a big rise in prices and efforts from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) to agree to modify customer mortgages haven’t made a huge dent in those numbers. Dan notes that big problems exist in hard-hit states like Nevada and Florida, causing potential problems for Hovnanian (NYSE: HOV ) , PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM ) , and other homebuilders seeking to recover from the worst of the crisis.
- [By Erika Janowicz]
Compass Point analyst Wilkes Graham updated his housing forecast:
Graham increased assumed ROI’s to 9% on average from 7%. Reduced targeted sector price/ book from $190% to 170%. Expects 20-30% growth in starts and new home sales in 2012 and 2013 to stabilize in 2014 and on at approximately 10%. For covered builders, the analyst lowered estimates by 8% and lowered price targets by 10%. Compass Point expects 10% annual growth in single family starts and new home sales and 2-5% pricing growth. Downgraded DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) from Buy to Neutral and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) from Neutral to Sell. DR Horton’s and KB Home’s PT was lowered from $23.50 to $20.00 and from $17.50 to $14.00, respectively. Graham reiterated a Buy rating on Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL) and Standard Pacific Corp. (NYSE: SPF). The analyst raised the PT on Ryland from $50.00 to $50.50 and lowered the PT on Standard Pacific from $10.00 to $9.50. Compass Point reiterated a Neutral rating on Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH), Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL). The price target for Beazer and Hovnanian was raised from $15.50 to $24.00 and $5.00 to $5.75, respectively. Graham lowered the PT for Lennar, Pulte, and Toll to $34.50, $17.00, and $31.00.
This Week’s Data
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From earnings reports to a new “Hobbit” film, let’s take a look at the business news that will break in the week ahead. Monday — Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow: Ski resorts are open for the season, and we’ll get a great early read on how the business is holding up when Vail Resorts (MTN) reports fresh financials after Monday’s market close. True to its name, Vail Resorts operates a ski property in Vail as well as nearby slopes in Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado. It also owns resorts in six different snowy states. Don’t expect a quarterly profit out of Vail Resorts. The months of August, September, and October are naturally forgettable for ski resorts. Vail expects to generate four times as much revenue during the next three months as it did during the period that ended in October. However, Vail Resorts should be able to offer a glimpse about how the new ski season is starting to shape up. It has enough advance booking information to know what folks are willing to pay this year for a trek out to the slopes. Tuesday — For Whom the Bell Tolls: It’s once again great time to be a real estate developer. Home prices are moving higher, and those increases are moving at a headier clip than the costs to build new digs. We’ll get a good snapshot of the housing industry when Toll Brothers (TOL) reports on Tuesday. The builder of upscale properties is typically blunt about its assessment, and naturally the news has been good in recent quarters as home buyers aren’t walking away from their contracts, and asking prices keep inching up. Hovnanian (HOV) — another developer that offers more accessibly priced properties — reports two days later. Analysts see revenue surging 56 percent at Toll and 19 percent at Hovnanian. It’s good to be a builder right now, but that won’t remain that way i
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another earnings short-squeeze candidate is homebuilding and financial services player Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Hovnanian Enterprises to report revenue of $582.89 million on earnings of 16 cents per share.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Hovnanian Enterprises is extremely high at 20.9%. That means that out of the 123.10 million shares in the tradable float, 22.76 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 2.2%, or by 504,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a bullish quarter, then shares of HOV could rip sharply higher post-earnings as the bears rush to cover some of their short positions.
From a technical perspective, HOV is currently trending just above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has been downtrending over the last five months, with shares moving lower from its high of $5.92 to its recent low of $4.77 a share. During that move, shares of HOV have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of HOV have now started to rebound off that $4.77 low and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.
If you’re bullish on HOV, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $5.19 to $5.59 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 4.18 million shares. If that breakout hits, then HOV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $5.92 to $6.47 a share, or even $7 a share.
I would avoid HOV or look for short-
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund (DES)
WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that closely correspond to the price and yield performance of the WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Index (the Index). The Index is a fundamentally weighted index measuring the performance of the small-capitalization segment of the United States dividend-paying market. The Index consists of the companies that compose the bottom 25% of the market capitalization of the WisdomTree Dividend Index after the 300 largest companies have been removed.
The Index is dividend weighted annually to reflect the proportionate share of the aggregate cash dividends each component company is projected to pay in the coming year, based on the most recently declared dividend per share. The Fund’s investment advisor is WisdomTree Asset Management, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of WisdomTree Investments, Inc.
- [By Timothy Lutts]
And, on the medical devices side, the company is a leading producer of coronary metallic drug-eluting stents (DES), LASIK devices used in laser vision surgery, and insulin pumps.
- [By Philip Springer]
WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES) invests in dividend-paying small-cap companies that meet certain liquidity requirements. It then weights them by the dollar value of dividends they are expected to pay out over the next year.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some small dividend-paying stocks to your portfolio but don’t have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend ETF (NYSEMKT: DES ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The WisdomTree ETF’s expense ratio — its annual fee — is a rather low 0.38%. It recently yielded more than 3%.
This ETF has performed well, beating the S&P 500 over the past three and five years. As with most investments, of course, we can’t expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (ETY)
Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (the Fund) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide current income and gains, with a secondary objective of capital appreciation. The Fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of common stocks. The Fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets in a combination of dividend paying common stocks, and common stocks the value of which is subject to covered written index call options. It seeks to generate current earnings in part by writing (selling) stock index call options on the S&P 500 Index and investing in dividend-paying common stock. The Fund invests in sectors, such as financials, energy, information technology, industrials, healthcare, consumer staples, telecommunication services, consumer discretionary, materials and utilities.
The Fund’s investment advisor is Eaton Vance Management (EVM). Its sub-advisor is Rampart Investment Management. The Fund may invest in Cash Management Portfolio, an affiliated investment company managed by Boston Management and Research (BMR), a subsidiary of EVM.
- [By Robert Carlson]
This recommended fund is Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income (ETY). The options that the fund writes give buyers the right to buy the stocks from the fund at fixed prices by a certain date.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund (DFE)
WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund is a non-diversified fund. It seeks investment results that closely correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Index.
The WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Index is a fundamentally weighted index that measures the performance of the small-capitalization segment of the European dividend-paying market. The Index is comprised of the companies that compose the bottom 25% of the market capitalization of the WisdomTree Europe Dividend Index.
- [By Matthew McCall]
The European equity rebound continues and within the region the small cap stocks have been quietly performing very well. The WisdomTree Europe Small Cap Dividend ETF (NYSE: DFE) focuses on small cap stocks that pay high dividends.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: MVC Capital (MVC)
MVC Capital, Inc. (MVC) is a Business Development Company specializing in acquisition financing, management buyouts, leveraged buildups, corporate partnerships, PIPE transactions, going private transactions, private company recapitalizations, operational turnarounds, and growth and expansion capital transaction financing. It seeks to invest in mature, small, and middle-market companies. The firm seeks to invest in companies in the consumer products, industrial manufacturing and services, food and food service, financial services, value-added distribution, specialty chemicals, and security sectors. It prefers to invest in companies based in the United States. The firm typically invests between $3 million and $25 million for control and non-control stakes in companies with revenues between $10 million and $200 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $25 million. It prefers to be the lead investor in transactions and also co-invests in companies with other private equity sp onsors. The firm invests in the form of preferred and common equity, and warrants or rights to acquire equity interests; bridge loans; term loans; debt; cash flow loans; senior and subordinated loans; convertible securities; venture capital; mezzanine; and private equity investments. MVC Capital, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based in Purchase, New York with an additional office at Chicago, Illinois.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Sorting by market cap, the largest, MVC Capital Inc. (MVC), has exhibited relatively little stock price movement in the past three years. Its current price of $12.10 a share is only 2.7% off of its three-year high of $12.44. Three insiders bought this stock, according to the screener, in the past month.
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Alternative Energy Partners Inc (AEGY)
Alternative Energy Partners, Inc. (AEGY), incorporated on April 28, 2008, is engaged in providing support services for medical marijuana. In May, 2013, the Company acquired the PharmaJanes. In May, 2013, it also acquired Simple Prepay merchant payment solution from iEquity Corp.
The Simple Prepay system was developed to offer dispensaries, collectives, and delivery services for medical cannabis. Combined with the PharmaJanes on-line and smart phone ordering platform, medical marijuana patients will be able to order, process and pay for their authorized needs.
- [By Peter Graham]
On Monday, small cap marijuana stocks Alternative Energy Partners Inc (OTCBB: AEGY) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTCMKTS: REFG) surged 117.86% and 17.95%, respectively, while tech stock Portlogic Systems Inc (OTCMKTS: PGSY) sank 20%. However, it appears that only one of these small cap stocks has been the subject of disclosed paid promotions or investor relation activities. So what will these three small caps do today and the rest of the week? Here is a quick look to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy:
Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now: Community Bank System Inc (CBU)
Community Bank System, Inc., incorporated on April 15, 1983, which wholly owns five subsidiaries: Community Bank, N.A. (the Bank), Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc. (BPAS), CFSI Closeout Corp. (CFSICC), First of Jermyn Realty Company, Inc. (FJRC) and Town & Country Agency LLC (T&C). The Bank operates as a community bank providing a range of banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. As of December 31, 2012, the Bank operates 179 full-service branches throughout 35 counties of Upstate New York, where it operates as Community Bank, N.A. and five counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where it is known as First Liberty Bank & Trust, offering a range of commercial and retail banking services. BPAS provides administration, consulting and actuarial services to sponsors of employee benefit plans. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired eight branch-banking locations across its Northeast Pennsylvania markets from B ank of America, N.A.Five of the branches are located in Luzerne County, one is located in Lackawanna County and two are located in Carbon County.
On July 20, 2012, the Bank completed its acquisition of 16 retail branches in Central, Northern and Western New York from HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (HSBC), acquiring approximately $106 million in loans and $697 million of deposits. On September 7, 2012, it completed its acquisition of three branches in Western New York from First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara), acquiring approximately $54 million of loans and $101 million of deposits.
As of December 31, 2012, the Bank’s loan portfolio included consumer mortgage loans, business lending, Consumer indirect, Consumer direct and Home equity. Consumer indirect and direct loans consist of personal loans originated both in the branch network and in automobile, marine and recreational vehicle dealerships. Approximately 68% of loans outstanding as of December 31, 2012, were made to consumers ! borrowing on an installment, line of credit or residential mortgage loan basis. The consumer mortgage portion of the Company’s loan portfolio is comprised of fixed (98%) and adjustable rate (2%) residential lending and includes no exposure to subprime, Alt-A or other higher-risk mortgage products. The combined total of general-purpose business lending, including agricultural-related and dealer floor plans, as well as mortgages on commercial property, is characterized as the Company’s business lending activity.
As of December 31, 2012, the Bank’s investment securities included held-to-maturity, available-for-sale and Other securities. As of December 31, 2012, its held-to-maturity portfolio included U.S. Treasury and agency securities, Obligations of state and political subdivisions, Government agency mortgage-backed securities, Corporate debt securities and Other securities. Its Other Securities included Federal Home Loan Bank common stock, Federal Reserve Bank common stock and Other equity securities.
Sources of Funds
The Bank utilizes a variety of funding sources to support the earning asset base. Overall funding is comprised of three primary sources that possess a variety of maturity, stability, and price characteristics: deposits of individuals, partnerships and corporations (IPC deposits), municipal deposits that are collateralized for amounts not covered by FDIC insurance (public funds) and external borrowings. The various types of deposits offered by the Bank include Noninterest checking deposits, Interest checking deposits, Regular savings deposits, Money market deposits and Time deposits. Borrowing sources for the Company include the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as access to the brokered certificate of deposit (CD) and repurchase markets through relationships with primary market security dealers.
The Compan! y’s sub! sidiary, BPAS owns three subsidiaries, Benefit Plans Administrative Services LLC (BPA), a provider of defined contribution plan administration services; Harbridge Consulting Group LLC (Harbridge), a provider of actuarial and benefit consulting services, and Hand Benefits & Trust Company (HB&T), a provider of Collective Investment Fund administration and institutional trust services. HB&T owns two subsidiaries, Flex Corp. (Flex), a provider of administration, servicing and marketing of various flexible employee benefit programs and Hand Securities, Inc. (HSI), an introducing broker dealer. The Company also wholly owns two unconsolidated subsidiary business trusts formed for the purpose of issuing mandatorily redeemable preferred securities.
The Bank owns subsidiaries, such as CBNA Insurance Agency, Inc. (CBNA Insurance), CBNA Preferred Funding Corporation (PFC), CBNA Treasury Management Corporation (TMC), Community Investment Services, Inc. (CISI), First Liberty Service Corp. (FLSC), Nottingham Advisors, Inc. (Nottingham), Brilie Corporation (Brilie), and Western Catskill Realty, LLC (WCR). CBNA Insurance is a full-service insurance agency offering primarily property and casualty products. PFC primarily acts as an investor in residential real estate loans. TMC provides cash management, investment, and treasury services to the Bank. CISI provides broker-dealer and investment advisory services. FLSC provides banking-related services to the Pennsylvania branches of the Bank. Nottingham provides asset management services to individuals, corporate pension and profit sharing plans, and foundations. Brilie and WCR are inactive companies.
- [By GURUFOCUS]
Community Bank System Inc. (CBU) operates as the bank holding company for Community Bank, N.A. that provides banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. August 21st the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.7% to $0.28 per share. The dividend is payable October 10, 2013 to shareholders of record as of September 16, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.3%.