Top Japanese Stocks For 2015

Asian stocks outside Japan fell as investors await the conclusion tomorrow of a meeting of China’s leaders on economic reform. Japanese equities rose after better-than-expected U.S. payrolls data weakened the yen.

Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., an operator of supermarkets and department stores controlled by billionaire John Gokongwei, slumped 5.4 percent on its trading debut following the largest Philippine initial public offering. Nexon Co., a maker of online games, plunged 22 percent in Tokyo after its net-income forecast missed estimates. Honda Motor Co., a Japanese carmaker that gets 47 percent of its revenue in North America, added 1.7 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index lost 0.5 percent to 467.63 as of 12:56 p.m. in Hong Kong. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which includes Japanese shares, was little changed at 139 after closing on Nov. 8 at the lowest level since Oct. 8. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Communist leaders tomorrow conclude a four-day gathering.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: CSS Industries Inc (CSS)

CSS Industries, Inc. (CSS), incorporated on November 5, 1923, is a company primarily engaged in the design, manufacture, procurement, distribution and sale of seasonal and all occasion social expression products, principally to mass market retailers. These seasonal and all occasion products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper, decorations, classroom exchange Valentines, decorative ribbons and bows, floral accessories, Halloween masks, costumes, make-up and novelties, Easter egg dyes and novelties, craft and educational products, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items that commemorate life’s celebrations. In September 5, 2012, it sold the Halloween portion of its Paper Magic business to Gemmy Industries (HK) Limited.

CSS’ product provides its retail customers the opportunity to use a single ven dor for much of their seasonal product requirements. A substantial portion of CSS’ products are manufactured, packaged and/or warehoused in 10 facilities located in the United States, with the remainder purchased primarily from manufacturers in Asia and Mexico. The Company’s products are sold to its customers by national and regional account sales managers, sales representatives, product specialists and by a network of independent manufacturers’ representatives. The Company’s principal operating subsidiaries include Paper Magic Group, Inc. (Paper Magic), Berwick Offray LLC (Berwick Offray) and C.R. Gibson, LLC (C.R. Gibson). CSS designs, manufactures, procures, distributes and sells a range of seasonal consumer products primarily through the mass market distribution channel. Christmas products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper and decorations. CSS’ Valentine product offerings includ e classroom exchange Valentine cards and other related Valen! tine products, while its Easter product offerings include Dudley’s brand of Easter egg dyes and related Easter seasonal products. CSS also designs and markets decorative ribbons and bows, all occasion boxed greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, decorative and waxed tissue, decorative films and foils, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, floral accessories and other gift and craft items to its mass market, craft, specialty and floral retail and wholesale distribution customers, and teachers’ aids and other learning oriented products to the education market through mass market retailers, school supply distributors and teachers’ stores. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markings, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Dudley’s, Don Post Studios, Eureka, Learning Playground, Stickerfitti and iota. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markin gs, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Seastone, Dudley’s, Eureka, Learning Playground and Stickerfitti.

CSS operates 10 manufacturing and/or distribution facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama and Texas. Its boxed greeting cards are produced by Asian manufacturers to the Company’s specifications. Halloween make-up and Easter egg dye products are manufactured in Asia to specific formulae by contract manufacturers who meet regulatory requirements for the formularization and packaging of such products. Ribbons and bows are primarily manufactured and warehoused in seven facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas. Memory books, stationery, journals and notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items are imported from Asian manufacturers and warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Florence, Alabama. Floral accessories, including pot covers, foil, waxe d tissue, shred, aisle runners, corsage bags and other paper! and film! products, are manufactured in a facility located in Milford, New Hampshire and Juarez, Mexico. Manufacturing includes gravure and flexo printing, waxing and converting. Products are warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Berwick, Pennsylvania. Other products including, but not limited to, decorative tissue paper, all occasion gift wrap, gift tags, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, classroom exchange Valentine products, Halloween masks, costumes and novelties, Easter products, decorations and school products are designed to the specifications of CSS and are imported primarily from Asian manufacturers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Gifts maker CSS Industries  (NYSE: CSS  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.15 per share, the same rate it’s paid since 2008.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: RAIT Financial Trust(RAS)

RAIT Financial Trust operates as a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The company, through its subsidiaries, invests in, manages, and services real estate-related assets with a focus on commercial real estate. It also offers a set of debt financing options to the commercial real estate industry along with fixed income trading and advisory services. In addition, RAIT Financial Trust owns and manages a portfolio of commercial real estate properties, and manages real estate-related assets for third parties. The company qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. RAIT Investment Trust was founded in 1997 and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Commercial real estate holding real estate investment trust (REIT) RAIT Financial (RAS) raised its quarterly dividend 7% to 16 cents per share, payable on Jan. 31 to share holders of record as of Jan. 7.
    RAS Dividend Yield: 7.48%

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE: RAS  ) investors will be getting slightly more than they did last quarter, as a reward for putting their faith in the company (NYSE: RAS  ) . The real estate investment trust has declared a common stock dividend of $0.13 per share, to be handed out on July 31 to shareholders of record as of July 12. That amount is $0.01, or 8%, higher than RAIT’s previous distribution of $0.12, which was paid in April. Prior to that, the firm dispensed $0.10 per share.

  • [By Thomas Sobon]

    Instead of expressing my thoughts in vague generalities, let me be specific and tell you what I am actually doing on a real time basis to cope with the market dynamics occurring right now: I have a core position in one stock, which is the RAIT Financial Trust (RAS). Its size is about 60% of what I would consider to be a "full" position. I also have a lot of cash that I intend to use for trading purposes. Last Friday I sold shares of RAS at $7.55 which I bought on Monday with a low-ball bid of $7.11, so my gain on the trade was 6.2%. In early trading yesterday (Monday July 1) RAS is priced at $7.67, up from where I sold on Friday. That’s great news because I accomplished what I wanted to do with the trade and now paper profit on the core shares in my portfolio is increasing.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: CACI International Inc. (CACI)

CACI International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides information solutions and services to the U.S. federal government and commercial markets in North America and internationally. The company offers enterprise information technology (IT) solutions and services for the design, development, integration, deployment, operations and management, sustainment, and security of clients’ infrastructure; information solutions and services that automate the knowledge management lifecycle; and enterprise-level system solutions in the domain of procurement, financial, human capital, logistics, and supply chain management. It also offers intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance solutions; command and control solutions to support military, homeland security, law enforcement, border security, emergency response, and disaster relief missions; and develops and manages logistics information systems, and simulation and modeling toolsets, as well as provides logistics engineering se rvices. In addition, the company offers cyber security services that support preparing for, protecting against, detecting, reacting, and responding to the cyber threats; integrated security solutions and services for mitigating and countering the effects of natural, technological, and man-made hazards; geospatial solutions relating to defense, intelligence, homeland security, and commercial applications; and government investigation and litigation support solutions. Further, it provides healthcare IT solutions; identity management solutions; program management, and system engineering and technical assistance services to government program offices; mobility solutions and services; and planning, design, implementation, and management solutions that resolve technical or business needs for commercial and government clients in the telecommunications, education, financial services, healthcare services, and transportation sectors. The company was founded in 1962 and is headquarter e d in Arlington, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    The Department of Defense awarded a dozen separate contracts Thursday, worth more than $225 million in aggregate. Notable winners (among publicly traded companies) included:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The fundamental underpinnings for SAIC’s cyber-security business have been strong for quite a while, as growing cyber-security threats jeopardize key government and private-sector technology installations. With North Korean hackers having successfully shut down tens of thousands of servers in South Korea, the U.S. government has gotten serious about the threat, and SAIC won an extension in May for an eighth year serving the Pentagon on a contract that could be worth as much as $381 million. Moreover, the company is working with non-military government applications, having won a $140 million contract alongside competitor CACI International (NYSE: CACI  ) to deliver IT support to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Moreover, SAIC has an advantage over CACI in that while the government agency didn’t actually award CACI a definite part of the contract when it made the announcement in March, SAIC already won one of the major parts of the contract, with expecta tions of taking at least half of the $140 million for itself.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on CACI International (NYSE: CACI  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: ESSA Bancorp Inc. (ESSA)

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania. The company provides deposit accounts comprising savings accounts, NOW accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, club accounts, certificates of deposit, IRAs, and other qualified plan accounts, as well as commercial checking accounts for businesses. It also offers residential first mortgage loans, including one-to-four family residential loans and construction mortgage loans; commercial real estate loans; home equity loans and lines of credit; and commercial and consumer loans, as well as various unsecured or secured loans, loans secured by deposits, personal loans, and automobile loans. In addition, the company provides asset management and trust services, and investment services, as well as insurance benefit consulting services, including health insurance, life insurance, short term and lo ng term disability, dental, vision, and 401(K) retirement planning, as well as individual health products. As of September 30, 2013, it operated 26 full-service banking offices, including 13 offices in Monroe County, 6 offices in Lehigh County, and 7 offices in Northampton County in Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1916 and is based in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    I get somewhat amused every day by the thousands of traders who spend all day trying to figure out what the hot stocks like Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) are going to do every day. Owning stocks like these two banks — or ones I have mentioned before, like ESSA Bancorp (ESSA) and Charter Financial (CHFN) — will be a far more profitable and relaxing endeavor over the next few years.

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Right now I know that silver miners like Pan American Silver (PAAS) and Coeur Mining (CDE) are very cheap on an asset basis. I know that oil and gas producers like Swift Energy (SFY) and WPX Energy (WPX) are priced as if no one will ever use the stuff again. I know that small banks like Cape Bancorp (CBNJ) and Essa Bancorp (ESSA) are crazy-cheap — and if the world does not end, those stocks will be a lot higher in a few years.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: Dana Holding Corporation (DAN)

Dana Holding Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and supply of driveline products, technologies, and service parts for vehicle manufacturers worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Vehicle Driveline Technologies, Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies, Off-Highway Driveline Technologies, and Power Technologies. It provides light axles, driveshafts, engine sealing products, thermal products, and related service parts for light trucks, sport utility vehicles, crossover utility vehicles, vans, and passenger cars. The company also offers axles, driveshafts, chassis and side rails, ride controls and related modules and systems, engine sealing products, thermal products, and related service parts for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles. In addition, it provides axles, driveshafts, suspension components, transmissions, electronic controls, related modules and systems, engine sealing products, thermal products, and related s ervice parts for construction and earth moving machinery; agricultural, mining, forestry, rail, and material handling equipment; and various non-vehicular and industrial applications. Dana Holding Corporation was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Maumee, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Auto parts supplier Dana Holding (NYSE: DAN  ) announced today it is expanding its share repurchase program to $1 billion, representing a $900 million increase over the $100 million bought back under the previous authorization. Shares will be bought back over the next two years.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Auto components manufacturer Dana Holding  (NYSE: DAN  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.05 per share, the same rate it’s paid since it began making a payout last year. The board of directors said the quarterly dividend is payable on Aug. 30 to the holders of record at the close of business on Aug. 9. 

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: FX Energy Inc (FXEN)

FX Energy, Inc. is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with production, appraisal, and exploration activities in Poland. The Company operates within two segments of the oil and gas industry: the exploration and production (E&P) segment in Poland and the United States, and the oilfield services segment in the United States. The Company also has oil production, oilfield service activities, and a shale acreage position in the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its oil and gas production was 4.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas (12.0 million cubic feet equivalent per day). The Company concentrates its exploration operations in Poland primarily on the Rotliegend sandstones of the Permian Basin. The Company has identified a core area consisting of approximately 852,000 gross acres surrounding PGNiG’s producing Radlin field.

Activities and Presence in Poland

The Company conducts its activities in Poland in project areas, including Fences, Blocks 287, 246, and 229 near the Fences concession, Warsaw South, Kutno, Northwest, and Edge. In the Fences during 2011, it completed the Lisewo-1 well as a commercial well and drilled the Plawce-2 well in a tight sand area. In its other concessions it drilled the Machnatka-2 well, a noncommercial Zechstein/Carboniferous test, in the Warsaw South concession, and started drilling the Kutno-2 well, a deep Rotliegend test, in the Kutno concession. The Fences concession area encompasses 852,000 gross acres (3,450 square kilometers) in western Poland’s Permian Basin. The Fences concession area encompasses 852,000 gross acres (3,450 square kilometers) in western Poland’s Permian Basin. The Company has drilled 11 conventional wells targeting Rotliegend structures through the date of this filing. Eight of these wells are commercial. The Company is produce from four of these eight wells.

The Block 287 concession area is 12,000 ac res (50 square kilometers) located approximately 25 miles so! uth of the Fences concession area. The Company owns 100% of the exploration rights. As of December 31, 2011, it has reentered only the Grabowka-12 well. During 2011, it produced at an average daily rate of approximately 0.2 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The Company has a 100% interest in a concession south of its Fences project area covering approximately 241,000 acres (975 square kilometers). The Company hold a 51% interest in a total of 874,000 acres (3,538 square kilometers.) in east-central Poland. During 2011, it entered into a farmout agreement with PGNiG under which it earned a 49% interest in the entire Warsaw South concession in return for paying certain seismic and drilling costs. It subsequently drilled the Machnatka-2 well to test Zechstein and Carboniferous potential in the western part of the concession area.

The Company holds a 100% interest in 706,000 acres (2,856 square kilometers). The area encompasses a Rotliegend structure (Kutn o) with projected four-way dip closure. It started drilling the Kutno-2 well during 2011. It hold concessions on 828,000 acres (3,351 square kilometers) in west-central Poland, in Poland’s Permian Basin directly north of PGNiG’s BMB and MLG oil and gas fields. The Company has a 100% interest in four concessions in north-central Poland covering approximately 881,000 acres (3,567 square kilometers). As of December 31, 2011, it held oil and gas exploration rights in Poland in separately designated project areas encompassing approximately 4.6 million gross acres. The Company is the operator in all areas, except its 852,000 gross-acre core Fences project area, in which it hold a 49% interest in approximately 807,000 acres and a 24.5% interest in the remaining 45,000 acres.

U.S. Activities and Presence

The operations consist of shallow, oil-producing wells in the Southwest Cut Bank Sand Unit (SWCBSU), of Montana. Its oil wells produce approximately 1 55 barrels of oil per day, net to its interest. From its fie! ld office! in Montana, the Company also provides oilfield services. The Company produces oil from approximately 10,732 gross (10,418 net) acres in Montana and 400 gross (128 net) acres in Nevada. In 2011, the Company entered into a joint venture with two other companies, American Eagle Energy, Inc., and Big Sky Operating LLC, in which it pooled our approximately 10,000 net acres in our SWCBSU with their approximately 65,000 net acres, the Americana leases, along with a farmout agreement that provides the group with an ability to earn an interest in an additional 7,000 acres covered by the Somont leases. During 2011, it drilled three vertical wells on joint venture acreage to obtain log and core data. The Company also drilled a 3,600-foot lateral from one of these three wells, the Anderson 14-29, and carried out a multistage fracture. The Company is testing oil potential in the Anderson 14-29 well. The Company has a one-third working interest in all formations below the Cut Bank in its SWCBSU.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but, I told you so. Within the past week I suggested both FX Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FXEN) and MeetMe Inc. (NYSEMKT:MEET) were on the verge of breakouts, and sure enough, both are making good on that promise today; FXEN is up 5%, and MEET shares are higher by nearly 13%. Granted, the market’s bullish tide is helping… a little. But, with both of these stocks outpacing the market’s gain today, odds are that we would have seen these breakout moves anyway.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    If it seems like you’ve heard the market buzzing about FX Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FXEN) quite a bit of late, you’re not crazy – it’s been in the spotlight a little more than usual over the past few weeks. And for good reason. FXEN shares are about to explode higher. All they need is the right nudge. More on that in a second.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another energy player that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a major breakout trade is FX Energy (FXEN), which is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with principal production, reserves and exploration in Poland and oil production, oilfield service and exploration activities in the U.S. This stock is off to a slow start in 2013, with shares off by 14%.

    If you take a look at the chart for FX Energy, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways inside of a consolidation chart pattern for the last two months and change, with shares moving between $2.93 on the downside and $3.98 on the upside. Shares of FXEN are now starting to bounce higher off its 50-day moving average of $3.36 share, and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent range.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FXEN if it manages to break out above some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.62 to $3.71 a share and then above more resistance at $3.98 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action 377,632 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FXEN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $4.50 to $4.76 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give FXEN a chance to tag or trend above $5 a share.

    Traders can look to buy FXEN off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $3.15 or $2.93 a share. One could also buy FXEN off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    FX Energy (FXEN) is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with principal production, reserves and exploration in Poland and oil production, oilfield service and exploration activities in the U.S. This stock closed up 5.7% to $3.69 in Thursday’s trading session.

    Thursday’s Range: $3.34-$3.71

    52-Week Range: $2.48-$8.78

    Thursday’s Volume: 524,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 672,515

    From a technical perspective, FXEN bounced notably higher here right above some near-term support at $3.31 and back above its 50-day moving average of $3.66 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FXEN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if FXEN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $3.89 to more resistance at $3.98.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FXEN as long as it’s trending above support at $3.31 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 672,515 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FXEN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $4.50 to $4.76. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put its recent high at $5 into range for shares of FXEN.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: Powershares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC)

PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (the Fund) and its subsidiary, DB Commodity Index Tracking Master Fund (the Master Fund), were formed as trusts. The Fund is designed to replicate positions in a commodity index.

The PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund is based on the Deutsche Bank Liquid Commodity Index – Optimum Yield Excess Return (Index). The Fund is managed by DB Commodity Services LLC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Doug Fabian]

    PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) is a fund that tracks a basket of commodities, including gold, silver, Brent crude oil, RBOB gasoline, heating oil, sugar, corn, soybeans, and much more.

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    Another futures-based ETF is PowerShares Deutsche Bank Commodity Index (DBC). It is more diversified than DBA. It holds futures contracts in corn and wheat. But it also holds significant positions in gold, heating oil, and crude.

  • [By Cameron Swinehart]

    Going forward I will be looking to add investments on my watchlist and trim other positions. It will be interesting to see how an overweight commodity portfolio will perform relative to the rest of the market.

     Cost Basis# SharesCurrent Price% of PortfolioCurrent ValueReturnMetal/Miners      Sprott Physical Gold Trust (PHYS)$12.4985$11.043.75%$938.40-13.13%Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV)$7.95125$8.744.37%$1,092.509.04%FreePort-McMoran (FCX)$31.6731$33.874.20%$1,049.976.50%Ishares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (RING)$13.0695$10.644.04%$1,010.80-22.74%Energy      Statoil ASA(STO)$21.7940$22.683.63%$907.203.92%Vanguard Natural Resources LLC (VNR)$27.5636$27.874.01%$1,003.321.11%ConocoPhillips (COP)$63.6822.43$71.006.37%$1,592.5310.31%Agriculture      CVR Partner LP (UAN)$26.3630.9$18.932.34%$584.94-39.25%Adecoagro$6.78125$7.443.72%$930.008.87%Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM)$34.80 30$37.244.47%$1,117.206.55%Mixed Commodity      Powershares DB Commodity Index (DBC)$26.3540$25.954.15%$1,038.00-1.54%Sprott Resource Corp$3.34400$2.714.34%$1,084.00-23.25%    Total % of portfolio49.40%               Cost Basis12,666.00      Current Value12,348.86      Return-2.50%  Source: Investing For The Future Surge In Commodity Prices

    Disclosure: I am long ADM, FCX, UAN, AGRO, RING, VNR, SCPZF.PK, COP, DBC, PHYS, PSLV. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More…)

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: Volt Information Sciences Inc (VISI)

Volt Information Sciences, Inc., incorporated in 1957, provides staffing services, and telecommunications and information solutions. The Company is organized in two businesses: Staffing Services and Telecommunications and Information Solutions. Staffing services segment provides a range of employee staffing services to a range of customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia/Pac, and has expanded operations in Latin America. Telecommunications services provide telecommunications and other services, including design, engineering, construction, installation, maintenance and removal of telecommunications equipment for the outside plant and central offices of telecommunications and cable companies. In September 2008, the Company sold the net assets of its DataNational and Directory Systems divisions.

Staffing Services

Services offered by the Staffing Services segment fall within three major functional areas: staffing solutions, information techn ology (IT) solutions and e-procurement solutions. Staffing solutions provides managed staffing, temporary/contract personnel employment and workforce solutions. This functional area comprises the Technical Resources (Technical) division and the Administrative and Industrial (A&I) division. This functional area also provides direct placement services and, upon request from customers, subject to contractual conditions, is focused to allow the customer to convert the temporary employees to full-time customer employees under negotiated terms. In addition, the Company’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services deliver end-to-end recruitment and hiring outsourced solutions to customers. The Technical division provides skilled employees, such as computer and other IT specialties, engineering, design, life sciences and technical support. The A&I division provides administrative, clerical, accounting and financial, call center and light industrial personnel.

E-proc urement solutions provide global bid human capital acquisiti! on and management solutions by combining Web-based tools and business process outsourcing services. IT solutions provides a range of services, including consulting, outsourcing and turnkey project management in the software and hardware development, IT infrastructure services and customer contact markets.

Telecommunications and Information Solutions

This segment is divided into three sub segments: telecommunications services, computer systems, and printing and other. Telecommunications Services segment designs, engineers, constructs, installs and maintains voice, data, video and utility infrastructure for public and private businesses, military, and government agencies.

Computer Systems segment provides directory and operator systems and services primarily for the telecommunications industry and provides IT maintenance services. The segment also sells information systems to its customers and, in addition, provides an application service provider (ASP) model, which also provides information services, including infrastructure and database data services to others. This segment consists of Volt Delta Resources LLC, Volt Delta International, LSSiData and the Maintech computer maintenance division.

Printing and other segment provides printing services and publishes telephone directories in Uruguay. The telephone directory revenues of this segment are derived from the sales of telephone directory advertising for the books it publishes.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon]

    1. Steel Excel (SXCL)
    2. FormFactor (FORM)
    3. Imation (IMN)
    4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
    5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
    6. Maxygen (MAXY)
    7. Westell (WSTL)
    8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
    9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: LyondellBasell Industries NV(LYB)

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for production of polymers. The company?s Olefins and Polyolefins segment offers olefins, including ethylene, propylene, and butadiene; aromatics, such as benzene and toluene; polyolefins, which comprise polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and linear low-density polyethylene; specialty polyolefins, including catalloy process resins, PP compounds, and polybutene-1 resins; and ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethanol. Its Intermediates and Derivatives segment provides propylene oxide (PO); PO co-products, including styrene monomers and TBA derivative isobutylene; PO derivatives, such as propylene glycol, propylene glycol ethers, and butanediol; acetyls, such as methanol, acetic acid, and vinyl acetate monomers; ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethylene oxide , ethylene glycol, and ethylene glycol ethers; and flavor and fragrance chemicals. The company?s Refining and Oxyfuels segment offers gasoline and components, ultra low sulfur diesel, jet fuel, and lube oils; diesel, feedstock, fuel oil, gasoline, and bitumen; and gasoline blending components, including methyl tertiary butyl ether, ethyl tertiary butyl ether, and alkylate. Its Technology segment develops and licenses polyolefin and other process technologies. This segment also develops, manufactures, and sells polyolefin catalysts, as well as provides technology services, which comprise safety reviews, training and start-up assistance, engineering services for process and product improvements, and manufacturing troubleshooting. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. has operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. is a subsidiary of Prochemie GmbH.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    LyondellBasell Industries N.V.(LYB) said its fourth-quarter earnings soared 86% as the plastics and chemicals company reported better profitability across all key business segments. Results were far better than Wall Street expected, sending shares up 2.4% to $79.90 in premarket trading.

  • [By Peter Staas]

    Holland-based petrochemical outfit LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) remains the best bet for income-seeking investors to profit from persistently weak ethane prices in North America.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    LyondellBasell Industries N.V.’s(LYB) third-quarter earnings edged up 0.8% as the plastics and chemicals company reported stronger profits in its olefins and polyolefins segments, though results were weaker in its intermediates and refining businesses. Results missed estimates, sending shares down 2% premarket to $74.

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    This cheap feedstock has sent production up over one-third in the past five years, and has given a nice pad to chemical company earnings. LyondellBassell (NYSE: LYB  ) reported that 2012 was a record year in terms of earnings despite a 6% drop in revenue. These kinds of results have resulted in a mad rush to increase capacity. The entire industry has plans to spend about $30 billion in new plants to take advantage of cheap feedstock. Dow personally is looking to invest $1.7 billion to build what would be the company’s largest ethylene facility and would increase the company’s ethylene capacity by 1.5 million tons per year. With so much invested in cheap natural gas, it should come as no surprise that the company will look to protect that position for as long as possible. 

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: STERIS Corporation(STE)

STERIS Corporation and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture, and sell infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical support products and services for healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial, and governmental customers worldwide. It provides steam, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide sterilizers; liquid chemical sterilant processing systems; washer/disinfector systems; general and specialty surgical tables; surgical and examination lights; equipment management systems; operating room storage cabinets; warming cabinets; scrub sinks; and other products and accessories. The company also offers connectivity solutions, such as operating room integration, workflow, patient tracking, and instrument management that allow transfer of information and images; cleaning chemistries and sterility assurance products; cleansing products, including hard surface disinfectants, and skin care and hand hygiene solutions; high-pu rity water equipment; vaporized hydrogen peroxide generators. In addition, it sells contract materials processing services using gamma irradiation and ethylene oxide technologies, as well as offers microbial reduction services based on customer specifications. Further, the company provides maintenance programs and repair services, sterilization and surgical management consulting services, information management and decision support services, and other support services, such as construction and facility planning, engineering support, device testing, customer education, hand hygiene process excellence, asset management/planning, and the sale of replacement parts. STERIS Corporation sells its products to end users, dealers, and distributors through direct field sales and service representatives. The company was formerly known as Innovative Medical Technologies and changed its name to STERIS Corporation in 1987. STERIS Corporation was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Men t or, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Steris (NYSE: STE  )  — a manufacturer of infection prevention, contamination control, and surgical support products for the health-care industry — jumped as much as 10% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: First Security Group Inc.(FSGI)

First Security Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for FSGBank that provides banking and financial products and services to various communities in eastern and middle Tennessee and northern Georgia. The company offers various deposit services, such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. It offers commercial loans, including loans to smaller business ventures, credit lines for working capital, short-term seasonal or inventory financing, and letters of credit; real estate?construction and development loans to residential and commercial contractors and developers; and consumer loans to individuals for personal, family, and household purposes, including secured and unsecured installment and term loans. The company also offers commercial mortgage loans to finance the purchase of real property; commercial leasing for new and used equipment, fixtures, and furnishings to owner-managed businesses; and leasing for forklifts, heavy equipment, and other machinery to owner-managed businesses primarily in the trucking and construction industries. It also provides trust and investment management, mortgage banking, financial planning, and electronic banking services, such as Internet banking, online bill payment, cash management, ACH originations, wire transfers, direct deposit, traveler?s checks, safe deposit boxes, United States savings bonds, and remote deposit capture, as well as equipment leasing. The company operates 38 full-service banking offices and 1 loan and lease production office. Its market areas include in Bradley, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Putnam, and Union counties, Tennessee; and Catoosa and Whitfield counties, Georgia. First Security Group was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ning Jia]

    The case for First Security Group (FSGI) is interesting. It is bank holding company that is obscure, cheap and unloved. As the company completed the recapitalization earlier this year, I think the market has been under-appreciating its potential to return to growth and profitability as a result of the much-needed recapitalization.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    First Security Group (FSGI) operates as the holding company for FSGBank, which provides banking products and services to various communities in Tennessee and Georgia. This stock closed up 6.5% to $2.29 in Tuesday’s trading session.

    Tuesday’s Range: $2.16-$2.30

    52-Week Range: $1.30-$7.45

    Tuesday’s Volume: 80,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 509,606

    From a technical perspective, FSGI ripped higher here right above some near-term support levels at $2.14 to $2.12 with lighter-than-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FSGI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if FSGI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.38 to $2.52 and then once it clears its 200-day moving average at $2.80 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FSGI as long as it’s trending above some key support levels at $2.14 to $2.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 509,606 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FSGI will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from June that started at $5.08.

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: Copart Inc. (CPRT)

Copart, Inc. provides online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company offers a range of services for processing and selling vehicles over the Internet through its Virtual Bidding Second Generation Internet auction-style sales technology, to vehicle sellers, primarily insurance companies, banks and financial institutions, charities, car dealerships, fleet operators, and vehicle rental companies. Its services include online seller access, salvage estimation services, estimating services, end-of-life vehicle processing, virtual insured exchange, transportation services, vehicle inspection stations, on-demand reporting, DMV processing, flexible vehicle processing programs, member network, sales process, dealer services, direct services, and u-pull-it services, as well as CoPartfinder, an Internet-based used vehicle parts locator that provides vehicle dismantlers with resale opportunities for their purchases. Th e company sells its products to licensed vehicle dismantlers, rebuilders, repair licensees, used vehicle dealers, and exporters, as well as the general public. Copart, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Fairfield, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] wo companies in its industry that are public. The other company is part of a kind of conglomerate car sales company. That other company, KAR Auction Services (KAR), was much more explicit in detailing the competitive position of Copart and Insurance Auto Auctions. It even gave market share data.

    This is common. Often one company will choose not to give names or put percentages on certain competitive facts. The other company will do so. And even when that is not the case, the two companies will often make statements that — when taking together — can give you rough indications of certain realities that neither company entirely intended to provide.

    The same is true for certain suppliers and customers. Although this is complicated by size. Very large customers of small companies are not good sources of information. But smaller companies often provide better insights into the larger suppliers, customers, etc., they deal with. That’s because — due to their small size — more information is material and is explained in detail.

    I have found situations where one company simply says who the customer is that they are supplying. While the other company explains what product that supply goes into, the purchase amount, whether it is an exclusive arrangement, etc.

    So it is always important to — at a minimum — read the 10-Ks, 14As, and (where available) S-1s of every public company in the industry. This will give you a lot of insight into the competitive situation. Sometimes it is helpful to also look at customers and suppliers. However, this is not true of very large customers and suppliers because they will not discuss the specific area you are interested in.

    For example, Honeywell is a large customer of George Risk. It would do me no good to study Honeywell to learn about George Risk. Honeywell is a huge company. What they buy from George Risk is irrelevant to their shareholders. So they do not discuss it.

    An exception to this is

  • [By Geoff Gannon] facility. They have to either buy somebody out (in which case you might not penalize them in free cash flow) or buy and develop a new salvage yard from scratch (in which case, almost all FCF calculations will punish them for this cap-ex).

    But, if you really believe that Copart can achieve anything like a 27% return on net tangible assets (my estimate of what they’ve done in the past) – should you be penalizing them at all?

    Isn’t a $1 increase in inventory, receivables, and/or land that is going to earn 27 cents a year worth every bit as much as if it was paid out to you (or was sitting in cash at a bank)?

    So, aren’t earnings for a company that earns a 20%+ return on tangible investment clearly worth every bit as much as free cash flow?

    I would say yes. If and only if you believe the future return on the earnings retained by the business today (the marginal return) is in a sense comparable to the average return in the past.

    Don’t confuse how fast a car is moving at this instant with how much distance it’s covered in the past hour.

    The past average is just the past average. It is not the same as what the company will earn on the next dollar of capital it puts into the business.

    But it can be used as a guide. Especially for wide moat businesses.

    Like any rough guide – you want to leave a big margin of safety. So, if you think you can make 10% on the money in your brokerage account and the company you are investing in has an average unleveraged return on tangible net assets of 12% – that’s pretty much a wash. I can’t say that money is better off with the company than it is with you. And I think – absent tax concerns – it would make perfect sense to hope the company paid that cash out to you.

    At a 20% unleveraged return on tangible net assets I’d feel differently. The evidence points to the company having a better chance to earn more on the capital inside the business than you’d be able to ea

  • [By Geoff Gannon]

    The same rule applies here that I mentioned with Copart (CPRT) in an earlier article. Although Wal-Mart is an inferior business to Copart from a pure ROI standpoint, it’s still earning good returns on its investment.

  • [By Geoff Gannon] s thousands of acres of land around the U.S. Some of it is quite valuable. It’s carried on the balance sheet at $343 million. That number excludes buildings and improvements (which had an original cost of another $384 million).

    Some of that land – for example, some of the earliest properties they still own in California – are worth much, much more than they are carried for.

    But that fact actually isn’t that important. Why not?

    Because Copart earns very high returns on its net tangible assets. We’re talking about probably 20% to 30% returns on tangible investment. You don’t normally earn 20% on land. So, the value of land is not very high outside of Copart’s operations relative to what it is worth inside Copart’s operations.

    And, yes, the land is critical to Copart’s operations. They don’t necessarily have to own it – a major competitor leases almost all of its land – but they do have to control it.

    Now, if something were ever to happen to Copart’s business where you had a long-term deterioration in the car salvage business that land might become very important to an analysis of Copart.

    Let’s assume that tomorrow there is some high tech crash avoidance system. For example, cars are navigated remotely rather than being driven by someone inside the car.

    Under those circumstances, Copart’s business would be forever changed. The volume of wrecks would decline. And Copart’s invested assets – like its big salvage yards – would become much less valuable inside Copart’s business.

    That means the market value of the land would now be a lot higher relative to the value Copart could get from using the land to store cars. This would change the analysis entirely. And suddenly Copart’s balance sheet would be worth careful analysis.

    While this sounds farfetched, it’s actually the kind of thing that happens at net-nets and other stocks that are valuable on a liquidat ion basis. They start

Top Japanese Stocks For 2015: RELM Wireless Corp (RWC)

RELM Wireless Corporation (RELM) provides two-way radio communications equipment. RELM designs, manufactures and markets wireless communications products consisting of two-way land mobile radios, repeaters, base stations, and related components and subsystems. Two-way land mobile radios can be units that are hand-held (portable) or installed in vehicles (mobile). The Company’s P-25 digital products and the Company’s analog products function in the VHF (136 megahertz – 174 megahertz), UHF (380 megahertz – 470 megahertz, 450 megahertz – 520 megahertz) and 700-800 megahertz bands. The Company offers products under two brand names: BK Radio and RELM. BK Radio-branded products serve the government and public safety market and RELM-branded products serve the business and industrial market.

BK Radio-branded products consist of land-mobile radio equipment for professional radio users primarily in government and public safety applications. RELM’s P-25 digital products are marketed under the BK Radio brand. RELM-branded products provide two-way communications for commercial and industrial concerns, such as hotels, construction firms, schools, and transportation services. The Company provides products to a range of customers, including emergency, public safety, homeland security and military customers of federal and state government agencies, as well as various commercial enterprises. The Company’s two-way radio products are used in harsh and hazardous conditions.

The Company competes with Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Relm Wireless (RWC) is engaged in the designing, manufacturing and marketing wireless communications products consisting of two-way land mobile radios, repeaters, base stations and related components and subsystems. This stock closed up 2.8% to $3.58 in Tuesday’s trading session.

    Tuesday’s Range: $3.40-$3.58

    52-Week Range: $1.42-$3.74

    Tuesday’s Volume: 106,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 74,659

    From a technical perspective, RWC trended higher here right above some near-term support levels at $3.20 to $3.10 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last two months, with shares moving higher from its low of $2.62 to its intraday high of $3.58. During that move, shares of RWC have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is quickly pushing shares of RWC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RWC manages to take out its 52-week high at $3.74 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RWC as long as it’s trending above some near-term support levels at $3.20 or its 50-day at $3.10 and then once it sustains a move or close above $3.74 with volume that hits near or above 74,659 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RWC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $4.50 to $5.