Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) didn’t knock anyone’s socks off with first-quarter earnings and today investors are punishing the stock. Revenue of $755.2 million was ahead of the $725 million estimate from Wall Street but $0.69 per share in earnings was below the $0.75 estimate and investors sold in bulk this morning.

To be fair, First Solar did reiterate 2013 guidance it gave in April so the thesis hasn’t changed overnight. At the time, it didn’t give quarterly guidance so analysts just got the timing of earnings wrong. I don’t think the miss is worth the 10% drop we’re seeing in the stock today, but I also thought the euphoria after guidance in April was overdone as well.

A look into the numbers
There are three things I want to highlight from last night’s earnings report. First, backlog dropped another 100 MW during the quarter from 2.6 GW to 2.5 GW. Since First Solar is a systems driven business this is key and doesn’t give investors confidence in future earnings. Management did say it has another 5.5 GW of projects in development but they’re not booked and backlog is shrinking every quarter, not a good sign for a company that counts on systems.

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. (LVB)

Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes musical instruments in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Pianos and Band & Orchestral Instruments. The Pianos segment offers pianos under Steinway & Sons, Boston, and Essex brands; and engages in online music retailing business. This segment sells its products to professional artists and amateur pianists, and institutions through independent dealers primarily in the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. It operates six retail showrooms in the United States and five retail showrooms in Europe. The Band & Orchestral Instruments segment manufactures and sells piccolos, flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, French horns, tubas, and trombones, as well as intermediate and professional level woodwind and brass instruments under Bach, Selmer, Selmer Paris, C.G. Conn, Leblanc, King, Armstrong, Holton, Yanagisawa, Vito, Emerson, Avanti, Noblet, Artley, and Benge brands; distributes saxophones and clarinets; manufactures and distributes acoustical and tuned percussion instruments, including outfit drums, marching drums, concert drums, marimbas, xylophones, vibraphones, orchestra bells, and chimes; distributes violins, violas, cellos, and basses under Glaesel, Scherl & Roth, and William Lewis & Son brands; and manufactures mouthpieces and distributes accessories, such as music stands, batons, mallets, straps, mutes, reeds, pads, chin rests, strings, bows, cases, and instrument care products. This segment sells its products to students, amateur and professional musicians, and institutions through independent musical instrument dealers and distributors primarily in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company, formerly known as Selmer Industries, Inc., was founded in 1993 and is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Steinway Musical Instruments (NYSE: LVB  ) has ceased to be the owner of its iconic Steinway Hall in New York City. The company formally closed a deal to sell the building to a partnership headed by real estate concern JDS Development Group. Steinway received $46.3 million in the acquisition, and will recognize a taxable gain of roughly $22 million.

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW)

W.W. Grainger, Inc. and its subsidiaries distribute facilities maintenance and other related products and services in the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, India, Puerto Rico, China, Colombia, and Panama. The company offers maintenance, repair, and operating supplies; and other related products and services through local branches, catalogs, and the Internet. Its products include material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, forestry and agriculture equipment, building and home inspection supplies, vehicle and fleet components, and various other items for facilities maintenance market, as well as services comprise inventory management and energy efficiency solutions. The company also distributes tools, fasteners, safety supplies, instruments, welding and shop equipment, and other items. It serves small and medium-sized businesses to large corporations, government entities, and other institutions. W.W. Grainger, Inc. was founded in 1927 and is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

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  • [By Dividends4Life]

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  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

    Company Description: Grainger Inc. is the largest global distributor of industrial and commercial supplies, such as hand tools, electric motors, light bulbs and janitorial items.

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: AMR Corp (AAMRQ)

AMR Corporation (AMR), incorporated in October 1982, operates in the airline industry. The Company’s principal subsidiary is American Airlines, Inc. (American). As of December 31, 2011, American provided scheduled jet service to approximately 160 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. AMR Eagle Holding Corporation (AMR Eagle), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR, owns two regional airlines, which do business as American Eagle – American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the American Eagle carriers). American also contracts with an independently owned regional airline, which does business as AmericanConnection (the AmericanConnection carrier). As of December 31, 2011, AMR Eagle operated approximately 1,500 daily departures, offering scheduled passenger service to over 175 destinations in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

American, AMR Eagle and the AmericanConnection airline ser ved more than 250 cities in approximately 50 countries with, on average, 3,400 daily flights and the combined network fleet numbered approximately 900 aircraft as of December 31, 2011. American Airlines is also a founding member of the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, JAL, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Together, oneworld members serve 750 destinations in approximately 150 countries, with about 8,500 daily departures. American is also one of the scheduled air freight carriers in the world, providing a range of freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system onboard American’s passenger fleet.

To improve access to each other’s markets, American has established marketing relationships with other airlines and rail companies. As of December 31, 2011, American had marketing relationships with Air Berlin, Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, B ritish Airways, Cape Air, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airl! ines, Dragonair, Deutsche Bahn German Rail, EL AL, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, GOL, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetStar Airways, LAN (includes LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru), Niki Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

American has established the AAdvantage frequent flyer program (AAdvantage). AAdvantage members earn mileage credits by flying on American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection carrier or by using services of other participants in the AAdvantage program. Mileage credits can be redeemed for free, discounted or upgraded travel on American, American Eagle or other participating airlines, or for other awards. American sells mileage credits and related services to other participants in the AAdvantage program. There are over 1,000 program participants, including a credit card issuer, hotels, car rental companies, and other products and s ervices companies in the AAdvantage program. As of December 31, 2011, AAdvantage had approximately 69 million total members.

The Company competes with Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Delta Air Lines (Delta), Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways (JetBlue), Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines (Southwest) and AirTran Airways (Air Tran), Spirit Airlines, United Airlines (United) and Continental Airlines (Continental), US Airways and Virgin America Airlines.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    AMR Corporation (OTC: AAMRQ), the parent company of American Airlines, gained 8.11 percent to $11.46 after a judge rejected a bid to block the AMR US Air merger on price claims.

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    On Wednesday, a federal judge cleared the way for American Airlines parent AMR (AAMRQ) to exit bankruptcy, which hastens the merger of American Air and U.S. Airways Group (LCC). Shares of AMR are down nearly 1% this morning, while U.S. Air stock dropped nearly 2%. The merged airline would be up against United Continental Holdings (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL), which merged with Northwest. Shares of each are down 1%.

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    A federal judge cleared the way for AMR (AAMRQ) to exit bankruptcy, clearing the way for a merger between American Airlines (owned by AMR) and U.S. Airways Group (LCC). AMR and U.S. Airlines rose 2.7% and 0.6% respectively.

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Continental Gold Ltd (CGOOF.PK)

Continental Gold Limited is an exploration-stage company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, evaluation and development of principally gold resource properties in Colombia. The Company holds the rights to explore and develop six properties in Colombia totaling approximately 122,317 hectares. The Buritica project encompasses an aggregate area of 57,588 hectares and is located about 75 kilometers northwest of Medellin in the Antioquia Department of north-western Colombia. The Berlin project covers an aggregate area of 25,059 hectares. The project area is located 90 kilometers north of Medellin in the Antioquia Department. The Dominical project encompasses an aggregate area of 24,327 hectares and is located in southern Colombia in the Cauca Department. The project area is consists of four registered concessions totaling 5,590 hectares, five pending registration concessions totaling 3,426 hectares and 10 concession applications covering 15,311 hectares. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Markus Aarnio]

    Other gold miners that have seen intensive insider buying during the past four months include St. Andrew Goldfields (STADF.PK), Continental Gold (CGOOF.PK), Kinross (KGC) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM).

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Nanometrics Incorporated(NANO)

Nanometrics Incorporated provides high-performance process control metrology systems used primarily in the fabrication of integrated circuits, high-brightness LEDs, data storage devices, and solar photovoltaics. It offers automated metrology systems that provide optical critical dimension, thin film metrology, and wafer stress for transistor and interconnect metrology applications; the Lynx cluster metrology platform for use in wafer metrology applications, including optical critical dimension, overlay, and thin film process control; and integrated metrology systems, which provide near real-time measurements. The company’s automated and integrated systems are also used in various process control applications, including dimension and film thickness measurement, device topography, and defect inspection, as well as used in the analysis of other film properties, such as optical, electrical, and material characteristics. Its process control solutions are deployed in the fabrica tion process from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing to high-volume production of semiconductors and other devices, and to wafer-scale packaging applications. The company sells its metrology and inspection systems directly and through original equipment manufacturer channels to semiconductor manufacturers and equipment suppliers, and producers of high-brightness-LEDs, solar photovoltaics, data storage devices, silicon wafers, and photomasks worldwide. Nanometrics Incorporated was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Milpitas, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Steve Symington]

    What: Shares of Nanometrics Incorporated  (NASDAQ: NANO  )  popped more than 10% during Wednesday’s intraday trading, then settled to close up 7% after the company turned in better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. 

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Superconductor Technologies Inc.(SCON)

Superconductor Technologies Inc. engages in the development and production of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and associated technologies worldwide. The company is leveraging its technologies, including HTS materials and cryogenics, to develop second generation (2G) HTS wire for power applications. Its HTS-based products play a role in emerging power generation, conversion, and distribution applications by enhancing grid reliability and efficiency. The company?s flagship wireless product, SuperLink, combines a specialized filter using patented HTS technology with a proprietary cryogenic cooler and a low-noise amplifier. Its commercial product offerings include SuperLink, a receiver front-end HTS wireless filter system that eliminates out-of-band interference for wireless base stations; AmpLink, a ground-mounted unit for wireless base stations that includes a high-performance amplifier and up to six dual duplexers; and SuperPlex, a multiplexer that provide s low insertion loss and cross-band isolation. The company also grants the U.S. government a royalty-free, non-exclusive, and nontransferable license to use its intellectual property. It sells its products primarily to wireless carriers through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through indirect channels internationally. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    A week and a half ago, not to mention a couple of months ago, I suggested Superconductor Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCON) was a budding bullish play worthy of your attention. I get the suspicion that while more than a handful of traders read my take, the vast majority of the people who read that commentary weren’t as impressed with (SCON) as I was. That’s fine. Yet, being a diehard – and perhaps being a glutton for punishment – this is one of those trading ideas I can’t let go of, mostly because Superconductor Technologies refuse to give up. Thing is, the stock’s given me some new bullish fodder to use since the last look back on January 6th.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It’s not the kind of thing anybody would have expected to hear, or read, five months ago, but Superconductor Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCON) is close to becoming one of the market’s best bullish short-term bets. Yes, we’re talking about the same Superconductor Technologies that plunged from $2.57 to $1.66 in August – hitting new lows in the process – on news that the company was issuing $12 million worth of new stock… right in front of news that SCON booked another significant quarterly loss.  By November, the disaster’s final tally was officially recorded – an 82% plunge in the prior quarter’s revenue for SCON. As they say though, nothing lasts forever. That includes a malaise that can hold a stock down. Indeed, it’s looking like SCON is about to make an explosive move higher. 

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Applied Industrial Technologies Inc. (AIT)

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. distributes industrial products for maintenance, repair, and operational needs, as well as original equipment manufacturing applications primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The company offers bearings, power transmission components, fluid power components and systems, industrial rubber products, linear motion components, tools, safety products, and other industrial supplies; and fluid power products, such as hydraulic, pneumatic, lubrication, and filtration components and systems. It also operates regional fabricated rubber shops, which modify and repair conveyor belts and make hose assemblies; and rubber service field crews to install and repair belts and rubber linings at customer locations. In addition, the company assembles fluid power systems and components; performs equipment repair; offers technical advice to customers; and provides maintenance training, and inventory and stor eroom management solutions. It serves various industries, such as agriculture and food processing, automotive, chemical processing, forest products, industrial machinery and equipment, mining, primary metals, transportation, and utilities, as well as to government entities. The company offers industrial products through a network of service centers; and fluid power products directly to customers. Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Avg. High Yield Price
    2. 20-Year DCF Price
    3. Avg. P/E Price
    4. Graham Number

    GWW is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 10.0% premium to its calculated fair value of $219.95. GWW did not earn any Stars in this section.

    Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Free Cash Flow Payout
    2. Debt To Total Capital
    3. Key Metrics
    4. Dividend Growth Rate
    5. Years of Div. Growth
    6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

    GWW earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. GWW earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured.

    Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (2003-2006, 2004-2007, 2005-2008, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1965 and has increased its dividend payments for 42 consecutive years.

    Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Industrial components distributor Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) raised its quarterly dividend 8.7% to 25 cents per share, payable on Feb. 28 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 14.
    AIT Dividend Yield: 1.98%

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Industrial distributor Applied Industrial Technologies  (NYSE: AIT  ) announced today its third-quarter dividend of $0.23 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past two quarters after raising the payout 9.5% from $0.21 per share.

Top Gas Utility Companies To Invest In 2014: Power Integrations Inc.(POWI)

Power Integrations, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary, high-voltage, analog, and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) in the United States and internationally. The company offers alternating current to direct current power conversion products, including TOPSwitch, TinySwitch, and LinkSwitch that addresses power supplies ranging from less than 1 watt of output up to approximately 50 watts of output. These products are used in mobile-device chargers, consumer appliances, utility meters, liquid crystal display monitors, standby power supplies for desktop computers and televisions, and other consumer and industrial applications. It also provides various products for use in applications up to approximately 500 watts of output, such as Hiper family power-conversion and power-factor-correction products for high-power applications, including main power supplies for desktop computers, televisions, and game consoles, as well as light emitting diode stre et lights; CapZero and SenZero, which are designed to enhance the energy-efficiency of power supplies and reduce standby consumption by eliminating particular sources of power waste within a power supply; and high-voltage diodes comprising Qspeed diodes. In addition, the company offers high-voltage DC-DC products comprising The DPA-Switch family of products that are monolithic high-voltage power conversion ICs for use in power-over-Ethernet powered devices, such as voice-over-Internet protocol phones and security cameras, as well as network hubs, line cards, servers, digital PBX phones, DC-DC converter modules, and industrial controls. It serves communications, consumer, computer, and industrial electronics markets. The company sells its products to original equipment manufacturers and merchant power supply manufacturers through direct sales staff and a network of independent sales representatives and distributors. Power Integrations, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is based i n San Jose, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Power Integrations (POWI) designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary, high-voltage, analog integrated circuits for use in AC-DC and DC-DC power conversion in the consumer, communications, computer and industrial electronics markets. This stock closed up 5.9% at $55.15 in Wednesday’s trading session.

    Wednesday’s Volume: 571,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 218,547

    Volume % Change: 173%

    From a technical perspective, POWI ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $50.68 with above-average volume. This move also pushed shares of POWI into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $55.38. At last check, POWI closed a bit off its intraday high and volume was well above its three-month average action of 218,547 shares.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in POWI as long as it’s trending above Wednesday’s low of $52.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday’s high of $55.59 with volume that this near or above 218,547 shares. If we see that move soon, then POWI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $60 to $62.

  • [By CRWE]

    Power Integrations (Nasdaq:POWI), the leader in high-voltage integrated circuits for energy-efficient power conversion, reported that Balu Balakrishnan, the company’s president and CEO, will present at the NASDAQ OMX 28th Investor Program in London on June 26, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. British Summer Time (10:45 a.m. Eastern time).