Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015


Boeing shares fell 2.5% at midday Monday after safety concerns arose over the weekend that put pressure on the stock. The stock helped drag the Dow Jones industrial average lower and was the biggest loser of the 30 stocks making up the blue-chip index.

A Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 disappeared early Saturday with 239 people aboard. The fate of the jet remained a mystery Monday after investigators said oil slicks off the coast of Vietnam were not linked to the flight.

Separately, Boeing said Friday that it had discovered hairline cracks on the wings of 42 Dreamliner 787 jets that are being built. No cracks were found in the 122 planes already delivered.


The company said the problem stemmed from changes in the manufacturing process at a Tokyo-based supplier, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and could result in delivery delays.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Commo nwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUF)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) is engaged in the provision of a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Bank is a provider of integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, superannuation, life insurance, general insurance, funds management, broking services and finance company activities. Its operating segments include Retail Banking Services, Business and Private Banking, Institutional Banking and Markets, Wealth Management, New Zealand, Bankwest and Other. Its retail banking services include home loans, consumer finance, retail deposits and distribution. In December 2013, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Reject Shop Ltd. In January 2014, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks started Monday trade higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) up 0.8% at 5,206.40 after a strong finish for Wall Street at the end of last week. Resource shares got a lift from gains for commodities prices since the previous trading session, with strong advances for gold and copper and a more than 2% rise for New York-traded crude-oil futures. Among the leading gainers, Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.2%, Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) climbed 1.3%, and gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) improved by 3.9% and 6.4%, respectively. The heavily weighted banking sector also enjoyed solid gains, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 1%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) trading 1.3% higher, and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 1.1% as the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported the lender is considering a £2 billion ($3.3 billion) float of its British operations, which the report said had dragged on NAB’s results in recent years.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio’s peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren’t as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B)


Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities. The Company is engaged in insurance businesses conducted on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis. Berkshire also owns and operates a number of other businesses engaged in a variety of activities. On December 30, 2011, Medical Protective Corporation (MedPro) completed the acquisition of 100% of the Princeton Insurance Company, a professional liability insurer for healthcare providers based in Princeton, New Jersey. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Acme Building Brands (Acme) acquired the assets of Jenkins Brick Company, the brick manufacturer in Alabama. In September 2011, Berkshire acquired The Lubrizol Corporation (Lubrizol). In June 2011, the Company acquired Wesco Financial Corporation. In June 2012, Media General, Inc. sold 63 daily and weekly newspapers to World Media Enterprises, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire. In July 2012 , Berkshire’s The Lubrizol Corporation acquired Lipotec SA.


Insurance and Reinsurance Businesses

Berkshire’s insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through numerous domestic and foreign-based insurance entities. Berkshire’s insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks world-wide and also reinsure life, accident and health risks world-wide. Berkshire’s insurance underwriting operations are consisted of the sub-groups, including GEICO and its subsidiaries, General Re and its subsidiaries, Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group. GEICO insurance subsidiaries include Government Employees Insurance Company, GEICO General Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company and GEICO Casualty Company. These companies primarily offers private passenger automobile insurance to individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, GEICO insures mo torcycles, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles and s! mall commercial fleets and acts as an agent for other insurers who offer homeowners, boat and life insurance to individuals. GEICO markets its policies primarily through direct response methods in which applications for insurance are submitted directly to the companies through the Internet or by telephone.


General Re Corporation (General Re) is the holding company of General Reinsurance Corporation (GRC) and its subsidiaries and affiliates. GRC’s subsidiaries include General Reinsurance AG, a international reinsurer based in Germany. General Re subsidiaries conduct business activities globally in 51 cities and provide insurance and reinsurance coverages throughout the world. General Re provides property/casualty insurance and reinsurance, life/health reinsurance and other reinsurance intermediary and risk management, underwriting management and investment management services.


Property/Casualty Reinsurance

General Re’s property/casu alty reinsurance business in North America is conducted through GRC. Property/casualty operations in North America are also conducted through 16 branch offices in the United States and Canada. Reinsurance activities are marketed directly to clients without involving a broker or intermediary. General Re’s property/casualty business in North America also includes specialty insurers (primarily the General Star and Genesis companies domiciled in Connecticut and Ohio). These specialty insurers underwrite primarily liability and workers’ compensation coverages on an excess and surplus basis and excess insurance for self-insured programs. General Re’s international property/casualty reinsurance business operations are conducted through internationally-based subsidiaries on a direct basis (through General Reinsurance AG, as well as several other General Re subsidiaries in 25 countries) and through brokers (primarily through Faraday, which owns the managing agent of Syndicate 4 35 at Lloyd’s of London and provides capacity and particip! ates in 1! 00% of the results of Syndicate 435).


Life/Health Reinsurance

General Re’s North American and international life, health, long-term care and disability reinsurance coverages are written on an individual and group basis. Most of this business is written on a proportional treaty basis, with the exception of the United States group health and disability business which is predominately written on an excess treaty basis. Lesser amounts of life and disability business are written on a facultative basis. The life/health business is marketed on a direct basis. The Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group (BHRG) operates from offices located in Stamford, Connecticut. Business activities are conducted through a group of subsidiary companies, led by National Indemnity Company (NICO) and Columbia Insurance Company (Columbia). BHRG provides principally excess and quota-share reinsurance to other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. BHRG’s underwriting activities also include life reinsurance and life annuity business written through Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska and financial guaranty insurance written through Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corporation.


BHRG writes catastrophe excess-of-loss treaty reinsurance contracts. BHRG also writes individual policies for primarily large or otherwise unusual discrete risks on both an excess direct and facultative reinsurance basis, referred to as individual risk, which includes policies covering terrorism, natural catastrophe and aviation risks. A catastrophe excess policy provides protection to the counterparty from the accumulation of primarily property losses arising from a single loss event or series of related events. Catastrophe and individual risk policies may provide amounts of indemnification per contract and a single loss event may produce losses under a number of contracts. BHRG also underwrites traditional non-catastrophe insurance and reinsurance coverages, referred to as multi-line property/c! asualty b! usiness.


The Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group is a collection of primary insurance operations that provide a variety of insurance coverages to insureds located principally in the United States. NICO and certain affiliates underwrite motor vehicle and general liability insurance to commercial enterprises on both an admitted and excess and surplus basis. This business is written nationwide primarily through insurance agents and brokers and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. U.S. Investment Corporation (USIC), through its three subsidiaries led by United States Liability Insurance Company, is a specialty insurer that underwrites commercial, professional and personal lines of insurance on an admitted and excess and surplus basis. Policies are marketed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through wholesale and retail insurance agents. USIC companies underwrite and market 109 distinct specialty property and casualty insurance products. Medical Protective Corporatio n (MedPro) is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Through its subsidiary, the Medical Protective Company, MedPro is engaged in primary medical professional liability coverage and risk solutions to physicians, dentists, other healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.


Railroad Business

Through BNSF Railway, BNSF operates a railroad network in North America with approximately 32,000 route miles of track (excluding multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings) in 28 states and two Canadian provinces as of December 31, 2011. BNSF owns approximately 23,000 route miles, including easements, and operates on approximately 9,000 route miles of trackage rights that permit BNSF to operate its trains with its crews over other railroads’ tracks. As of December 31, 2011, the total BNSF Railway system, including single and multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings, consisted of approximately 50,000 operated miles of track, all of which are owned by or held under easement by BNSF except for approximately 10,000 route! miles op! erated under trackage rights.


BNSF is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and through BNSF Railway Company operates railroad systems in North America. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. Over half of the freight revenues of BNSF are covered by contractual agreements of varying durations. BNSF’s primary routes, including trackage rights, allow it to access cities and ports in the western and southern United States as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In addition to cities and ports, BNSF efficiently serves many smaller market s by working closely with approximately 200 shortline partners. BNSF has also entered into marketing agreements with other rail carriers, expanding the marketing reach for each railroad and their customers.


Utilities and Energy Businesses

MidAmerican’s businesses are managed as separate operating units. MidAmerican’s domestic regulated energy interests are comprised of two regulated utility companies serving more than three million retail customers and two interstate natural gas pipeline companies with approximately 16,600 miles of pipeline and a design capacity of approximately 7.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Its United Kingdom electricity distribution subsidiaries serve about 3.9 million electricity end-users. In addition, MidAmerican’s interests include a diversified portfolio of domestic independent power projects, a hydroelectric facility in the Philippines and residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States.


PacifiCorp is a regulated electric utility compa! ny headqu! artered in Oregon, serving regulated retail electric customers in portions of Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and California. The combined service territory’s diverse regional economy ranges from rural, agricultural and mining areas to urban, manufacturing and government service centers. As a vertically integrated electric utility, PacifiCorp owns approximately 10,600 net megawatts of generation capacity. MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) is a regulated electric and natural gas utility company headquartered in Iowa, serving regulated retail electric and natural gas customers primarily in Iowa and also in portions of Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. MEC has a diverse customer base consisting of residential, agricultural and a variety of commercial and industrial customer groups. In addition to retail sales and natural gas transportation, MEC sells regulated electricity to markets operated by regional transmission organizations and regulated electricity and natur al gas to other utilities and market participants on a wholesale basis and sells non-regulated electricity and natural gas services in deregulated markets. As a vertically integrated electric and gas utility, MEC owns approximately 7,000 net megawatts of generation capacity.


The natural gas pipelines consist of Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern Natural) and Kern River Gas Transmission Company (Kern River). Northern Natural is based in Nebraska and owns interstate natural gas pipeline systems in the United States reaching from southern Texas to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Northern Natural’s pipeline system consists of approximately 14,900 miles of natural gas pipelines. Northern Natural has access to supplies from mid-continent basin and provides transportation services to utilities and numerous other customers. Northern Natural also operates three underground natural gas storage facilities and two liquefied natural gas storage peaking units.


< p>Kern River is based in Utah and owns an interstate natural! gas pipe! line system that consists of approximately 1,700 miles and extends from the supply areas in the Rocky Mountains to consuming markets in Utah, Nevada and California. Kern River transports natural gas for electric utilities and natural gas distribution utilities, oil and natural gas companies or affiliates of such companies, electricity generating companies, energy marketing and trading companies, and financial institutions. The United Kingdom utilities consist of Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited (Northern Powergrid (Northeast)) and Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc (Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire)), which own a substantial United Kingdom electricity distribution network that delivers electricity to end-users in northeast England in an area covering approximately 10,000 square miles. The distribution companies primarily charge supply companies regulated tariffs for the use of electrical infrastructure. MidAmerican also owns HomeServices of America, Inc. (HomeServices), a full-service residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States. HomeServices also offers integrated real estate services, including mortgage originations through a joint venture, title and closing services, property and casualty insurance, home warranties, relocation services and other home-related services. It operates under 22 residential real estate brand names with over 14,000 sales associates and in nearly 300 brokerage offices in 20 states.


Manufacturing, Service and Retailing Businesses

Berkshire’s numerous and diverse manufacturing, service and retailing businesses. Marmon consists of approximately 140 manufacturing and service businesses that operate independently within eleven diverse, stand-alone business sectors. These sectors are Building Wire, Crane Services, Distribution Services, Engineered Wire and Cable, Flow Products, Food Service Equipment, Highway Technologies, Industrial Products, Retail Store Fixtures, Transporta tion Services and Engineered Products and Water Treatment.


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Building Wire, providing copper electrical building wire for residential, commercial and industrial construction. Crane Services provides the leasing and operation of mobile cranes primarily to the energy, mining and petrochemical markets. Distribution Services, supplying specialty metal pipe and tubing, bar and sheet products to markets including construction, industrial, aerospace and many others. Engineered Wire & Cable, providing electrical and electronic wire and cable for energy related markets and other industries. Flow Products is producing copper tube for the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, and industrial markets. Food Service Equipment is supplying commercial food preparation equipment for restaurants and shopping carts for retail stores. Highway Technologies, primarily serving the heavy-duty highway transportation industry with trailers, fifth wheel coupling devices and undercarriage products such as brake parts and s uspension systems, and also serving the light vehicle aftermarket with clutches and related products.


Industrial Products, consisting of metal fasteners for the building, furniture, cabinetry, industrial and other markets, gloves for industrial markets, portable lighting equipment for mining and safety markets, overhead electrification equipment for mass transit systems, custom-machined brass, aluminum and copper forgings for the construction, valve and other industries, brass fittings and valves for commercial and industrial applications, and drawn aluminum tubing and extruded aluminum shapes for the construction, automotive, appliance, medical and other markets . Retail Store Fixtures, providing shelving and other merchandising displays and related services for retail stores worldwide. Transportation Services & Engineered Products, including manufacturing, leasing and maintenance of railroad tank cars, leasing of intermodal tank containers, in-plant rail serv ices, manufacturing of bi-modal railcar movers, wheel, axle ! and gear ! sets for light rail transit and gear products for locomotives, manufacturing of steel tank heads, and services, equipment and technology for processing and distributing sulfur. Water Treatment, equipment including residential water softening, purification and refrigeration filtration systems, treatment systems for industrial markets including power generation, oil and gas, chemical, and pulp and paper, gear drives for irrigation systems and cooling towers, and air-cooled heat exchangers. Marmon operates approximately 300 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities that are primarily located in North America, Europe and China, and employs more than 16,000 people worldwide.


McLane Company, Inc. (McLane) provides wholesale distribution and logistics services in all 50 states and internationally in Brazil to customers that include discount retailers, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, quick service restaurants, drug stores and military bases. Operations are divided into five business units: grocery distribution, foodservice distribution, beverage distribution, international logistics and software development. McLane’s foodservice distribution unit, based in Carrollton, Texas, focuses on serving the quick service restaurant industry. Operations are conducted through 18 facilities in 16 states. The foodservice distribution unit services more than 20,000 chain restaurants nationwide.


Other Manufacturing, Other Service and Retailing Businesses

Berkshire’s apparel manufacturing businesses include manufacturers of a variety of clothing and footwear. Businesses engaged in the manufacture and distribution of clothing products include Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (Fruit), Russell Brands, LLC (Russell), Vanity Fair Brands, LP (VFB), Garan and Fechheimer Brothers. Berkshire’s footwear businesses include H.H. Brown Shoe Group, Justin Brands and Brooks Athletic. Fruit, Russell and VFB (together FOL) is primaril y a vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor of ba! sic appar! el, underwear and athletic apparel and products. Products, under the Fruit of the Loomand JERZEES labels are primarily sold in the mass merchandise and wholesale markets. In the VFB product line, Vassarette, Bestformand Curvationare sold in the mass merchandise market, while Vanity Fairand Lily of Franceproducts are sold in the mid-tier chains and department stores. FOL also markets and sells athletic uniforms, apparel, sports equipment and balls to team dealers; college licensed tee shirts and fleecewear to college bookstores and mid-tier merchants; and athletic apparel, sports equipment and balls to sporting goods retailers under the Russell Athleticand Spaldingbrands. Additionally, Spaldingmarkets and sells balls in the mass merchandise market and dollar store channel. During the year ended December, 31, 2011, approximately 30% of FOL’s sales were to Wal-Mart. FOL generally performs its own spinning, knitting, cloth finishing, cutting, sewing and packaging.


< p>Garan designs, manufactures, imports and sells apparel primarily for children, including boys, girls, toddlers and infants. Products are sold under its own trademark Garanimalsand private labels of its customers. Garan also licenses its registered trademark Garanimalsto independent third parties. Garan conducts its business through operating subsidiaries located in the United States, Central America and Asia. Substantially all of Garan’s products are sold through its distribution centers in the United States to national chain stores, department stores and specialty stores. In 2011, over 90% of Garan’s sales were to Wal-Mart. Fechheimer Brothers manufactures, distributes and sells uniforms, principally for the public service and safety markets, including police, fire, postal and military markets. Fechheimer Brothers is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Justin Brands and H.H. Brown Shoe Group manufacture and distribute work, rugged outdoor and casual shoes and wes tern-style footwear under a number of brand names, including! Justin, ! Tony Lama, Nocona, Chippewas, Born, Sofft, Carolina, Double-H Boots, Corcoran, Matterhornand Kork-Ease. Brooks Athletic markets and sells running footwear to specialty retailers under Brooksbrand. In 2011, Brooksachieved #1 market share in footwear with specialty retailers. A volume of the shoes sold by Berkshire’s shoe businesses are manufactured or purchased from sources outside the United States. Products are principally sold in the United States through a variety of channels including department stores, footwear chains, specialty stores, catalogs and the Internet, as well as through Company-owned retail stores.


Acme manufactures and distributes clay bricks (Acme Brickand Jenkins Brick), concrete block (Featherlite) and cut limestone (Texas Quarries). In addition, Acme distributes a number of other building products of other manufacturers, including glass block, floor and wall tile and other masonry products. Acme also sells ceramic floor and wall tile, as well as marble, granite and other stones through its subsidiary, American Tile and Stone. Products are sold primarily in the South Central and South Eastern United States through Company-operated sales offices. Acme distributes products primarily to homebuilders and masonry and general contractors.


Benjamin Moore & Co. (Benjamin Moore) is a formulator, manufacturer and retailer of a range of architectural coatings, available principally in the United States and Canada. Products include water-thinnable and solvent-thinnable general purpose coatings (paints, stains and clear finishes) for use by the general public, contractors and industrial and commercial users. Products are marketed under various registered brand names, including Regal, Superspec, Moorcraft, Moorgard, Aura, Nattura, ben, Coronado Paint, Insl-xand Lenmar.

Benjamin Moore and its manufacturing subsidiaries rely primarily on an independent dealer network for the distribution of its p roducts. Its distribution network includes approximately 100! Company-! owned stores as well as over 4,500 third party retailers representing over 10,300 storefronts in the United States and Canada. Benjamin Moore’s Company-owned stores represent several multiple-outlet and stand-alone retailers in various parts of the United States and Canada serving primarily contractors and general consumers. The independent retailer channel offers an array of products including Benjamin Mooreand Insl-xbrands and other competitor coatings, wallcoverings, window treatments and sundries. Benjamin Moore also has three color stations located in regional malls that serve as brand marketing tools. In addition to the independent retailer channel, Benjamin Moore has recently begun to sell direct to the consumer through e-commerce sites and its customer care program, which includes national accounts and government agencies.


Johns Manville (JM) is a manufacturer and marketer of products for building insulation, mechanical insulation, commercial roofing and roof insulation, as well as fibers and nonwovens for commercial, industrial and residential applications. JM serves markets that include aerospace, automotive and transportation, air handling, appliance, HVAC, pipe and equipment filtration, waterproofing, building, flooring, interiors and wind energy. Fiber glass is the basic material in a majority of JM’s products, although JM also manufactures a portion of its products with other materials to satisfy the broader needs of its customers. JM regards its patents and licenses as valuable, however it does not consider any of its businesses to be materially dependent on any single patent or license. JM is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and operates 40 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China and conducts research and development at several other facilities. JM sells its products through a variety of channels, including contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and fabricators.


MiTek is a provider of engineered connector products, engine! ering sof! tware and services and computer-driven manufacturing machinery to the truss fabrication segment of the building components industry. Primary customers are truss fabricators who manufacture pre-fabricated roof and floor trusses and wall panels for the residential building market, as well as the light commercial and institutional construction industry. MiTek also participates in the light gauge steel framing market under the Ultra-Spanname, manufactures and markets assembly line machinery used by the lead acid battery industry, manufactures and markets a line of masonry connector products and manufactures and markets air handling systems used in commercial building. MiTek operates on six continents with sales into approximately 90 countries. MiTek has 34 manufacturing facilities located in eleven countries and 45 sales/engineering offices located in 17 countries.


The Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) is a carpet manufacturer based on both revenue and volume of p roduction. Shaw designs and manufactures over 3,000 styles of tufted carpet, tufted and woven rugs, laminate and wood flooring for residential and commercial use under about 30 brand and trade names and under certain private labels. Shaw also provides installation services and sells ceramic and vinyl tile along with sheet vinyl. Shaw’s manufacturing operations are fully integrated from the processing of raw materials used to make fiber through the finishing of carpet. Shaw’s carpet, rugs and hard surface products are sold in a broad range of prices, patterns, colors and textures.


Shaw products are sold wholesale to over 40,000 retailers, distributors and commercial users throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and are also exported to various overseas markets. Shaw’s wholesale products are marketed domestically by over 2,000 salaried and commissioned sales personnel directly to retailers and distributors and to national accounts. Shaw’s 10 carpet full-service distribution facilities, three hard surface an! d two rug! full-service distribution facilities and 24 redistribution centers, along with centralized management information systems, enable it to provide prompt efficient delivery of its products to both its retail customers and wholesale distributors.


Berkshire acquired an 80% interest in IMC International Metalworking Companies B.V. (IMC B.V.). Through its subsidiaries, IMC B.V. is a multinational manufacturers of consumable precision carbide metal cutting tools for applications in a range of industrial end markets under the brand names ISCAR, TaeguTec, Ingersoll, Tungaloy, Unitac, UOP It.te.diand Outiltec. IMC B.V.’s manufacturing facilities are located in Israel, United States, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, South Korea, China, India, Japan and Brazil. IMC B.V. has five primary product lines: milling tools, gripping tools, turning/thread tools, drilling tools and tooling. Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is a manufacturer of recreational vehicles, utility, cargo and office trailers, buses and pontoon boats, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana. Its products are sold in the United States and Canada through an independent dealer network.


Scott Fetzer companies are a diversified group of 20 businesses that manufacture and distribute a variety of products for residential, industrial and institutional use. The two of these businesses are Kirby home cleaning systems and Campbell Hausfeld products. Albecca Inc. (Albecca), headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, does business primarily under the Larson-Juhlname. Albecca designs, manufactures and distributes a complete line of branded custom framing products, including wood and metal moulding, matboard, foamboard, glass, equipment and other framing supplies in the United States, Canada and 15 countries outside of North America. CTB International Corp. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems used in the grain industry and in the production of poultry, hogs and eggs.


Lubrizol is a specialty chemical company that pro! duces and! supplies technologies for the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol operates two business sectors: Lubrizol Additives, which includes engine, driveline and industrial additive products and Lubrizol Advanced Materials, which includes personal and home care, engineered polymer and performance coating products. FlightSafety International Inc.(FlightSafety) is engaged primarily in the business of providing high technology training to operators of aircraft. FlightSafety’s training activities include advanced training for pilots of business and commercial aircraft; aircrew training for military and other government personnel; aircraft maintenance technician training; flight attendant and aircraft dispatcher training, and ab-initio (primary) pilot training to qualify individuals for private and commercial pilots’ licenses. FlightSafety also develops classroom instructional systems and materials for use in its training business and for sale to others.


NetJets Inc. (NJ) is a provider of fractional ownership programs for general aviation aircraft. TTI, Inc. (TTI) is a global specialty distributor of passive, interconnect, electromechanical and discrete components used by customers in the manufacturing and assembling of electronic products. Business Wire provides electronic dissemination of full-text news releases daily to the media, online services and databases and the global investment community in 150 countries and 45 languages. Berkshire’s retailing businesses principally consist of several independently managed home furnishings and jewelry operations. The home furnishings businesses are the Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), R.C. Willey Home Furnishings (R.C. Willey), Star Furniture Company (Star) and Jordan’s Furniture, Inc. (Jordan’s). NFM, R.C. Willey, Star and Jordan’s each offer a wide selection of furniture, bedding and accessories. In addition, NFM and R.C. Willey sell a line of household appl iances, electronics, computers and other home furnishings. N! FM, R.C. ! Willey, Star and Jordan’s also offer customer financing to complement their retail operations. An important feature of each of these businesses is their ability to control costs and to produce high business volume by offering value to their customers.


NFM operates its business from two retail complexes with almost one million square feet of retail space and sizable warehouse and administrative facilities in Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Kansas. NFM is a furniture retailer in each of its markets. NFM also owns Homemakers Furniture located in Des Moines, Iowa, which has approximately 215,000 square feet of retail space. R.C. Willey, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a home furnishings retailer in the Intermountain West region of the United States. R.C. Willey operates 11 retail stores, two retail clearance facilities and three distribution centers. Borsheim Jewelry Company, Inc. (Borsheims) operates from a single store located in Omaha, Nebraska. Borsheims i s a high volume retailer of jewelry, watches, crystal, china, stemware, flatware, gifts and collectibles. Helzberg’s Diamond Shops, Inc. (Helzberg), based in North Kansas City, Missouri, operates a chain of 233 retail jewelry stores in 37 states, which includes approximately 550,000 square feet of retail space. Most of Helzberg’s stores are located in malls, lifestyle centers or power strip centers, and all stores operate under the name Helzberg Diamonds. The Ben Bridge Corporation (Ben Bridge Jeweler), based in Seattle, Washington, operates a chain of 70 upscale retail jewelry stores located in 11 states that are primarily in the Western United States. Three of its locations are concept stores that sell only PANDORA jewelry.


Finance and Financial Products

Clayton Homes, Inc. (Clayton) is a vertically integrated manufactured housing company. At December 31, 2011, Clayton operated 33 manufacturing plants in 12 states. Clayton’s homes are marke ted in 48 states through a network of 1,333 retailers, inclu! ding 333 ! Company-owned home centers. Financing is offered through its finance subsidiaries to purchasers of Clayton’s manufactured homes as well as those purchasing homes from selected independent retailers. XTRA Corporation (XTRA), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a transportation equipment lessor operating under the XTRA Leasebrand name. XTRA manages a diverse fleet of approximately 83,000 units located at 63 facilities throughout the United States and two facilities in Canada. The fleet includes over-the-road and storage traile


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anora Mahmudova]

    Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)   (BRK.A) , which late Friday reported lower first-quarter profits, fell 1.2%. Also read a recap of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting over the weekend.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It looks like this has become the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) blog, where it’s all Berkshire Hathaway all the time.


    Zuma Press

    Already today, I looked at KBW’s concerns surrounding Berkshire Hathaway’s disclosures. Now, Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle has released first quarter financial results.

    The Wall Street Journal has the details on Berkshire Hathaway’s earnings:

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported lower railroad and insurance-related net income as the conglomerate posted a 6.6% drop in first-quarter operating profit.

    For the first quarter, Berkshire reported net income of $4.71 billion, or $2,862 a Class A share, compared with $4.89 billion, or $2,977 a share, a year earlier. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, fell to $2,149 a share from $2,302 a share.


    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting operating earnings of $2,172 per Class A share…

    In other news, Berkshire Hathaway also announced that its next chairman would be…Warren Buffet’s son Howard Buffett.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s B shares have dropped 0.2% to $127.90 in after-hours trading after falling 0.8% to $128.09 in regular-hour trading. Berkshire Hathaway’s A shares (BRK.A) dropped 0.6% to $192,255.00 today.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B) Warren Buffett reputation as both a stock picker and an above-board manager of money has made him nearly a god, to the point where he is often above reproach.


    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    That hasn’t stopped KBW’s Meyer Shields and team from raising some pointed criticisms in a report released yestedardy. They explain their dissatisfaction with Berkshire Hathaway:

    Another year, another missing invitation to Omaha. While we can’t know for sure, we presume our exclusion from the panel from which Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger select analysts to ask questions at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting has something to do with our occasionally critical analysis. We have some operational questions, of course, but more important, we caution investors to consider whether this apparent message control limits their understanding of a company whose disclosure isn’t, in our opinion, keeping up with its $300 billion market cap size. This is especially important in light of succession concerns that surround the stock.


    What kind of issues does Shields and team see? One example: They find Berkshire’s choice of State Farm as a comparison misleading:

    For the past several years, Berkshire has contrasted its own cost-free float provided by profitable underwriting against the industry’s (unimpressive) tendency to lose money on underwriting while generating net returns from investment income. So far, so good. Less edifying, though, is the repeated contrast of Berkshire’s track record of profitability to State Farm’s…even though, as a mutual company, State Farm’s profitability goals are inherently different from for-profit insurers like Berkshire. It’s true that through year-end 2013, Berkshire’s underwriters have “now operated at an underwriting profit for eleven consecutive years,” but so have ACE (ACE), American Financial (AFG),  AmTrust Financial (AFSI), Arch Capital (ACGL), Chubb

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Buying Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) always has seemed like a leap of faith–you either believed in Warren Buffett’s omnipotence or you didn’t–that having an analyst cover the company always seemed beside the point. But analysts do cover Berkshire Hathaway, and one of them even had something to say about the company today.

    AFP

    That would Barclays’ Jay Gelb, who released a big report on Berkshire Hathaway today. And wouldn’t you know it, not only does he like Warren Buffett’s baby, he thinks now would be a good time to buy. Gelb explains why:


    Berkshire’s insurance businesses generates substantial no-cost float ($77bn at YE13) available for investing and will benefit from the Heinz acquisition. Importantly, Berkshire has significant cash available for additional acquisitions (we estimate ~$25bn) to supplement organic growth…

    Berkshire Hathaway has substantial leverage to an improving economy including the housing market with its non-insurance business accounting for two-thirds of operating earnings. Overall, Berkshire should benefit from consistent earnings growth in the Burlington Northern railroad business (including oil-by-rail), as well as the Manufacturing, Service, and Retail, and the Utilities and Energy units…


    [Berkshire Hathaway] shares are attractively valued currently at 1.41x book value, which is near the level (1.2x book value) at which the company will repurchase stock. The buyback plan provides a support level and signals how strongly Mr. Buffett believes Berkshire’s intrinsic value exceeds its book value.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s B shares have dropped 0.7% to$126.33 at 1:37 p.m., while Berkshire Hathaway’s A shares (BRK.A) has fallen 0.7% to $189,400. It will report earnings on May 2.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: SGOCO Group Ltd(SGOC)


SGOCO Group, Ltd. designs, manufactures, and distributes liquid crystal display (LCD) consumer products in the People?s Republic of China and internationally. Its products include LCD personal computer monitors, LCD televisions, light emitting diode back-light modules, and application-specific LCD systems. The company also provides custom manufacturing services for application-specific LCD monitors, such as rotating screens, CCTV monitors for security systems, billboard monitors for advertising and public notice systems, and touch screens for non-keyed entries. SGOCO Group, Ltd. sells its products under the SGOCO, Edge 10, POVIZON, and No. 10 brands through a network of independent retail outlets operating under the ?SGOCO Image? name. The company offers its products to industry clients, such as medical centers, educational institutions, government complexes, public emergency response systems, and corporate offices, as well as to retail customers. As of December 31, 201 0, it had 603 retail stores covering 14 provinces and municipalities in the People?s Republic of China. The company, formerly known as SGOCO Technology, Ltd., was founded in 2006 and is based in Beijing, China.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap display stock SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) just sank 27.89% after reporting earnings, meaning its worth taking a closer look at it along with some other innovative display stocks like Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). After all, just about every new consumer gadget along with cars and even appliances are incorporating display technology. I should also mention that we have had Corning Incorporated in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio since early December (we are up around 29.20%) as we believe the company is in the sweet spot for next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Large cap glass and ceramics technology stock Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) has put in a good performance since announcing a deal with Samsung back in October, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the stock along with the performance of potential peers (either upstream or downstream on the OLED and liquid crystal display side of the glass business) like small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT), SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). I should note that we have recently added Corning Incorporated to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio because we believe the company’s position as it relates to glass and ceramics puts it in a sweet spot for the next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables. But that’s not all there is to like about this stock.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap flat panel display stock Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) was hit by bearish news in late November and the trend lines on its technical charts appear to be confused as to what direction the stock will head, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the situation along with the stock’s performance verses that of flat panel display peers like large cap Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT) and SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC)

  • [By John Udovich]

    On Tuesday, large cap LCD glass maker Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) began surging some 20% in after hours trading after announcing that it will take over an existing joint venture (Samsung Corning Precision Materials) with Samsung – meaning it might be worth taking a closer look at some small cap peers like Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED), Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT) and SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) who also have a piece of the LCD glass or related flat panel display action. Specifically, the deal involves a series of transactions to give Corning Incorporated full ownership of Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd. (SCP), which manufactures LCD glass in Korea and it should be noted that Corning already relies on sales of LCD-TV glass for the bulk of its profit. In addition, Corning Incorporated’s board of directors has authorized an additional $2 billion of share repurchases through Dec. 31, 2015, dependent upon the transaction closing. Wendell P. Weeks, the chairman, CEO and president of Corning Incorporated was quoted in the press release announcing the deal as saying:

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Euro FX(P)


Ecopetrol S.A. operates as an integrated oil company in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2010, its proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas consisted of 1,714.0 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company also transports crude oil, motor fuels, fuel oil, and other refined products, as well as mixture of diesel and palm oil. It owns transportation network consisting of 3,003 kilometers of crude oil pipeline directly, as well as an additional 2,178 kilometers of crude oil pipeline with its business partners; and 3,017 kilometers of multi-purpose pipelines for transportation of refined products from refinery to wholesale distribution points. As of the above date, Ecopetrol S.A. owned 58 stations with a nominal storage capacity of 19 million barrels of crude oil and 6 million barrels of refined products. In addition, the company owns and o perates refineries that produce a range of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, sulfur, heavy fuel oils, motor fuels, and petrochemicals, including paraffin waxes, lube base oils, low-density polyethylene, aromatics, asphalts, alkylates, cyclohexane and aliphatic solvents, and refinery grade propylene, as well as provides industrial services to third parties. Further, it markets various refined and feed stock products, including regular and high octane gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, natural gas, and petrochemical products. The company was formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos and changed its name to Ecopetrol S.A. in June 2003. Ecopetrol S.A. was founded in 1948 and is based in Bogota, Colombia.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Levy]

    The company unveiled its Prime Music service on Thursday. The on-demand streaming service is severely limited in its early stages, offering just 5% of the catalog of other streaming services like Spotify or Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) Beats Music. Additionally, Prime Music doesn’t offer an Internet radio feature like Pandora Media (NYSE: P  ) .

  • [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach]

    Pandora Media Inc.(P) said listener hours and active listeners rose in May, as the online radio company increased its market share from a year earlier. Shares dropped 3.8% to $23.67 premarket as listener growth brings higher royalty costs for the songs it plays.

  • [By FinanceGuru]

    Pandora (P) is going to be a perma-short for me. I plan on loading some puts when the week opens again. My price target for the company remains in the single digits, where I will then reevaluate the path the company is on. Pandora is all bark, no bite.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Ashmore Group PLC (ASHM)


Ashmore Group plc (Ashmore) is engaged in providing investment management services. The Company is a fund manager across six core investment themes, such as external debt, local currency, corporate debt, blended debt, equities, multi-strategy, alternatives and overlay/liquidity. External debt is a diversified portfolio of emerging market debt assets. Local currency takes advantage of the expanding local currency and local currency denominated debt market. Corporate debt focuses on the developing corporate debt asset class. Blended debt mandates specifically combine external, local currency and corporate debt measured against tailor-made blended indices. Multi-strategy is a dynamic asset allocation across other investment themes. Equities Focuses on liquidity and top down macro country selection in publicly traded. Overlay/liquidity helps to separate and centralize the currency risk of an underlying emerging market asset class. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Ashmore Group Plc (ASHM) jumped 5.3 percent to 382.2 pence. The U.K. fund manager that invests in emerging markets reported full-year pretax profit and revenue that exceeded estimates. The London-based company also raised its dividend.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Health Net Inc. (HNT)

Health Net, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides managed health care services. The company offers commercial health care products, such as health maintenance organization plans through contracts with participating network physicians, hospitals, and other providers; preferred provider organization plans that provide coverage for services received from health care provider; and point of service plans. It also provides Medicare products, including Medicare advantage plans with and without prescription drug coverage; and Medicare supplement products that supplement fee-for-service Medicare coverage. In addition, the company offers Medicaid and related products; indemnity insurance products; auxiliary non-health products, such as life, accidental death and dismemberment, dental, vision, and behavioral health insurance; and other specialty services and products comprising pharmacy benefits, behavioral health, dental, and vision products and services, as well as managed care products for hospitals, health plans, and other entities. Further, it engages in government-sponsored managed care federal contract with the Department of Defense under the TRICARE program in the North Region; and other health care, mental health, and behavioral health government contracts. The company provides administrative services comprising provider network and referral management, medical and disease management, enrollment, customer service, clinical support service, and claims processing service to military health system eligible beneficiaries. It serves approximately 5.4 million individuals in the United States through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs programs. Health Net, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Woodland Hills, California.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    United’s disappointment has helped drag down other health insurers. WellPoint (WLP) dropped 1.3% to $88.53, Health Net (HNT) has fallen 1.7% to $31.25, Aetna (AET) has declined 2.4% to $64.11 and Cigna (CI) is off 3.5% at $77.69.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Health Net (NYSE: HNT  ) , a managed health-care provider, jumped higher by as much as 18% following the release of the company’s first-quarter earnings results. Shares have since given back a majority of their gains and are up “just” 7% as of this writing.

  • [By Brian Stoffel]

    Will it carry through?
    Other Fools have already covered much about this topic. Keith Speights wondered aloud if the ultimate winners would be companies that chose to participate in the plan — like WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) and Health Net (NYSE: HNT  )  — or those that opted not to.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: TFS Financial Corporation(TFSL)

TFS Financial Corporation operates as a holding company for Third Federal Savings and Loan Association of Cleveland. The company provides retail consumer banking, including mortgage lending, deposit gathering, and other financial services in Ohio and Florida. Its deposit accounts consist of savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, certificates of deposit accounts, individual retirement accounts, and other qualified plan accounts. The company also offers residential real estate mortgage loans, home equity loans, lines of credit, residential construction loans, and consumer loans. It operates 39 full-service branches and 8 loan production offices. TFS Financial Corporation, through its subsidiary, Third Capital, Inc. engages in net lease transactions of commercial buildings; maintains minority investments in private equity funds, and provide escrow and settlement services; and reinsures private mortgage insurance on residential mortgage loans. The company w as founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Royal]

    The special situation
    For those of you following my Special Situations portfolio, Investors Bancorp is in a spot similar to First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ: FFNW  ) and TFS Financial (NASDAQ: TFSL  ) , both of which are featured substantially in the portfolio. While Investors Bancorp is still only a partially demutualized thrift (like TFS Financial today), it will soon become a fully public institution, like First Financial.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Universal Forest Products Inc (UFPI)


Universal Forest Products, Inc., incorporated on February 9, 1955, is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to c and market wood and wood-alternative products for retail building home centers and other retailers, structural lumber and other products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for the residential construction market, and specialty wood packaging and components and packing materials for various industries. Its operating segments consist of the Eastern, Western, Site-Built, Consumer Products and Distribution divisions. The Company’s subsidiaries also provide framing services for the residential market and forming products for concrete construction. The Company’s consumer products operations offer a portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers nationwide. In January 2013, the Company’s subsidiary acquired Custom Caseworks, Inc.


In Retail Building Materials Market the Company offers composite wood and plastic products. The Company also sells engineered wood products to this market, which include roof trusses, wall panels and engineered floor systems. In Residential and Commercial Construction Markets, the Company supplies builders engaged in multi-family and commercial construction. It supplies wood forms and related products to set or form concrete for various structures, including garages, stadiums and bridges. The Company also provides framing services. In Manufactured Housing Market the Company distributes certain products, such as siding, electrical and plumbing to manufactured housing and RV customers. The Company define its industrial market as industrial manufacturers and agricultural customers who use pallets, specialty crates and wooden boxes for packaging, shipping and material handling purposes.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Universal Forest Products (UFPI), which provides capital and resources to the wood product industry, raised its semiannual dividend 5% to 21 cents per share, payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1.
    UFPI Dividend Yield: 0.89%

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ: UFPI) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.54 per share on revenue of $625.77 million.

    Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.38 per share on revenue of $2.82 billion.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: GigOptix Inc (GIG)


GigOptix, Inc. (GigOptix), incorporated on March 2008, is a supplier of semiconductor and electro-optical component products that enables high-speed end to end data streaming over optical fiber and wireless telecommunications and data-communications networks globally. The Company’s products convert signals between electrical and optical formats for transmitting and receiving data over fiber optic networks and between electrical and high speed radio frequencies to enable the transmission and receipt of data over wireless networks. The Company is creating both optical telecommunications and data-communications applications for fast growing markets in 10 giga bytes per second (Gbps), 40Gbps and 100Gbps drivers, receiver integrated circuits (IC), electro-optic modulator components and multi-chip-modules (MCM), as well as E-band wireless data-communications applications for high speed mobile backhaul and other high capacity wireless data transport applications. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company shipped over 150 products to over 200 customers.


The Company offers a portfolio of 10Gbps and 40Gbps electro-optical products and is developing market for 100Gbps products. The Company provides bundled solutions that consist of a few of its products, such as modulator and driver. The Company also offers a comprehensive portfolio of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) products to support E-band wireless communication and defense markets. The Company has also developed 10Gbps vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) drivers and receivers for aerospace as well as outdoor, non-temperature controlled environments that enables higher capacity in its customers’ next generation flight and data center systems.


The Company has a portfolio of products for telecommunications , data-communications, defenses and industrial applications designed for optical sp eeds from 3Gbps to over 100Gbps and for wireless frequencies! from zero giga hertz (GHz) to 86GHz. The Company’s products support a range of data rates, protocols, transmission distances and industry standards.

The Company’s portfolio consists of the product ranges, such as laser and modulator drivers for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; receiver amplifiers or Trans-impedance Amplifiers (TIAs) for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; VCSEL driver and receiver chipsets for 14 and 12 channel parallel optics applications from 3Gbps to 10Gbps; Electro-optic modulators based on the Company’s TFPS technology suitable for various 40Gbps and 100Gbps modulation schemes, such as differential phase shift keying (DPSK), differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK), RZ-DQPSK and DP-QPSK; wideband monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifiers with flat gain response; high frequency MMIC Power Amplifiers with high gain and output power; high frequency passive attenuators and filters in small form factors, a nd standard cell, and structured ASIC and hybrid ASIC designs and manufacturing service for multiple markets offering information technology acquisition review (ITAR) compliance for defense applications. The Company designs and market products that amplifies electrical signals during both the transmission (amplifiers and optical drivers) and reception (TIAs) of optical signals as well as modulate optical signals in the transmission of data.


The Company’s optical drivers amplify the input digital data stream that is used to modulate laser light either by direct modulation of the laser or by use of an external modulator that acts as a precise shutter to switch on and off light to create the optical data stream. The Company supplies an optimized component for each type of laser, modulator and photo-diode depending upon the speed, reach and required cost. The Company’s microwave and millimeter wave amplifiers amplify small signal radio signals into more signals tha t can be transmitted over long distances to establish high t! hroughput! data connections or enable radar based applications. The Company’s ASIC solutions are used in a number of applications such as defense and test and measurement applications to enable the high speed processing of complex signals.


The Company’s product portfolio is designed to cover the range of solutions needed in these different modules. The Company’s product portfolio consists of five product lines: GX Series, which includes serial drivers and TIA ICs devices for telecom and data-com markets; HX Series, which includes multi-channel driver and TIA ICs for short reach data-com and optical interconnect applications; LX Series, which includes TFPS modulators for high speed telecom and defense applications; EX Series, which includes amplifiers, filters and attenuators for microwave applications in defense and instrumentation, and CX Series, which includes family of ASIC solutions for custom integrated circuit design.


GX Series

The GigOpti x GX Series of products services both the telecom and data-com markets with a broad portfolio of drivers and transimpedence amplifiers that address 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps speeds over distances that range from 100 meters to 10,000 kilometers. The GX Series devices are used in FiberChannel, Ethernet, synchronous optical networking (SONET)/ synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) components and those based upon the optical internetworking forum (OIF) standards.

HX Series

The GigOptix HX Series of products service the high performance computing (HPC), data-com and consumer markets with a portfolio of parallel VCSEL drivers and TIAs that address 3Gbps, 5Gbps,10Gbps, 14Gbps, 16Gbps and 25Gbps channel speeds over 100-300 meters distances in four and 12 channel configurations. The HX Series devices are used in HPC formats, Infiniband, Ethernet and optical high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) components.


LX Series

The GigOpti x LX Series of products service the 40Gbps and above telecom! market f! or Mach-Zehnder modulators. The LX Series devices are based on the Company’s TFPS EO material technology.

EX Series

The GigOptix EX Series of products leverages the high performance products acquired in the Endwave acquisition. In addition, it also includes the die and design techniques developed for the GX Series telecom and data-com drivers for related defense and instrumentation applications.

CX Series

The GigOptix CX Series of products offers a portfolio of distinct paths to digital and analog mixed signal ASICs with the capability of supporting designs of up to 10M gates in technologies ranging from 0.6 through 65nm. The CX Series uses the Company’s technology in Structured and Hybrid ASICs to enable a generic ASIC solution that can be customized for a customer using only a few metal mask layers. The CX Series also offers ASIC services, including Analog and Mixed Signal IP into designs and taking customers designs from RTL or gate-level net list definitions to volume production with third party foundries.

The Company competes with TriQuint, Rohm, InPhi, Centellax, Semtech, Vitesse, M/A-Com, Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, IPtronics. Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, JDSU, Oclaro, Sumitomo, Fujitsu, Emcore, Oclaro, Hittite, Sumitomo, Hittite, RFMD, Northrop Grumman, On -Semiconductor, eSilicon, Open Silicon, Faraday, Toshiba and eASIC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It’s admittedly overbought and due for a slight dip thanks to today’s surge. But when you take a step back and look at GigOptix Inc. (NYSEMKT:GIG), there’s actually a lot to be excited about if you’ve been mulling a trading in GIG. The trick will be getting the timing right.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Employers Holdings Inc (EIG)

Employers Holdings, Inc. (EHI), incorporated on March 9, 2005, is a holding company. The Company is a provider of workers compensation insurance focused on select small businesses in low to medium hazard industries. It employs a disciplined, conservative underwriting approach designed to individually select specific types of businesses, predominantly those in the lowest four of the seven workers’ compensation insurance industry defined hazard groups, that it believe will have fewer and less costly claims relative to other businesses in the same hazard groups. Workers’ compensation is provided for under a statutory system wherein employers are required to provide coverage for their employees’ medical, disability, vocational rehabilitation, and/or death benefit costs for work-related injuries or illnesses. It operates as a single reportable segment and conduct operations in 31 states and the District of Columbia, with a concentration in California, where over one-half of its business is generated.

Workers’ compensation provides insurance coverage for the statutorily prescribed benefits that employers are required to provide to their employees who may be injured or suffer illness in the course of employment. The level of benefits varies by state, the nature and severity of the injury or disease, and the wages of the injured worker. Each state has a statutory, regulatory, and adjudicatory system that sets the amount of wage replacement to be paid, determines the level of medical care required to be provided, establishes the degree of permanent impairment, and specifies the options in selecting healthcare providers. These state laws generally require two types of benefits for injured employees: medical benefits, including expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of an injury, disease, or both, as well as any required rehabilitation and (indemnity payments, which consists of temporary wage replacement, permanent disability payme nts, and death benefits to surviving family members.

Disciplined Underwriting

The Company focuses on disciplined underwriting and continues to pursue profitable growth opportunities across market cycles. It carefully monitor market trends to assess new business opportunities that it expects will meet its pricing and risk standards. It prices its policies based on the specific risks associated with each potential insured rather than solely on the industry class in which a potential insured is classified. Its disciplined underwriting approach is a critical element of its culture and its believe that it has allowed them to offer competitive prices, diversify its risks, and out-perform the industry.

It executes its underwriting processes through automated systems and experienced underwriters with specific knowledge of local markets. It has developed automated underwriting templates for specific classes of business that produce faster quotes when certain underwriting criteria are met. Its underwritin g guidelines consider many factors, such as type of business, nature of operations, and risk exposures, and are designed to minimize or prevent underwriting of certain undesirable classes of business.

Loss Control

Its loss control professionals provide consultation to policyholders to assist them in preventing losses and containing costs once claims occur. They also assist its underwriting personnel in evaluating potential and current policyholders and are an important part of its underwriting discipline.

Premium Audit

It conducts premium audits on substantially all of its policyholders annually upon the policy expiration. Premium audits allow them to comply with applicable state and reporting bureau requirements and to verify that policyholders have accurately reported their payroll and employee job classifications. It also selectively perform interim audits on certain classes of business or if unusual claims are filed or concerns are raised regarding projected annual payrolls, whi! ch could ! result in substantial variances at final audit.

Claims and Medical Case Management

The role of its claims department is to actively and efficiently investigate, evaluate, and pay claims, and to aid injured workers in returning to work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It has implemented rigorous claims guidelines and control procedures in its claims units and have claims operations throughout the markets it serves. It also provides medical case management services for those claims that it determines will benefit from such involvement. utilize medical provider networks affiliated with Anthem Blue Cross of California (Anthem) and Coventry Health Care, Inc. and make every appropriate effort to direct injured workers into these networks for medical treatments.

In addition to its medical networks, it work closely with local vendors, including attorneys, medical professionals, and investigators, to bring local to its report ed claims. It pays special attention to reducing costs and have established discounting arrangements with the aforementioned service providers. It uses preferred provider organizations, bill review services, and utilization management to closely monitor medical costs. It actively pursues fraud and subrogation recoveries to mitigate claims costs. Subrogation rights are based upon state and federal laws, as well as the insurance policies it issues. Its fraud and subrogation efforts are handled through dedicated units.

The Company competes with The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Travelers Insurance Group Holdings, Inc., Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., and Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Employers Holdings (EIG) is a provider of worker’s compensation insurance focused on select small businesses engaged in low to medium hazard industries. This stock closed up 2.9% at $28.48 in Thursday’s trading session.

    Thursday’s Volume: 252,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 119,789

    Volume % Change: 75%

    From a technical perspective, EIG jumped notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $26.48 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $21.03 to its recent high of $29.12. During that move, shares of EIG have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of EIG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if EIG manages to take out its 52-week high at $29.18 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EIG as long as it’s trending above Thursday’s low of $27.65 or above its 50-day at $26.48 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $29.18 with volume that’s near or above 119,789 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then EIG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $33 to $35.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015


Boeing shares fell 2.5% at midday Monday after safety concerns arose over the weekend that put pressure on the stock. The stock helped drag the Dow Jones industrial average lower and was the biggest loser of the 30 stocks making up the blue-chip index.

A Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 disappeared early Saturday with 239 people aboard. The fate of the jet remained a mystery Monday after investigators said oil slicks off the coast of Vietnam were not linked to the flight.

Separately, Boeing said Friday that it had discovered hairline cracks on the wings of 42 Dreamliner 787 jets that are being built. No cracks were found in the 122 planes already delivered.


The company said the problem stemmed from changes in the manufacturing process at a Tokyo-based supplier, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and could result in delivery delays.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Commo nwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUF)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) is engaged in the provision of a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Bank is a provider of integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, superannuation, life insurance, general insurance, funds management, broking services and finance company activities. Its operating segments include Retail Banking Services, Business and Private Banking, Institutional Banking and Markets, Wealth Management, New Zealand, Bankwest and Other. Its retail banking services include home loans, consumer finance, retail deposits and distribution. In December 2013, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Reject Shop Ltd. In January 2014, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks started Monday trade higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) up 0.8% at 5,206.40 after a strong finish for Wall Street at the end of last week. Resource shares got a lift from gains for commodities prices since the previous trading session, with strong advances for gold and copper and a more than 2% rise for New York-traded crude-oil futures. Among the leading gainers, Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.2%, Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) climbed 1.3%, and gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) improved by 3.9% and 6.4%, respectively. The heavily weighted banking sector also enjoyed solid gains, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 1%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) trading 1.3% higher, and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 1.1% as the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported the lender is considering a £2 billion ($3.3 billion) float of its British operations, which the report said had dragged on NAB’s results in recent years.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio’s peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren’t as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B)


Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities. The Company is engaged in insurance businesses conducted on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis. Berkshire also owns and operates a number of other businesses engaged in a variety of activities. On December 30, 2011, Medical Protective Corporation (MedPro) completed the acquisition of 100% of the Princeton Insurance Company, a professional liability insurer for healthcare providers based in Princeton, New Jersey. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Acme Building Brands (Acme) acquired the assets of Jenkins Brick Company, the brick manufacturer in Alabama. In September 2011, Berkshire acquired The Lubrizol Corporation (Lubrizol). In June 2011, the Company acquired Wesco Financial Corporation. In June 2012, Media General, Inc. sold 63 daily and weekly newspapers to World Media Enterprises, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire. In July 2012 , Berkshire’s The Lubrizol Corporation acquired Lipotec SA.


Insurance and Reinsurance Businesses

Berkshire’s insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through numerous domestic and foreign-based insurance entities. Berkshire’s insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks world-wide and also reinsure life, accident and health risks world-wide. Berkshire’s insurance underwriting operations are consisted of the sub-groups, including GEICO and its subsidiaries, General Re and its subsidiaries, Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group. GEICO insurance subsidiaries include Government Employees Insurance Company, GEICO General Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company and GEICO Casualty Company. These companies primarily offers private passenger automobile insurance to individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, GEICO insures mo torcycles, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles and s! mall commercial fleets and acts as an agent for other insurers who offer homeowners, boat and life insurance to individuals. GEICO markets its policies primarily through direct response methods in which applications for insurance are submitted directly to the companies through the Internet or by telephone.


General Re Corporation (General Re) is the holding company of General Reinsurance Corporation (GRC) and its subsidiaries and affiliates. GRC’s subsidiaries include General Reinsurance AG, a international reinsurer based in Germany. General Re subsidiaries conduct business activities globally in 51 cities and provide insurance and reinsurance coverages throughout the world. General Re provides property/casualty insurance and reinsurance, life/health reinsurance and other reinsurance intermediary and risk management, underwriting management and investment management services.


Property/Casualty Reinsurance

General Re’s property/casu alty reinsurance business in North America is conducted through GRC. Property/casualty operations in North America are also conducted through 16 branch offices in the United States and Canada. Reinsurance activities are marketed directly to clients without involving a broker or intermediary. General Re’s property/casualty business in North America also includes specialty insurers (primarily the General Star and Genesis companies domiciled in Connecticut and Ohio). These specialty insurers underwrite primarily liability and workers’ compensation coverages on an excess and surplus basis and excess insurance for self-insured programs. General Re’s international property/casualty reinsurance business operations are conducted through internationally-based subsidiaries on a direct basis (through General Reinsurance AG, as well as several other General Re subsidiaries in 25 countries) and through brokers (primarily through Faraday, which owns the managing agent of Syndicate 4 35 at Lloyd’s of London and provides capacity and particip! ates in 1! 00% of the results of Syndicate 435).


Life/Health Reinsurance

General Re’s North American and international life, health, long-term care and disability reinsurance coverages are written on an individual and group basis. Most of this business is written on a proportional treaty basis, with the exception of the United States group health and disability business which is predominately written on an excess treaty basis. Lesser amounts of life and disability business are written on a facultative basis. The life/health business is marketed on a direct basis. The Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group (BHRG) operates from offices located in Stamford, Connecticut. Business activities are conducted through a group of subsidiary companies, led by National Indemnity Company (NICO) and Columbia Insurance Company (Columbia). BHRG provides principally excess and quota-share reinsurance to other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. BHRG’s underwriting activities also include life reinsurance and life annuity business written through Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska and financial guaranty insurance written through Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corporation.


BHRG writes catastrophe excess-of-loss treaty reinsurance contracts. BHRG also writes individual policies for primarily large or otherwise unusual discrete risks on both an excess direct and facultative reinsurance basis, referred to as individual risk, which includes policies covering terrorism, natural catastrophe and aviation risks. A catastrophe excess policy provides protection to the counterparty from the accumulation of primarily property losses arising from a single loss event or series of related events. Catastrophe and individual risk policies may provide amounts of indemnification per contract and a single loss event may produce losses under a number of contracts. BHRG also underwrites traditional non-catastrophe insurance and reinsurance coverages, referred to as multi-line property/c! asualty b! usiness.


The Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group is a collection of primary insurance operations that provide a variety of insurance coverages to insureds located principally in the United States. NICO and certain affiliates underwrite motor vehicle and general liability insurance to commercial enterprises on both an admitted and excess and surplus basis. This business is written nationwide primarily through insurance agents and brokers and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. U.S. Investment Corporation (USIC), through its three subsidiaries led by United States Liability Insurance Company, is a specialty insurer that underwrites commercial, professional and personal lines of insurance on an admitted and excess and surplus basis. Policies are marketed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through wholesale and retail insurance agents. USIC companies underwrite and market 109 distinct specialty property and casualty insurance products. Medical Protective Corporatio n (MedPro) is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Through its subsidiary, the Medical Protective Company, MedPro is engaged in primary medical professional liability coverage and risk solutions to physicians, dentists, other healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.


Railroad Business

Through BNSF Railway, BNSF operates a railroad network in North America with approximately 32,000 route miles of track (excluding multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings) in 28 states and two Canadian provinces as of December 31, 2011. BNSF owns approximately 23,000 route miles, including easements, and operates on approximately 9,000 route miles of trackage rights that permit BNSF to operate its trains with its crews over other railroads’ tracks. As of December 31, 2011, the total BNSF Railway system, including single and multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings, consisted of approximately 50,000 operated miles of track, all of which are owned by or held under easement by BNSF except for approximately 10,000 route! miles op! erated under trackage rights.


BNSF is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and through BNSF Railway Company operates railroad systems in North America. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. Over half of the freight revenues of BNSF are covered by contractual agreements of varying durations. BNSF’s primary routes, including trackage rights, allow it to access cities and ports in the western and southern United States as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In addition to cities and ports, BNSF efficiently serves many smaller market s by working closely with approximately 200 shortline partners. BNSF has also entered into marketing agreements with other rail carriers, expanding the marketing reach for each railroad and their customers.


Utilities and Energy Businesses

MidAmerican’s businesses are managed as separate operating units. MidAmerican’s domestic regulated energy interests are comprised of two regulated utility companies serving more than three million retail customers and two interstate natural gas pipeline companies with approximately 16,600 miles of pipeline and a design capacity of approximately 7.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Its United Kingdom electricity distribution subsidiaries serve about 3.9 million electricity end-users. In addition, MidAmerican’s interests include a diversified portfolio of domestic independent power projects, a hydroelectric facility in the Philippines and residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States.


PacifiCorp is a regulated electric utility compa! ny headqu! artered in Oregon, serving regulated retail electric customers in portions of Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and California. The combined service territory’s diverse regional economy ranges from rural, agricultural and mining areas to urban, manufacturing and government service centers. As a vertically integrated electric utility, PacifiCorp owns approximately 10,600 net megawatts of generation capacity. MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) is a regulated electric and natural gas utility company headquartered in Iowa, serving regulated retail electric and natural gas customers primarily in Iowa and also in portions of Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. MEC has a diverse customer base consisting of residential, agricultural and a variety of commercial and industrial customer groups. In addition to retail sales and natural gas transportation, MEC sells regulated electricity to markets operated by regional transmission organizations and regulated electricity and natur al gas to other utilities and market participants on a wholesale basis and sells non-regulated electricity and natural gas services in deregulated markets. As a vertically integrated electric and gas utility, MEC owns approximately 7,000 net megawatts of generation capacity.


The natural gas pipelines consist of Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern Natural) and Kern River Gas Transmission Company (Kern River). Northern Natural is based in Nebraska and owns interstate natural gas pipeline systems in the United States reaching from southern Texas to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Northern Natural’s pipeline system consists of approximately 14,900 miles of natural gas pipelines. Northern Natural has access to supplies from mid-continent basin and provides transportation services to utilities and numerous other customers. Northern Natural also operates three underground natural gas storage facilities and two liquefied natural gas storage peaking units.


< p>Kern River is based in Utah and owns an interstate natural! gas pipe! line system that consists of approximately 1,700 miles and extends from the supply areas in the Rocky Mountains to consuming markets in Utah, Nevada and California. Kern River transports natural gas for electric utilities and natural gas distribution utilities, oil and natural gas companies or affiliates of such companies, electricity generating companies, energy marketing and trading companies, and financial institutions. The United Kingdom utilities consist of Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited (Northern Powergrid (Northeast)) and Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc (Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire)), which own a substantial United Kingdom electricity distribution network that delivers electricity to end-users in northeast England in an area covering approximately 10,000 square miles. The distribution companies primarily charge supply companies regulated tariffs for the use of electrical infrastructure. MidAmerican also owns HomeServices of America, Inc. (HomeServices), a full-service residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States. HomeServices also offers integrated real estate services, including mortgage originations through a joint venture, title and closing services, property and casualty insurance, home warranties, relocation services and other home-related services. It operates under 22 residential real estate brand names with over 14,000 sales associates and in nearly 300 brokerage offices in 20 states.


Manufacturing, Service and Retailing Businesses

Berkshire’s numerous and diverse manufacturing, service and retailing businesses. Marmon consists of approximately 140 manufacturing and service businesses that operate independently within eleven diverse, stand-alone business sectors. These sectors are Building Wire, Crane Services, Distribution Services, Engineered Wire and Cable, Flow Products, Food Service Equipment, Highway Technologies, Industrial Products, Retail Store Fixtures, Transporta tion Services and Engineered Products and Water Treatment.


!

Building Wire, providing copper electrical building wire for residential, commercial and industrial construction. Crane Services provides the leasing and operation of mobile cranes primarily to the energy, mining and petrochemical markets. Distribution Services, supplying specialty metal pipe and tubing, bar and sheet products to markets including construction, industrial, aerospace and many others. Engineered Wire & Cable, providing electrical and electronic wire and cable for energy related markets and other industries. Flow Products is producing copper tube for the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, and industrial markets. Food Service Equipment is supplying commercial food preparation equipment for restaurants and shopping carts for retail stores. Highway Technologies, primarily serving the heavy-duty highway transportation industry with trailers, fifth wheel coupling devices and undercarriage products such as brake parts and s uspension systems, and also serving the light vehicle aftermarket with clutches and related products.


Industrial Products, consisting of metal fasteners for the building, furniture, cabinetry, industrial and other markets, gloves for industrial markets, portable lighting equipment for mining and safety markets, overhead electrification equipment for mass transit systems, custom-machined brass, aluminum and copper forgings for the construction, valve and other industries, brass fittings and valves for commercial and industrial applications, and drawn aluminum tubing and extruded aluminum shapes for the construction, automotive, appliance, medical and other markets . Retail Store Fixtures, providing shelving and other merchandising displays and related services for retail stores worldwide. Transportation Services & Engineered Products, including manufacturing, leasing and maintenance of railroad tank cars, leasing of intermodal tank containers, in-plant rail serv ices, manufacturing of bi-modal railcar movers, wheel, axle ! and gear ! sets for light rail transit and gear products for locomotives, manufacturing of steel tank heads, and services, equipment and technology for processing and distributing sulfur. Water Treatment, equipment including residential water softening, purification and refrigeration filtration systems, treatment systems for industrial markets including power generation, oil and gas, chemical, and pulp and paper, gear drives for irrigation systems and cooling towers, and air-cooled heat exchangers. Marmon operates approximately 300 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities that are primarily located in North America, Europe and China, and employs more than 16,000 people worldwide.


McLane Company, Inc. (McLane) provides wholesale distribution and logistics services in all 50 states and internationally in Brazil to customers that include discount retailers, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, quick service restaurants, drug stores and military bases. Operations are divided into five business units: grocery distribution, foodservice distribution, beverage distribution, international logistics and software development. McLane’s foodservice distribution unit, based in Carrollton, Texas, focuses on serving the quick service restaurant industry. Operations are conducted through 18 facilities in 16 states. The foodservice distribution unit services more than 20,000 chain restaurants nationwide.


Other Manufacturing, Other Service and Retailing Businesses

Berkshire’s apparel manufacturing businesses include manufacturers of a variety of clothing and footwear. Businesses engaged in the manufacture and distribution of clothing products include Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (Fruit), Russell Brands, LLC (Russell), Vanity Fair Brands, LP (VFB), Garan and Fechheimer Brothers. Berkshire’s footwear businesses include H.H. Brown Shoe Group, Justin Brands and Brooks Athletic. Fruit, Russell and VFB (together FOL) is primaril y a vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor of ba! sic appar! el, underwear and athletic apparel and products. Products, under the Fruit of the Loomand JERZEES labels are primarily sold in the mass merchandise and wholesale markets. In the VFB product line, Vassarette, Bestformand Curvationare sold in the mass merchandise market, while Vanity Fairand Lily of Franceproducts are sold in the mid-tier chains and department stores. FOL also markets and sells athletic uniforms, apparel, sports equipment and balls to team dealers; college licensed tee shirts and fleecewear to college bookstores and mid-tier merchants; and athletic apparel, sports equipment and balls to sporting goods retailers under the Russell Athleticand Spaldingbrands. Additionally, Spaldingmarkets and sells balls in the mass merchandise market and dollar store channel. During the year ended December, 31, 2011, approximately 30% of FOL’s sales were to Wal-Mart. FOL generally performs its own spinning, knitting, cloth finishing, cutting, sewing and packaging.


< p>Garan designs, manufactures, imports and sells apparel primarily for children, including boys, girls, toddlers and infants. Products are sold under its own trademark Garanimalsand private labels of its customers. Garan also licenses its registered trademark Garanimalsto independent third parties. Garan conducts its business through operating subsidiaries located in the United States, Central America and Asia. Substantially all of Garan’s products are sold through its distribution centers in the United States to national chain stores, department stores and specialty stores. In 2011, over 90% of Garan’s sales were to Wal-Mart. Fechheimer Brothers manufactures, distributes and sells uniforms, principally for the public service and safety markets, including police, fire, postal and military markets. Fechheimer Brothers is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Justin Brands and H.H. Brown Shoe Group manufacture and distribute work, rugged outdoor and casual shoes and wes tern-style footwear under a number of brand names, including! Justin, ! Tony Lama, Nocona, Chippewas, Born, Sofft, Carolina, Double-H Boots, Corcoran, Matterhornand Kork-Ease. Brooks Athletic markets and sells running footwear to specialty retailers under Brooksbrand. In 2011, Brooksachieved #1 market share in footwear with specialty retailers. A volume of the shoes sold by Berkshire’s shoe businesses are manufactured or purchased from sources outside the United States. Products are principally sold in the United States through a variety of channels including department stores, footwear chains, specialty stores, catalogs and the Internet, as well as through Company-owned retail stores.


Acme manufactures and distributes clay bricks (Acme Brickand Jenkins Brick), concrete block (Featherlite) and cut limestone (Texas Quarries). In addition, Acme distributes a number of other building products of other manufacturers, including glass block, floor and wall tile and other masonry products. Acme also sells ceramic floor and wall tile, as well as marble, granite and other stones through its subsidiary, American Tile and Stone. Products are sold primarily in the South Central and South Eastern United States through Company-operated sales offices. Acme distributes products primarily to homebuilders and masonry and general contractors.


Benjamin Moore & Co. (Benjamin Moore) is a formulator, manufacturer and retailer of a range of architectural coatings, available principally in the United States and Canada. Products include water-thinnable and solvent-thinnable general purpose coatings (paints, stains and clear finishes) for use by the general public, contractors and industrial and commercial users. Products are marketed under various registered brand names, including Regal, Superspec, Moorcraft, Moorgard, Aura, Nattura, ben, Coronado Paint, Insl-xand Lenmar.

Benjamin Moore and its manufacturing subsidiaries rely primarily on an independent dealer network for the distribution of its p roducts. Its distribution network includes approximately 100! Company-! owned stores as well as over 4,500 third party retailers representing over 10,300 storefronts in the United States and Canada. Benjamin Moore’s Company-owned stores represent several multiple-outlet and stand-alone retailers in various parts of the United States and Canada serving primarily contractors and general consumers. The independent retailer channel offers an array of products including Benjamin Mooreand Insl-xbrands and other competitor coatings, wallcoverings, window treatments and sundries. Benjamin Moore also has three color stations located in regional malls that serve as brand marketing tools. In addition to the independent retailer channel, Benjamin Moore has recently begun to sell direct to the consumer through e-commerce sites and its customer care program, which includes national accounts and government agencies.


Johns Manville (JM) is a manufacturer and marketer of products for building insulation, mechanical insulation, commercial roofing and roof insulation, as well as fibers and nonwovens for commercial, industrial and residential applications. JM serves markets that include aerospace, automotive and transportation, air handling, appliance, HVAC, pipe and equipment filtration, waterproofing, building, flooring, interiors and wind energy. Fiber glass is the basic material in a majority of JM’s products, although JM also manufactures a portion of its products with other materials to satisfy the broader needs of its customers. JM regards its patents and licenses as valuable, however it does not consider any of its businesses to be materially dependent on any single patent or license. JM is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and operates 40 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China and conducts research and development at several other facilities. JM sells its products through a variety of channels, including contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and fabricators.


MiTek is a provider of engineered connector products, engine! ering sof! tware and services and computer-driven manufacturing machinery to the truss fabrication segment of the building components industry. Primary customers are truss fabricators who manufacture pre-fabricated roof and floor trusses and wall panels for the residential building market, as well as the light commercial and institutional construction industry. MiTek also participates in the light gauge steel framing market under the Ultra-Spanname, manufactures and markets assembly line machinery used by the lead acid battery industry, manufactures and markets a line of masonry connector products and manufactures and markets air handling systems used in commercial building. MiTek operates on six continents with sales into approximately 90 countries. MiTek has 34 manufacturing facilities located in eleven countries and 45 sales/engineering offices located in 17 countries.


The Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) is a carpet manufacturer based on both revenue and volume of p roduction. Shaw designs and manufactures over 3,000 styles of tufted carpet, tufted and woven rugs, laminate and wood flooring for residential and commercial use under about 30 brand and trade names and under certain private labels. Shaw also provides installation services and sells ceramic and vinyl tile along with sheet vinyl. Shaw’s manufacturing operations are fully integrated from the processing of raw materials used to make fiber through the finishing of carpet. Shaw’s carpet, rugs and hard surface products are sold in a broad range of prices, patterns, colors and textures.


Shaw products are sold wholesale to over 40,000 retailers, distributors and commercial users throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and are also exported to various overseas markets. Shaw’s wholesale products are marketed domestically by over 2,000 salaried and commissioned sales personnel directly to retailers and distributors and to national accounts. Shaw’s 10 carpet full-service distribution facilities, three hard surface an! d two rug! full-service distribution facilities and 24 redistribution centers, along with centralized management information systems, enable it to provide prompt efficient delivery of its products to both its retail customers and wholesale distributors.


Berkshire acquired an 80% interest in IMC International Metalworking Companies B.V. (IMC B.V.). Through its subsidiaries, IMC B.V. is a multinational manufacturers of consumable precision carbide metal cutting tools for applications in a range of industrial end markets under the brand names ISCAR, TaeguTec, Ingersoll, Tungaloy, Unitac, UOP It.te.diand Outiltec. IMC B.V.’s manufacturing facilities are located in Israel, United States, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, South Korea, China, India, Japan and Brazil. IMC B.V. has five primary product lines: milling tools, gripping tools, turning/thread tools, drilling tools and tooling. Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is a manufacturer of recreational vehicles, utility, cargo and office trailers, buses and pontoon boats, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana. Its products are sold in the United States and Canada through an independent dealer network.


Scott Fetzer companies are a diversified group of 20 businesses that manufacture and distribute a variety of products for residential, industrial and institutional use. The two of these businesses are Kirby home cleaning systems and Campbell Hausfeld products. Albecca Inc. (Albecca), headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, does business primarily under the Larson-Juhlname. Albecca designs, manufactures and distributes a complete line of branded custom framing products, including wood and metal moulding, matboard, foamboard, glass, equipment and other framing supplies in the United States, Canada and 15 countries outside of North America. CTB International Corp. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems used in the grain industry and in the production of poultry, hogs and eggs.


Lubrizol is a specialty chemical company that pro! duces and! supplies technologies for the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol operates two business sectors: Lubrizol Additives, which includes engine, driveline and industrial additive products and Lubrizol Advanced Materials, which includes personal and home care, engineered polymer and performance coating products. FlightSafety International Inc.(FlightSafety) is engaged primarily in the business of providing high technology training to operators of aircraft. FlightSafety’s training activities include advanced training for pilots of business and commercial aircraft; aircrew training for military and other government personnel; aircraft maintenance technician training; flight attendant and aircraft dispatcher training, and ab-initio (primary) pilot training to qualify individuals for private and commercial pilots’ licenses. FlightSafety also develops classroom instructional systems and materials for use in its training business and for sale to others.


NetJets Inc. (NJ) is a provider of fractional ownership programs for general aviation aircraft. TTI, Inc. (TTI) is a global specialty distributor of passive, interconnect, electromechanical and discrete components used by customers in the manufacturing and assembling of electronic products. Business Wire provides electronic dissemination of full-text news releases daily to the media, online services and databases and the global investment community in 150 countries and 45 languages. Berkshire’s retailing businesses principally consist of several independently managed home furnishings and jewelry operations. The home furnishings businesses are the Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), R.C. Willey Home Furnishings (R.C. Willey), Star Furniture Company (Star) and Jordan’s Furniture, Inc. (Jordan’s). NFM, R.C. Willey, Star and Jordan’s each offer a wide selection of furniture, bedding and accessories. In addition, NFM and R.C. Willey sell a line of household appl iances, electronics, computers and other home furnishings. N! FM, R.C. ! Willey, Star and Jordan’s also offer customer financing to complement their retail operations. An important feature of each of these businesses is their ability to control costs and to produce high business volume by offering value to their customers.


NFM operates its business from two retail complexes with almost one million square feet of retail space and sizable warehouse and administrative facilities in Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Kansas. NFM is a furniture retailer in each of its markets. NFM also owns Homemakers Furniture located in Des Moines, Iowa, which has approximately 215,000 square feet of retail space. R.C. Willey, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a home furnishings retailer in the Intermountain West region of the United States. R.C. Willey operates 11 retail stores, two retail clearance facilities and three distribution centers. Borsheim Jewelry Company, Inc. (Borsheims) operates from a single store located in Omaha, Nebraska. Borsheims i s a high volume retailer of jewelry, watches, crystal, china, stemware, flatware, gifts and collectibles. Helzberg’s Diamond Shops, Inc. (Helzberg), based in North Kansas City, Missouri, operates a chain of 233 retail jewelry stores in 37 states, which includes approximately 550,000 square feet of retail space. Most of Helzberg’s stores are located in malls, lifestyle centers or power strip centers, and all stores operate under the name Helzberg Diamonds. The Ben Bridge Corporation (Ben Bridge Jeweler), based in Seattle, Washington, operates a chain of 70 upscale retail jewelry stores located in 11 states that are primarily in the Western United States. Three of its locations are concept stores that sell only PANDORA jewelry.


Finance and Financial Products

Clayton Homes, Inc. (Clayton) is a vertically integrated manufactured housing company. At December 31, 2011, Clayton operated 33 manufacturing plants in 12 states. Clayton’s homes are marke ted in 48 states through a network of 1,333 retailers, inclu! ding 333 ! Company-owned home centers. Financing is offered through its finance subsidiaries to purchasers of Clayton’s manufactured homes as well as those purchasing homes from selected independent retailers. XTRA Corporation (XTRA), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a transportation equipment lessor operating under the XTRA Leasebrand name. XTRA manages a diverse fleet of approximately 83,000 units located at 63 facilities throughout the United States and two facilities in Canada. The fleet includes over-the-road and storage traile


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anora Mahmudova]

    Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)   (BRK.A) , which late Friday reported lower first-quarter profits, fell 1.2%. Also read a recap of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting over the weekend.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It looks like this has become the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) blog, where it’s all Berkshire Hathaway all the time.


    Zuma Press

    Already today, I looked at KBW’s concerns surrounding Berkshire Hathaway’s disclosures. Now, Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle has released first quarter financial results.

    The Wall Street Journal has the details on Berkshire Hathaway’s earnings:

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported lower railroad and insurance-related net income as the conglomerate posted a 6.6% drop in first-quarter operating profit.

    For the first quarter, Berkshire reported net income of $4.71 billion, or $2,862 a Class A share, compared with $4.89 billion, or $2,977 a share, a year earlier. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, fell to $2,149 a share from $2,302 a share.


    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting operating earnings of $2,172 per Class A share…

    In other news, Berkshire Hathaway also announced that its next chairman would be…Warren Buffet’s son Howard Buffett.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s B shares have dropped 0.2% to $127.90 in after-hours trading after falling 0.8% to $128.09 in regular-hour trading. Berkshire Hathaway’s A shares (BRK.A) dropped 0.6% to $192,255.00 today.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B) Warren Buffett reputation as both a stock picker and an above-board manager of money has made him nearly a god, to the point where he is often above reproach.


    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    That hasn’t stopped KBW’s Meyer Shields and team from raising some pointed criticisms in a report released yestedardy. They explain their dissatisfaction with Berkshire Hathaway:

    Another year, another missing invitation to Omaha. While we can’t know for sure, we presume our exclusion from the panel from which Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger select analysts to ask questions at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting has something to do with our occasionally critical analysis. We have some operational questions, of course, but more important, we caution investors to consider whether this apparent message control limits their understanding of a company whose disclosure isn’t, in our opinion, keeping up with its $300 billion market cap size. This is especially important in light of succession concerns that surround the stock.


    What kind of issues does Shields and team see? One example: They find Berkshire’s choice of State Farm as a comparison misleading:

    For the past several years, Berkshire has contrasted its own cost-free float provided by profitable underwriting against the industry’s (unimpressive) tendency to lose money on underwriting while generating net returns from investment income. So far, so good. Less edifying, though, is the repeated contrast of Berkshire’s track record of profitability to State Farm’s…even though, as a mutual company, State Farm’s profitability goals are inherently different from for-profit insurers like Berkshire. It’s true that through year-end 2013, Berkshire’s underwriters have “now operated at an underwriting profit for eleven consecutive years,” but so have ACE (ACE), American Financial (AFG),  AmTrust Financial (AFSI), Arch Capital (ACGL), Chubb

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Buying Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) always has seemed like a leap of faith–you either believed in Warren Buffett’s omnipotence or you didn’t–that having an analyst cover the company always seemed beside the point. But analysts do cover Berkshire Hathaway, and one of them even had something to say about the company today.

    AFP

    That would Barclays’ Jay Gelb, who released a big report on Berkshire Hathaway today. And wouldn’t you know it, not only does he like Warren Buffett’s baby, he thinks now would be a good time to buy. Gelb explains why:


    Berkshire’s insurance businesses generates substantial no-cost float ($77bn at YE13) available for investing and will benefit from the Heinz acquisition. Importantly, Berkshire has significant cash available for additional acquisitions (we estimate ~$25bn) to supplement organic growth…

    Berkshire Hathaway has substantial leverage to an improving economy including the housing market with its non-insurance business accounting for two-thirds of operating earnings. Overall, Berkshire should benefit from consistent earnings growth in the Burlington Northern railroad business (including oil-by-rail), as well as the Manufacturing, Service, and Retail, and the Utilities and Energy units…


    [Berkshire Hathaway] shares are attractively valued currently at 1.41x book value, which is near the level (1.2x book value) at which the company will repurchase stock. The buyback plan provides a support level and signals how strongly Mr. Buffett believes Berkshire’s intrinsic value exceeds its book value.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s B shares have dropped 0.7% to$126.33 at 1:37 p.m., while Berkshire Hathaway’s A shares (BRK.A) has fallen 0.7% to $189,400. It will report earnings on May 2.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: SGOCO Group Ltd(SGOC)


SGOCO Group, Ltd. designs, manufactures, and distributes liquid crystal display (LCD) consumer products in the People?s Republic of China and internationally. Its products include LCD personal computer monitors, LCD televisions, light emitting diode back-light modules, and application-specific LCD systems. The company also provides custom manufacturing services for application-specific LCD monitors, such as rotating screens, CCTV monitors for security systems, billboard monitors for advertising and public notice systems, and touch screens for non-keyed entries. SGOCO Group, Ltd. sells its products under the SGOCO, Edge 10, POVIZON, and No. 10 brands through a network of independent retail outlets operating under the ?SGOCO Image? name. The company offers its products to industry clients, such as medical centers, educational institutions, government complexes, public emergency response systems, and corporate offices, as well as to retail customers. As of December 31, 201 0, it had 603 retail stores covering 14 provinces and municipalities in the People?s Republic of China. The company, formerly known as SGOCO Technology, Ltd., was founded in 2006 and is based in Beijing, China.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap display stock SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) just sank 27.89% after reporting earnings, meaning its worth taking a closer look at it along with some other innovative display stocks like Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). After all, just about every new consumer gadget along with cars and even appliances are incorporating display technology. I should also mention that we have had Corning Incorporated in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio since early December (we are up around 29.20%) as we believe the company is in the sweet spot for next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Large cap glass and ceramics technology stock Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) has put in a good performance since announcing a deal with Samsung back in October, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the stock along with the performance of potential peers (either upstream or downstream on the OLED and liquid crystal display side of the glass business) like small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT), SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). I should note that we have recently added Corning Incorporated to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio because we believe the company’s position as it relates to glass and ceramics puts it in a sweet spot for the next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables. But that’s not all there is to like about this stock.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap flat panel display stock Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) was hit by bearish news in late November and the trend lines on its technical charts appear to be confused as to what direction the stock will head, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at the situation along with the stock’s performance verses that of flat panel display peers like large cap Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and small cap players like Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT) and SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC)

  • [By John Udovich]

    On Tuesday, large cap LCD glass maker Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) began surging some 20% in after hours trading after announcing that it will take over an existing joint venture (Samsung Corning Precision Materials) with Samsung – meaning it might be worth taking a closer look at some small cap peers like Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED), Daktronics, Inc (NASDAQ: DAKT) and SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) who also have a piece of the LCD glass or related flat panel display action. Specifically, the deal involves a series of transactions to give Corning Incorporated full ownership of Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd. (SCP), which manufactures LCD glass in Korea and it should be noted that Corning already relies on sales of LCD-TV glass for the bulk of its profit. In addition, Corning Incorporated’s board of directors has authorized an additional $2 billion of share repurchases through Dec. 31, 2015, dependent upon the transaction closing. Wendell P. Weeks, the chairman, CEO and president of Corning Incorporated was quoted in the press release announcing the deal as saying:

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Euro FX(P)


Ecopetrol S.A. operates as an integrated oil company in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2010, its proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas consisted of 1,714.0 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company also transports crude oil, motor fuels, fuel oil, and other refined products, as well as mixture of diesel and palm oil. It owns transportation network consisting of 3,003 kilometers of crude oil pipeline directly, as well as an additional 2,178 kilometers of crude oil pipeline with its business partners; and 3,017 kilometers of multi-purpose pipelines for transportation of refined products from refinery to wholesale distribution points. As of the above date, Ecopetrol S.A. owned 58 stations with a nominal storage capacity of 19 million barrels of crude oil and 6 million barrels of refined products. In addition, the company owns and o perates refineries that produce a range of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, sulfur, heavy fuel oils, motor fuels, and petrochemicals, including paraffin waxes, lube base oils, low-density polyethylene, aromatics, asphalts, alkylates, cyclohexane and aliphatic solvents, and refinery grade propylene, as well as provides industrial services to third parties. Further, it markets various refined and feed stock products, including regular and high octane gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, natural gas, and petrochemical products. The company was formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos and changed its name to Ecopetrol S.A. in June 2003. Ecopetrol S.A. was founded in 1948 and is based in Bogota, Colombia.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Levy]

    The company unveiled its Prime Music service on Thursday. The on-demand streaming service is severely limited in its early stages, offering just 5% of the catalog of other streaming services like Spotify or Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) Beats Music. Additionally, Prime Music doesn’t offer an Internet radio feature like Pandora Media (NYSE: P  ) .

  • [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach]

    Pandora Media Inc.(P) said listener hours and active listeners rose in May, as the online radio company increased its market share from a year earlier. Shares dropped 3.8% to $23.67 premarket as listener growth brings higher royalty costs for the songs it plays.

  • [By FinanceGuru]

    Pandora (P) is going to be a perma-short for me. I plan on loading some puts when the week opens again. My price target for the company remains in the single digits, where I will then reevaluate the path the company is on. Pandora is all bark, no bite.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Ashmore Group PLC (ASHM)


Ashmore Group plc (Ashmore) is engaged in providing investment management services. The Company is a fund manager across six core investment themes, such as external debt, local currency, corporate debt, blended debt, equities, multi-strategy, alternatives and overlay/liquidity. External debt is a diversified portfolio of emerging market debt assets. Local currency takes advantage of the expanding local currency and local currency denominated debt market. Corporate debt focuses on the developing corporate debt asset class. Blended debt mandates specifically combine external, local currency and corporate debt measured against tailor-made blended indices. Multi-strategy is a dynamic asset allocation across other investment themes. Equities Focuses on liquidity and top down macro country selection in publicly traded. Overlay/liquidity helps to separate and centralize the currency risk of an underlying emerging market asset class. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Ashmore Group Plc (ASHM) jumped 5.3 percent to 382.2 pence. The U.K. fund manager that invests in emerging markets reported full-year pretax profit and revenue that exceeded estimates. The London-based company also raised its dividend.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Health Net Inc. (HNT)

Health Net, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides managed health care services. The company offers commercial health care products, such as health maintenance organization plans through contracts with participating network physicians, hospitals, and other providers; preferred provider organization plans that provide coverage for services received from health care provider; and point of service plans. It also provides Medicare products, including Medicare advantage plans with and without prescription drug coverage; and Medicare supplement products that supplement fee-for-service Medicare coverage. In addition, the company offers Medicaid and related products; indemnity insurance products; auxiliary non-health products, such as life, accidental death and dismemberment, dental, vision, and behavioral health insurance; and other specialty services and products comprising pharmacy benefits, behavioral health, dental, and vision products and services, as well as managed care products for hospitals, health plans, and other entities. Further, it engages in government-sponsored managed care federal contract with the Department of Defense under the TRICARE program in the North Region; and other health care, mental health, and behavioral health government contracts. The company provides administrative services comprising provider network and referral management, medical and disease management, enrollment, customer service, clinical support service, and claims processing service to military health system eligible beneficiaries. It serves approximately 5.4 million individuals in the United States through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs programs. Health Net, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Woodland Hills, California.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    United’s disappointment has helped drag down other health insurers. WellPoint (WLP) dropped 1.3% to $88.53, Health Net (HNT) has fallen 1.7% to $31.25, Aetna (AET) has declined 2.4% to $64.11 and Cigna (CI) is off 3.5% at $77.69.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Health Net (NYSE: HNT  ) , a managed health-care provider, jumped higher by as much as 18% following the release of the company’s first-quarter earnings results. Shares have since given back a majority of their gains and are up “just” 7% as of this writing.

  • [By Brian Stoffel]

    Will it carry through?
    Other Fools have already covered much about this topic. Keith Speights wondered aloud if the ultimate winners would be companies that chose to participate in the plan — like WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) and Health Net (NYSE: HNT  )  — or those that opted not to.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: TFS Financial Corporation(TFSL)

TFS Financial Corporation operates as a holding company for Third Federal Savings and Loan Association of Cleveland. The company provides retail consumer banking, including mortgage lending, deposit gathering, and other financial services in Ohio and Florida. Its deposit accounts consist of savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, certificates of deposit accounts, individual retirement accounts, and other qualified plan accounts. The company also offers residential real estate mortgage loans, home equity loans, lines of credit, residential construction loans, and consumer loans. It operates 39 full-service branches and 8 loan production offices. TFS Financial Corporation, through its subsidiary, Third Capital, Inc. engages in net lease transactions of commercial buildings; maintains minority investments in private equity funds, and provide escrow and settlement services; and reinsures private mortgage insurance on residential mortgage loans. The company w as founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Royal]

    The special situation
    For those of you following my Special Situations portfolio, Investors Bancorp is in a spot similar to First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ: FFNW  ) and TFS Financial (NASDAQ: TFSL  ) , both of which are featured substantially in the portfolio. While Investors Bancorp is still only a partially demutualized thrift (like TFS Financial today), it will soon become a fully public institution, like First Financial.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Universal Forest Products Inc (UFPI)


Universal Forest Products, Inc., incorporated on February 9, 1955, is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to c and market wood and wood-alternative products for retail building home centers and other retailers, structural lumber and other products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for the residential construction market, and specialty wood packaging and components and packing materials for various industries. Its operating segments consist of the Eastern, Western, Site-Built, Consumer Products and Distribution divisions. The Company’s subsidiaries also provide framing services for the residential market and forming products for concrete construction. The Company’s consumer products operations offer a portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers nationwide. In January 2013, the Company’s subsidiary acquired Custom Caseworks, Inc.


In Retail Building Materials Market the Company offers composite wood and plastic products. The Company also sells engineered wood products to this market, which include roof trusses, wall panels and engineered floor systems. In Residential and Commercial Construction Markets, the Company supplies builders engaged in multi-family and commercial construction. It supplies wood forms and related products to set or form concrete for various structures, including garages, stadiums and bridges. The Company also provides framing services. In Manufactured Housing Market the Company distributes certain products, such as siding, electrical and plumbing to manufactured housing and RV customers. The Company define its industrial market as industrial manufacturers and agricultural customers who use pallets, specialty crates and wooden boxes for packaging, shipping and material handling purposes.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Universal Forest Products (UFPI), which provides capital and resources to the wood product industry, raised its semiannual dividend 5% to 21 cents per share, payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1.
    UFPI Dividend Yield: 0.89%

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ: UFPI) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.54 per share on revenue of $625.77 million.

    Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.38 per share on revenue of $2.82 billion.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: GigOptix Inc (GIG)


GigOptix, Inc. (GigOptix), incorporated on March 2008, is a supplier of semiconductor and electro-optical component products that enables high-speed end to end data streaming over optical fiber and wireless telecommunications and data-communications networks globally. The Company’s products convert signals between electrical and optical formats for transmitting and receiving data over fiber optic networks and between electrical and high speed radio frequencies to enable the transmission and receipt of data over wireless networks. The Company is creating both optical telecommunications and data-communications applications for fast growing markets in 10 giga bytes per second (Gbps), 40Gbps and 100Gbps drivers, receiver integrated circuits (IC), electro-optic modulator components and multi-chip-modules (MCM), as well as E-band wireless data-communications applications for high speed mobile backhaul and other high capacity wireless data transport applications. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company shipped over 150 products to over 200 customers.


The Company offers a portfolio of 10Gbps and 40Gbps electro-optical products and is developing market for 100Gbps products. The Company provides bundled solutions that consist of a few of its products, such as modulator and driver. The Company also offers a comprehensive portfolio of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) products to support E-band wireless communication and defense markets. The Company has also developed 10Gbps vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) drivers and receivers for aerospace as well as outdoor, non-temperature controlled environments that enables higher capacity in its customers’ next generation flight and data center systems.


The Company has a portfolio of products for telecommunications , data-communications, defenses and industrial applications designed for optical sp eeds from 3Gbps to over 100Gbps and for wireless frequencies! from zero giga hertz (GHz) to 86GHz. The Company’s products support a range of data rates, protocols, transmission distances and industry standards.

The Company’s portfolio consists of the product ranges, such as laser and modulator drivers for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; receiver amplifiers or Trans-impedance Amplifiers (TIAs) for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; VCSEL driver and receiver chipsets for 14 and 12 channel parallel optics applications from 3Gbps to 10Gbps; Electro-optic modulators based on the Company’s TFPS technology suitable for various 40Gbps and 100Gbps modulation schemes, such as differential phase shift keying (DPSK), differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK), RZ-DQPSK and DP-QPSK; wideband monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifiers with flat gain response; high frequency MMIC Power Amplifiers with high gain and output power; high frequency passive attenuators and filters in small form factors, a nd standard cell, and structured ASIC and hybrid ASIC designs and manufacturing service for multiple markets offering information technology acquisition review (ITAR) compliance for defense applications. The Company designs and market products that amplifies electrical signals during both the transmission (amplifiers and optical drivers) and reception (TIAs) of optical signals as well as modulate optical signals in the transmission of data.


The Company’s optical drivers amplify the input digital data stream that is used to modulate laser light either by direct modulation of the laser or by use of an external modulator that acts as a precise shutter to switch on and off light to create the optical data stream. The Company supplies an optimized component for each type of laser, modulator and photo-diode depending upon the speed, reach and required cost. The Company’s microwave and millimeter wave amplifiers amplify small signal radio signals into more signals tha t can be transmitted over long distances to establish high t! hroughput! data connections or enable radar based applications. The Company’s ASIC solutions are used in a number of applications such as defense and test and measurement applications to enable the high speed processing of complex signals.


The Company’s product portfolio is designed to cover the range of solutions needed in these different modules. The Company’s product portfolio consists of five product lines: GX Series, which includes serial drivers and TIA ICs devices for telecom and data-com markets; HX Series, which includes multi-channel driver and TIA ICs for short reach data-com and optical interconnect applications; LX Series, which includes TFPS modulators for high speed telecom and defense applications; EX Series, which includes amplifiers, filters and attenuators for microwave applications in defense and instrumentation, and CX Series, which includes family of ASIC solutions for custom integrated circuit design.


GX Series

The GigOpti x GX Series of products services both the telecom and data-com markets with a broad portfolio of drivers and transimpedence amplifiers that address 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps speeds over distances that range from 100 meters to 10,000 kilometers. The GX Series devices are used in FiberChannel, Ethernet, synchronous optical networking (SONET)/ synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) components and those based upon the optical internetworking forum (OIF) standards.

HX Series

The GigOptix HX Series of products service the high performance computing (HPC), data-com and consumer markets with a portfolio of parallel VCSEL drivers and TIAs that address 3Gbps, 5Gbps,10Gbps, 14Gbps, 16Gbps and 25Gbps channel speeds over 100-300 meters distances in four and 12 channel configurations. The HX Series devices are used in HPC formats, Infiniband, Ethernet and optical high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) components.


LX Series

The GigOpti x LX Series of products service the 40Gbps and above telecom! market f! or Mach-Zehnder modulators. The LX Series devices are based on the Company’s TFPS EO material technology.

EX Series

The GigOptix EX Series of products leverages the high performance products acquired in the Endwave acquisition. In addition, it also includes the die and design techniques developed for the GX Series telecom and data-com drivers for related defense and instrumentation applications.

CX Series

The GigOptix CX Series of products offers a portfolio of distinct paths to digital and analog mixed signal ASICs with the capability of supporting designs of up to 10M gates in technologies ranging from 0.6 through 65nm. The CX Series uses the Company’s technology in Structured and Hybrid ASICs to enable a generic ASIC solution that can be customized for a customer using only a few metal mask layers. The CX Series also offers ASIC services, including Analog and Mixed Signal IP into designs and taking customers designs from RTL or gate-level net list definitions to volume production with third party foundries.

The Company competes with TriQuint, Rohm, InPhi, Centellax, Semtech, Vitesse, M/A-Com, Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, IPtronics. Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, JDSU, Oclaro, Sumitomo, Fujitsu, Emcore, Oclaro, Hittite, Sumitomo, Hittite, RFMD, Northrop Grumman, On -Semiconductor, eSilicon, Open Silicon, Faraday, Toshiba and eASIC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It’s admittedly overbought and due for a slight dip thanks to today’s surge. But when you take a step back and look at GigOptix Inc. (NYSEMKT:GIG), there’s actually a lot to be excited about if you’ve been mulling a trading in GIG. The trick will be getting the timing right.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Own For 2015: Employers Holdings Inc (EIG)

Employers Holdings, Inc. (EHI), incorporated on March 9, 2005, is a holding company. The Company is a provider of workers compensation insurance focused on select small businesses in low to medium hazard industries. It employs a disciplined, conservative underwriting approach designed to individually select specific types of businesses, predominantly those in the lowest four of the seven workers’ compensation insurance industry defined hazard groups, that it believe will have fewer and less costly claims relative to other businesses in the same hazard groups. Workers’ compensation is provided for under a statutory system wherein employers are required to provide coverage for their employees’ medical, disability, vocational rehabilitation, and/or death benefit costs for work-related injuries or illnesses. It operates as a single reportable segment and conduct operations in 31 states and the District of Columbia, with a concentration in California, where over one-half of its business is generated.

Workers’ compensation provides insurance coverage for the statutorily prescribed benefits that employers are required to provide to their employees who may be injured or suffer illness in the course of employment. The level of benefits varies by state, the nature and severity of the injury or disease, and the wages of the injured worker. Each state has a statutory, regulatory, and adjudicatory system that sets the amount of wage replacement to be paid, determines the level of medical care required to be provided, establishes the degree of permanent impairment, and specifies the options in selecting healthcare providers. These state laws generally require two types of benefits for injured employees: medical benefits, including expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of an injury, disease, or both, as well as any required rehabilitation and (indemnity payments, which consists of temporary wage replacement, permanent disability payme nts, and death benefits to surviving family members.

Disciplined Underwriting

The Company focuses on disciplined underwriting and continues to pursue profitable growth opportunities across market cycles. It carefully monitor market trends to assess new business opportunities that it expects will meet its pricing and risk standards. It prices its policies based on the specific risks associated with each potential insured rather than solely on the industry class in which a potential insured is classified. Its disciplined underwriting approach is a critical element of its culture and its believe that it has allowed them to offer competitive prices, diversify its risks, and out-perform the industry.

It executes its underwriting processes through automated systems and experienced underwriters with specific knowledge of local markets. It has developed automated underwriting templates for specific classes of business that produce faster quotes when certain underwriting criteria are met. Its underwritin g guidelines consider many factors, such as type of business, nature of operations, and risk exposures, and are designed to minimize or prevent underwriting of certain undesirable classes of business.

Loss Control

Its loss control professionals provide consultation to policyholders to assist them in preventing losses and containing costs once claims occur. They also assist its underwriting personnel in evaluating potential and current policyholders and are an important part of its underwriting discipline.

Premium Audit

It conducts premium audits on substantially all of its policyholders annually upon the policy expiration. Premium audits allow them to comply with applicable state and reporting bureau requirements and to verify that policyholders have accurately reported their payroll and employee job classifications. It also selectively perform interim audits on certain classes of business or if unusual claims are filed or concerns are raised regarding projected annual payrolls, whi! ch could ! result in substantial variances at final audit.

Claims and Medical Case Management

The role of its claims department is to actively and efficiently investigate, evaluate, and pay claims, and to aid injured workers in returning to work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It has implemented rigorous claims guidelines and control procedures in its claims units and have claims operations throughout the markets it serves. It also provides medical case management services for those claims that it determines will benefit from such involvement. utilize medical provider networks affiliated with Anthem Blue Cross of California (Anthem) and Coventry Health Care, Inc. and make every appropriate effort to direct injured workers into these networks for medical treatments.

In addition to its medical networks, it work closely with local vendors, including attorneys, medical professionals, and investigators, to bring local to its report ed claims. It pays special attention to reducing costs and have established discounting arrangements with the aforementioned service providers. It uses preferred provider organizations, bill review services, and utilization management to closely monitor medical costs. It actively pursues fraud and subrogation recoveries to mitigate claims costs. Subrogation rights are based upon state and federal laws, as well as the insurance policies it issues. Its fraud and subrogation efforts are handled through dedicated units.

The Company competes with The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Travelers Insurance Group Holdings, Inc., Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., and Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Employers Holdings (EIG) is a provider of worker’s compensation insurance focused on select small businesses engaged in low to medium hazard industries. This stock closed up 2.9% at $28.48 in Thursday’s trading session.

    Thursday’s Volume: 252,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 119,789

    Volume % Change: 75%

    From a technical perspective, EIG jumped notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $26.48 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $21.03 to its recent high of $29.12. During that move, shares of EIG have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of EIG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if EIG manages to take out its 52-week high at $29.18 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EIG as long as it’s trending above Thursday’s low of $27.65 or above its 50-day at $26.48 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $29.18 with volume that’s near or above 119,789 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then EIG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $33 to $35.