Top Low Price Stocks For 2015

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (NYSE: PBR), commonly called Petrobras, announced on Friday that it is raising the prices it charges for gasoline and diesel fuel by 4% and 8%, respectively. This is the fifth rise in diesel prices and the third in gasoline prices in the past year and a half. The price hike became effective at midnight and Brazilian drivers will see the higher prices at the pump beginning on Saturday.

The price increase announced yesterday is expected to raise pump prices by about 3%. A gallon of gasoline in Brazil sold for around $4.60 before the hike was announced.

Brazil’s problem is that inflation is eating away at its economy and the country’s central bank has been raising interest rates in an effort to cool things off. The government, which owns the majority stake in Petrobras, has also been trying to keep the lid on pump prices, forcing Petrobras to sell gasoline for less than it costs to produce.

But keeping the price of gasoline low has the unintended effect of driving up demand. That was predictable. A second unintended effect is that the low price of gasoline has forced the country’s ethanol producers to keep their prices low and the country’s ethanol industry is also being forced to sell ethanol at prices too low to make a profit.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Tenneco Automotive Inc.(TEN)

Tenneco Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells emission control and ride control products and systems for light, commercial, and specialty vehicle applications worldwide. The company offers emission control systems, such as catalytic converters and diesel oxidation catalysts to reduce harmful gaseous emissions; diesel particulate filters to eliminate particulate matter emitted from diesel engines; burner systems, which combust fuel and air inside the exhaust system; and hydrocarbon vaporizers and injectors. It also provides lean nitrogen oxide traps, selective catalytic reduction systems, and alternative NOx reduction technologies that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel power trains; mufflers and resonators to provide noise elimination and acoustic tuning; exhaust manifolds that collect gases from individual cylinders of a vehicle?s engine and direct them into a single exhaust pipe; pipes to connect various parts of hot and cold ends of an exhaust system; hydro fo rmed assemblies; hangers and isolators used for system installation and elimination of noise and vibration; and after treatment control units. In addition, the company offers ride control systems comprising shock absorbers, struts, vibration control components, a suite of roll-control and nearly equal wheel-loading systems, and advanced suspension systems, as well as other ride control products, including load assist products, springs, steering stabilizers, suspension kits, and modular assemblies. The company provides its products under the Monroe, Rancho, Clevite Elastomers, Marzocchi, Axios, Kinetic, Fric-Rot, Walker, Fonos, DynoMax, Thrush, and Lukey brands. It serves original equipment manufacturers, and repair and replacement markets. The company was formerly known as Tenneco Automotive Inc. and changed its name to Tenneco Inc. in 2005. Tenneco Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Lear have gained 0.2% to $77.32 at 2:24 p.m. on a day when most auto-part companies are not doing much of anything. Delphi Automotive, the big loser, has dropped 1.1% to $57.39, Johnson Controls (JCI) has fallen 0.2% to $42.94 and Borg Warner (BWA) has risen up 0.4% to $106.70. The big winner: Tenneco (TEN), which has jumped 3.3% $54.65 after reporting better than expected earnings.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Under Armour Inc.(UA)

Under Armour, Inc. develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth primarily in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers products made from moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics designed to regulate body temperature and enhance performance regardless of weather conditions. The company provides its products in three fit types: compression (tight fitting), fitted (athletic cut), and loose (relaxed) extending across the sporting goods, outdoor, and active lifestyle markets. Its footwear offerings comprise football, baseball, lacrosse, softball, and soccer cleats; slides; performance training footwear; and running footwear. The company also provides baseball batting, football, golf, and running gloves, as well as licenses bags, socks, headwear, custom-molded mouth guards, and eyewear that are designed to be used and worn before, during, and after competition. Under Armour sells its products through retai l stores, as well as directly to consumers through its own retail outlets and specialty stores, Website, and catalogs. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    In one corner, there are the angry consumers. They were told to “bend over” after complaining that their black Luon pants were too sheer. They were also told that the brand might not be for them if their thighs brush together while wearing them.(And it’s not like they don’t have other choices from Nike (NKE), Under Armour (UA) and the Gap’s (GPS) Athleta brand.

  • [By CNNMoney Staff]

    Under Armour (UA) shares popped after the company said Friday that it extended its partnership with the U.S. Olympic speedskating team through 2022. The Under Armour suits created a controversy in Sochi after some speedskaters blamed the new uniforms for poor performance.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI)

Compass Diversified Holdings is a public investment firm specializing in acquiring controlling stakes in small to middle market companies. The firm seeks to make middle market and buyout investments. It seeks to invest in industries such as manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, and business services. The firm prefers to invest in companies based in North America with a preferred transaction size between $60 million and $300 million in value, cash flows between $5 million and $40 million, with enterprise values between $50 million and $250 million, and a minimum EBITDA of $10 million. It seeks to acquire controlling ownership interests in its portfolio companies and can also make additional platform acquisitions. The firm makes investments through balance sheet. Compass Diversified Holdings was founded in 2005 and is based in Westport, Connecticut. Compass Diversified Holdings operates as a subsidiary of The Compass Group LLC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI  ) owns several middle-market businesses. From printed circuit boards to gun safes — from upholstered furniture to personal hydration products — Compass lives up to the “Diversified” in its moniker.

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    I went out on a limb last week, and now it’s time to see how that decision played out.

    I predicted that Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE  ) would close higher on the week. The provider of natural gas fueling solutions for transportation has been posting narrowing losses, and Wall Street was eyeing a 35% surge in revenue. The company was a solid report. Revenue came in a little light, but bottom-line results improved nicely. Shares of Clean Energy Fuels moved slightly higher on the week. I was right. I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . This has been a tricky call lately, so how did it play out this time? Well, the market had a strong run this week, fueled be encouraging economic news. Secondary stocks led the way, with the Nasdaq soaring 1.7% on the week. The Dow managed to close just 1% higher. I was right. My final call was for Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI  ) to beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit target. The investor in several middle-market companies has been posting blowout quarterly results over the past year, and I was banking on seeing the trend continue. Analysts were looking for a profit of $0.36 a share during the quarter, but Compass Diversified failed to beat the prognosticators. I was wrong.

    Two out of three? I’ll take it. That makes me eight of nine over the past three weeks.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Territorial Bancorp Inc.(TBNK)

Territorial Bancorp Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Territorial Savings Bank, a federally-chartered savings bank that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Hawaii. It involves in accepting deposits from the general public and investing those deposits together with funds generated from operations and borrowings in loans and investment securities. The company?s deposit products include passbook and statement savings accounts, certificates of deposits, money market accounts, commercial and regular checking accounts, and NOW accounts. Its loan products include one-to-four-family residential mortgage loans; home equity loans and lines of credit; construction, commercial, and other non-residential real estate loans; consumer loans; and multi-family mortgage loans. The company, through its subsidiary, Territorial Financial Services, Inc., also engages in insurance agency activities. In addition, it provides various non-d eposit investments, including annuities and mutual funds through a third-party broker-dealer. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 26 full-service branch offices in Hawaii. The company was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Territorial Bancorp (NASDAQ: TBNK) shares touched a new 52-week low of $21.31. Territorial Bancorp shares have dropped 9.43% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.18% in the same period.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Accuride Corporation New (ACW)

Accuride Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in designing, manufacturing, marketing, and supplying commercial vehicle components in North America. The company offers heavy- and medium-duty steel and aluminum wheels, light truck steel wheels, and military wheels; and wheel-end components and assemblies, such as brake drums, disc wheel hubs, spoke wheels, disc brake rotors, and automatic slack adjusters. It also provides truck body and chassis parts comprising bumpers, fuel tanks, battery boxes and toolboxes, front-end cross members, muffler assemblies, and crown assemblies and components, as well as fenders, exhaust components, sun visors, windshield masks, step assemblies, brackets, fuel tank supports, inner-hood panels, door assemblies, dash panel assemblies, and various other components. In addition, the company offers ductile and gray iron casting of transmission and engine-related components, which comprise flywheels, and transmission and engine-relate d housings and brackets; and ductile and gray iron casting of industrial components, such as flywheels, pump housings, small engine components, and other industrial components. Accuride Corporation markets its products under Accuride, Gunite, Imperial, and Brillion brand names. It serves heavy- and medium-duty truck, and commercial trailer original equipment manufacturers (OEM); and aftermarket suppliers, including OEM dealer networks, wholesale distributors, and aftermarket buying groups. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Putnam]

    Because of a very leveraged balance sheet, the company—Accuride Corp. (ACW)—could not survive the 2008-09 recession, and it filed for bankruptcy in October 2009.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Basic guidelines
    In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven’t materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Accuride (NYSE: ACW  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company’s inventory growth to sales growth. How is Accuride doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue decreased 14.3%, and inventory decreased 30.5%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue dropped 28.6%, and inventory dropped 30.5%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue grew 9.2%, and inventory dropped 6.1%.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH)

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, (LVMH), is a France-based luxury goods company. It owns a portfolio of luxury brands and its business activities are divided into five segments: Wines and Spirits, Fashion and Leather Goods, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, and Selective Retailing. The activities of the wines and spirits sector include the Champagne and Wines branch, and the Cognac and Spirits branch. The Fashion and Leather Goods group includes Louis Vuitton, Kenzo and Rossimoda among others. LVMH is present in the perfume and cosmetics sector through the French Houses Christian Dior and other brands. Watches and Jewelry sells such products as TAG Heuer, Zenith, Dior Watches, Chaumet and Fred, among others. Selective Retailing businesses operate in two segments: travel retail and the seleLVMH ctive retail concepts represented by Sephora and Le Bon Marche. In September 2013, the Company acquired majority stake in Nicholas Kirkwood, a British shoe designer compa ny. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    TR: It’s a one-off isn’t it? That’s why we said – what could be the source of new ideas? We’ve got Richemont, you have Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH).

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Louis Vuitton (LVMH) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and retailers of luxury apparel. Nearly two years ago, we began to analyze the company. We liked the business model, particularly the growth potential as consumers in emerging markets grow more eager to demonstrate their affluence. We concluded that the company was well-run by a trustworthy management team, but its valuation did not seem very compelling. Louis Vuitton did not appear to be trading at what we felt was enough of a discount to its intrinsic value. Despite this, we did not abandon the idea. For the next 18 months we kept Louis Vuitton on what we call our inventory list. It was an investment we were comfortable making if the right price presented itself. In April, Louis Vuitton shares declined sharply after shareholders were disappointed by their latest earnings announcement, bringing the stock down to a valuation that we felt was attractive. We acted quickly to purchase shares.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Herbalife Ltd (HLF)

Herbalife Ltd., incorporated on April 4, 2002, is a global network marketing company that sells weight management, nutritional supplements, energy, sports and fitness products and personal care products through a network of approximately 2.7 million independent distributors, except in China, where the Company sells its products through retail stores. The Company is a network marketing company that sells a range of weight management products, nutritional supplements and personal care products. As of December 31, 2011, the Company sold products in 79 countries throughout the world. Herbalife’s products are grouped in four principal categories: weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports and fitness and Outer Nutrition, along with literature and promotional items. The Company’s generates revenue from its six regions: North America, Mexico, South and Central America; EMEA, which consists of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific (excluding China), and C hina. On December 31, 2012, the Company acquired a manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Company’s products are manufactured by third party providers and by the Company in its Suzhou, China facility and in its manufacturing facility located in Lake Forest, California, and then are sold to independent distributors who sell Herbalife products to retail consumers or other distributors. As of December 31, 2011, Herbalife marketed and sold 138 products encompassing over 4,400 stock keeping units (SKUs) through its distributors.

Weight Management

Weight Management is the Company’s largest product category representing 62.5% of its net sales during the year ended December 31, 2011. Formula 1, its product, is a healthy meal with soy protein, essential vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients that is available in seven flavors and can help support weight management. Personalized Protein Powder is a soy and whey protein product designed as a boost to Formula 1 to personalize a pe! rson’s daily protein intake to help achieve their desired weight and shape. Weight-loss enhancers, including Herbal Tea Concentrate, Total Control and Prolessa Duo address specific challenges associated with dieting, such as lack of energy, hunger and food craving, fluid retention, decreased metabolism and digestive challenges, by building energy, boosting metabolism, curbing appetite and helping to promote weight loss. Healthy snacks are formulated to provide between-meal nutrition and appetite satisfaction.

Targeted Nutrition

Herbalife markets numerous dietary and nutritional supplements designed to meet its customers’ specific nutritional needs. Each of these supplements contains botanicals, vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients and focuses on specific life stages of its customers, including women, men, children and those with health concerns, including heart health, healthy aging, digestive health, or immune solutions. Niteworks is a product that supports energy, circulatory and vascular health and enhances blood flow to the heart, brain and other vital organs. Garden 7 is designed to provide the phytonutrient benefits of seven servings of fruits and vegetables and has anti-oxidant and health-boosting properties. Best Defense is an effervescent drink that helps boost immunity. In 2011, the Company expanded distribution of its Active Fiber line by introducing its Apple flavored Active Fiber Complex in the South and Central America region.

Energy, Sports and Fitness

Herbalife entered into the energy drink with the introduction of Liftoff, an energy drink containing a blend of B-vitamins, guarana, ginseng, ginkgo and caffeine to increase energy and improve mental clarity for better performance throughout the day. It launched H3Otm Fitness Drink to provide hydration, sustained muscle energy plus antioxidant protection for people living a healthy, active lifestyle. It also intro duced H30 Pro in EMEA to provide an isotonic drink to indivi! duals par! ticipating in high activity sports.

Outer Nutrition

The Company’s Outer Nutrition products complement its weight management and targeted nutrition products and aim to improve the appearance of the body, skin and hair. These products include skin cleansers, toners, moisturizers and facial masks, shampoos and conditioners, body-wash items and a selection of fragrances for men and women. Its Herbal Aloe line is its introductory line providing distributors with cleansers, lotions and soaps that help sooth the skin. NouriFusion Multivitamin skin care products are formulated with antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E. It launched a line of anti-aging products as an extension of its Skin Activator product, an advanced face cream that contains a collagen-building Glucosamine Complex to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also launched a number of regional products including a Soft Green Body Care line in Brazil, the Whitening Serum under the No uriFusion brand in the Asia Pacific region, and the Lively Fragrances perfume line.

Literature, Promotional and Other Products

Herbalife also sells literature and promotional materials, including sales aids, informational audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs (CDs) and digital versatile discs (DVDs) designed to support its distributors’ marketing efforts, as well as start-up kits called International Business Packs for new distributors. It introduced BizWorks, a customizable retail Website for its distributors to enhance the on-line experience.

The Company competes with NuSkin Enterprises, Nature’s Sunshine, Alticor/Amway, Melaleuca, Avon Products, Oriflame, Tupperware and Mary Kay, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, General Nutrition Centers and Wal-Mart.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are Zale Corp.(ZLC), Herbalife Ltd.(HLF) and Devon Energy Corp.(DVN)

  • [By Mani]

    [Related -Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Q3 Earnings Preview: What To Watch?]

    Herbalife’s earnings have topped the Street’s view in all of the past four quarters, with upside surprise ranging between 1.9 and 23.7 percent. The consensus estimate has gained 7 cents in the past 90 days, and three analysts raised their quarterly profit views in the last month. This reflects the ongoing positive sentiment of the Street. The company has grown profit for the last nine quarters.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    If Herbalife (HLF) traded only on fundamentals, there’s no telling how high it could go. It doesn’t, however, so investors need to weigh the pros and cons of investing in its shares, despite last night’s financial results.

    Bloomberg News

    To recap: Herbalife beat fourth-quarter earnings and sales forecasts, and boosted its 2014 earnings guidance, despite weaker projected sales due to currency fluctuations. A big share buyback will do that.

    Good results sure, but can they ever be good enough, what with William Ackman mounting a crusade against the multi-level market? Websush’s Rommel Dionisio and team assess the risks and rewards:

    Broad-based fundamental growth still impressive, with core business and recruiting trends remaining strong, despite recent headlines. While shares of [Herbalife] continue to bounce around in the face of recent headlines as well as a negative publicity campaign being waged by a prominent short seller, we believe Herbalife’s core fundamentals still remain strong, with double-digit growth seen in EMEA, South/Central America, and China, as well as high single-digit growth in the core North America region…

    Given Herbalife’s still strong core business momentum, partially offset by continued headline risk, we believe shares of [Herbalife] should trade relatively in line with its peer group. This generates a 2014E P/E multiple of 15x, resulting in our PT of $90.

    Shares of Herbalife have dropped 3.5% to $66.53 at 2:44 p.m., while Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) has dipped 0.1% to $79.99, Usana Health Sciences (USNA) has fallen 0.4% to $75.84, Avon Products (AVP) has gained 0.9% to $15.22 and Weight Watchers (WTW) has advanced 0.2% to $20.95.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: THL Credit Inc.(TCRD)

THL Credit, Inc. is a private equity and mezzanine firm specializing in mature, bridge, PIPES, industry consolidation, acquisition, recapitalization, change of control transactions, and growth capital investments in both sponsored and unsponsored middle-market companies. It provides junior debt and equity to both private and public companies. The firm also invests in privately negotiated subordinated debt securities such as warrants. It seeks to invest in outsourced business services, healthcare, financials, retailing, media, and consumer discretionary. The firm prefers to invest between $10 million and $50 million in the form of debt in companies that have annual revenues between $25 million and $500 million and with an EBITA of minimum $5 million. It prefers to be a lead or sole investor in a transaction. The firm also seeks board representation in its portfolio companies. THL Credit, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts with additional offices in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD  ) stands to gross nearly $100 million in new financing if a fresh stock offering goes as planned. The company announced it’s floating 6.6 million shares of its common stock at $14.62 apiece in an underwritten public offering. Additionally, its underwriters have been granted a 30-day purchase option for up to an additional 990,000 shares.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Columbia Sportswear Company(COLM)

Columbia Sportswear Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, sourcing, marketing, and distribution of outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment in the United States, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada. It provides apparel, accessories, and equipment for men, women, and youth under Columbia and Mountain Hardwear brands used during outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, camping, hunting, fishing, trail running, water sports, and adventure travel. The company also offers footwear products, including lightweight hiking boots, trail running shoes, rugged cold weather boots, sandals, and casual shoes for men and women under Columbia, Sorel, and Montrail brands, as well as for youth under the Columbia and Sorel brands. Columbia Sportswear Company sells its products through wholesale distribution channels, independent distributors, direct-to-consum er channels, and licensees, as well as online to independent distributors and consumers. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 43 outlet retail stores and 8 branded retail stores in the United States; 7 outlet retail stores and 3 branded retail stores in various locations in western Europe; and 2 outlet retail stores in Canada, as well as 111 and 236 dealer-operated, branded, outlet, and shop-in-shop locations in Japan and Korea. Columbia Sportswear Company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    Summit Sports, a Michigan-based retailer of sporting goods, had this to say about the cold: “Our apparel sales are through the roof on Amazon … We’ve seen a 50% to 60% increase in sales on Amazon.” According to Compete Inc., the average weekly traffic in January for seven big-time retailers of cold-weather gear increased by 22% year-over-year. Both Columbia Sportswear (COLM) and Timberland, part of VF Corp. (VFC), saw YOY increases of more than 40%.

  • [By John Kell]

    Columbia Sportswear Co.’s(COLM) fourth-quarter profit slipped 7% as an asset impairment charge weighed on the active outdoor apparel maker’s bottom line, masking a rise in revenue. Shares rose 6.4% to $83.70 premarket.

  • [By Anh HOANG]

    Another peer, Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM  ) has also spent a lot of money on a major marketing campaign for its Omni-Freeze ZERO fabric. This fabric uses the industry’s leading cooling technology and provides prolonged cooling for its users. This could be considered an important new franchise to complement the existing franchise innovations portfolio of Columbia Sportswear. Its fall 2014 product lines have been structured so that they were more reasonably priced to drive sales growth for the company.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI)

Northern Tier Energy LP, formerly Northern Tier Energy, Inc., incorporated in October 21, 2011, is an independent downstream energy company with refining, retail, and pipeline operations that serves the PADD II region of the United States. The Company operates its assets in two business segments: the refining business and the retail business. The Company owns three pipelines. The Company’s operations will be conducted through, and its operating assets will be owned by, its wholly owned subsidiary, Northern Tier Energy LLC, and its subsidiaries. Effective November 12, 2013, Western Refining Inc acquired a 38.681% interest in Northern Tier Energy LP.

Refining Business

The Company’s refining business primarily consists of a 74,000 barrels per calendar day (84,500 barrels per stream day) refinery located in St. Paul Park, Minnesota. Its location allows it to distribute its refined products throughout the midwestern United States. The Company’s ref inery produces a slate of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and asphalt, which are then marketed to resellers and consumers primarily in the PADD II region. It also owns various storage and transportation assets, including a light products terminal, a heavy products terminal, storage tanks, rail loading/unloading facilities and a Mississippi river dock. The Company’s refining business also includes its 17% interest in the Minnesota Pipe Line Company, which owns and operates the Minnesota Pipeline, a 455,000 barrels per calendar day crude oil pipeline system that transports crude oil (primarily from Western Canada and North Dakota) for approximately 300 miles from the Enbridge pipeline hub at Clearbrook, Minnesota to its refinery.

As of March 31, 2012, the Company’s storage assets included 84 hydrocarbon storage tanks with a total capacity of 3.7 million barrels (156 million gallons), 0.8 million barrels of crude oil storage and 2.9 million barrels of feedstock and product storage. The Company’s r! efinery supplies all of the gasoline and diesel sold in its company-operated and franchised convenience stores, as well as all of the gasoline and diesel sold in 90 independently owned and operated Marathon branded stores in its marketing area. The Minnesota Pipe Line Company owns the Minnesota Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline system in Minnesota that transports crude oil to the St. Paul area. The Minnesota Pipeline system has multiple lines that run approximately 300 miles from Clearbrook in Clearwater County, Minnesota to Dakota County, Minnesota, transporting crude oil received through the Enbridge pipeline connections at Clearbrook from Western Canada and North Dakota to our refinery and Koch Industries’s Flint Hills Resources refinery in Minnesota.

Retail Business

As of March 31, 2012, the Company’s retail business operated 166 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 67 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These convenience stores are located primarily in Minnesota and Wisconsin and sell various grades of gasoline and diesel, tobacco products and immediately consumable items, such as non-alcoholic beverages, beer, prepared food and a range of snacks and prepackaged items. It also owns and operates SuperMom’s Bakery, which prepares and distributes baked goods and other prepared food items for sale in its company-operated and franchised convenience stores and other third party locations.

The Company has a retail-marketing network of 233 convenience stores, as of March 31, 2012, located throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota, of which it operates 166 stores and support 67 franchised stores. All of its company-operated and franchised convenience stores are operated under the SuperAmerica brand. It also owns and operates SuperMom’s Bakery, which prepares and distributes baked goods and other prepared items for sale i n its retail outlets and for other third parties. Its refine! ry suppli! es all of the gasoline and diesel sold in its company-operated and franchised convenience stores. The Company has retail customers, which primarily include retail end-users, motorists and commercial drivers. It had a retail-marketing network of 233 convenience stores, as of March 31, 2012, located throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota, of which it operated 166 stores and support 67 franchised stores.

The Company competes with Koch Industries’ Flint Hills Resources Refinery, Holiday, Kwik Trip and Wal-Mart.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Delek US, Western Refining and Phillips 66 are most exposed to the consensus thinking Westlake and Advani say. They kept Tesoro (TSO) and Northern Tier Energy (NTI) rated outperform.

  • [By Igor Greenwald]

    On November 12, Western Refining announced an agreement to pay $775 million to the private-equity sponsors of Northern Tier Energy (NTI) for the general partner interest in that MLP, along with the 38.7% of its limited partner units not held by the public.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO)

Brown & Brown, Inc., a diversified insurance agency, engages in the marketing and sale of insurance products and services in the United States. Its Retail division provides insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public entity, professional, and individual customers. This division offers property insurance relating to physical damage to property, and resultant interruption of business or extra expense caused by fire, windstorm, or other perils; casualty insurance relating to legal liabilities, workers’ compensation, and commercial and private passenger automobile coverage; fidelity and surety bonds; group and individual life, accident, disability, health, hospitalization, medical, and dental insurance, as well as provides risk management and loss control surveys and analysis, and consultation services. The company’s National Programs division offers professional liability and related package insurance products for dentists, lawyers, accountants, o ptometrists, opticians, insurance agents, financial service representatives, benefit administrators, real estate brokers, real estate title agents, and escrow agents. This division also markets its products and services to specific industries, trade groups, public and quasi-public entities, and market niches through independent agents. The company’s Wholesale Brokerage division markets and sells excess and surplus commercial insurance products and services to retail insurance agencies; and reinsurance products and services to insurance companies. Its Services division offers insurance-related services, including third-party claims administration and comprehensive medical utilization management services for the workers’ compensation and various liability arenas; medicare set-aside services; and social security disability and medicare benefits advocacy services. Brown & Brown, Inc. was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Diversified insurance company Brown & Brown (BRO) raised its quarterly dividend 11.1% to 10 cents per share, payable Nov. 13 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 30. This is the 20th consecutive annual increase in BRO’s dividend.
    BRO Dividend Yield: 1.21%

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Brown & Brown’s  (NYSE: BRO  )  Q1 results have been released. For the quarter, net profit notched a new quarterly record at just over $60 million ($0.41 per diluted share), up 22% from the $49 million ($0.34) in the same period the previous year. Total revenue also improved over that time frame, coming in at $335 million against Q1 2012’s figure of $302 million.

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. (KW)

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate investment and services company in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Japan. The company operates in two segments, KW Investments and KW Services. The KW Investments segment invests in real estate related assets, including multifamily, residential, and office properties, as well as loans secured by real estate. It invests in real estate assets and loans secured by real estate through joint ventures, separate accounts, commingled funds, and wholly owned investments. The KW Services segment provides a line of real estate services for the life cycle of real estate ownership and investment to clients, such as financial institutions, developers, builders, and government agencies. This segment offers auction and conventional sales, property management, investment management, asset management, leasing, construction management, acquisitions, dispositions, and trust services; property management services to real estate owners; and brokerage and marketing services. The company, principally through joint venture investments, also engages in acquiring, renovating, and reselling commercial and residential real estate, as well as investing in loan pools and discounted loan portfolios. As of December 31, 2012, its real estate and real estate related assets under management consisted of approximately 61 million square feet of properties, including ownership in 14,764 multifamily apartment units. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Midcaps CBRE Group Inc (NYSE: CBG) and Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE: JLL) are probably the better known real estate services stocks with the latter surging 12.36% yesterday on impressive earnings, but small cap stocks Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc (NYSE: KW) and FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV) are also important real estate services providers that you may have overlooked. After all, real estate services stocks like the following would offer exposure to real estate by being invested in property as well as generating revenue from transactions, property management and other services:   

Top Low Price Stocks For 2015: Axcelis Technologies Inc.(ACLS)

Axcelis Technologies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and services ion implantation, dry strip, and other processing equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips in the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. It offers a line of high energy, high current, and medium current ion implanters for various applications, such as line of single wafer implanters, known as the Optima platform, comprising the Optima XE, the Optima HD, and the Optima MD. The company also offers dry strip tools, including the Integra RS, which comprises paired-chamber process modules. In addition, it provides aftermarket services and support, such as spare parts, equipment upgrades, maintenance services, and customer training. The company sells its equipment and services through direct sales force, distributors, and manufacturing representatives. Axcelis Technologies was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephen Simpson, CFA]

    The major dry strip product today is Suprema – Mattson’s most advanced tool, and one that uses inductively coupled plasma (ICP) technology and vacuum transfer. Two of the company’s primary competitors use one but not the other, while the third uses both but charges about 20% more for its tools. According to Gartner, Mattson holds about 22% market share in this roughly $180 million/year market, with Lam Research (which acquired Novellus and dry strip IP from Axcelis (ACLS)) and PSK as the primary competitors.

  • [By Ben Axler]

    An old spin-out of Eaton Corp. (ETN), Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) designs, manufactures and services ion implantation, dry strip and other processing equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips. The semiconductor capital equipment industry is very cyclical, and as a smaller player in the industry, ACLS has not been immune, and gone through protracted periods of losses. In the past few years, the company has taken numerous steps to reposition itself for the next cyclical upswing by listening to its customers and investing heavily in R&D to revamp its product line to expand its addressable market opportunity, right-sizing its cost structure to substantially lower its breakeven level, establishing new collaborative partnerships, and optimizing its balance sheet to unlock value. Now with signs of a cyclical upswing occurring, and being led by memory – Micron (MU) and SanDisk (SNDK), ACLS is poised for accelerating earnings potential beginning in Q4’2013 that c ould drive its stock price substantially higher. However, with a few nearer-term catalysts on the horizon, investors may not want to wait too long before purchasing shares. As an early indicator, investors should consider that insiders recently purchased the stock in the open market in August at current levels. These stock purchases coincide with the one year anniversary of ACLS’s new Purion M product line entering an evaluation period with a major customer. Sell-side analysts are starting to take notice and listening in to the company’s recent conference call, which at least opens the door to new broker initiations in the future. The downside risk appears mitigated by ACLS’s strengthened balance sheet, and dramatically improved operating financial model that has stemmed further cash burn. As the company hits an inflection point with new customer contracts and proves its earnings cycle is under way, we expect ACLS’s valuation discount to peers to narrow and the stock to appr eciate substantially