Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014

Over the past year, stock prices have risen much faster than earnings, so the P/E ratio of the S&P 500 has risen from 14.2 to 18.1 over the past year; this suggests that further P/E expansion is likely to be harder to come by this year, cautions John Boyd, editor of Fidelity Monitor & Insight.

This means that corporate earnings growth will likely be the bigger determining factor in what stocks return. And, with corporate profit margins at, or very near, all-time highs, the prospect of even fatter margins boosting earnings is unlikely.

So, sales growth will be the likely driver of earnings and that, in turn, depends on the strength of the economy.

From a price versus earnings growth perspective, large-cap growth stocks offer the best value, while mid- and small growth stocks are not far behind.

Value stocks, as a whole, are less attractively priced. Among industry sectors, consumer discretionary and technology offer the best combination of growth expectations and price.

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Vanguard Industrials Etf (VIS)

Vanguard Industrials ETF (the Fund), formerly known as Vanguard Industrials VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class of Vanguard Industrials Index Fund. The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Investable Market Industrials Index (the Index). The Index is an index of stocks of large, medium and small United States companies in the industrials sector, as classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). This GICS sector is made up of companies whose businesses are dominated by activities, such as the manufacture and distribution of capital goods (including aerospace and defense, construction, engineering and building products, electrical equipment, and industrial machinery); the provision of commercial services and supplies (including printing, employment, environmental and office services), or the provision of transportation services (inc luding airlines, couriers, marine, road and rail, and transportation infrastructure).

The Fund attempts to replicate the Index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index. It also may sample its target Index by holding stocks that, in the aggregate, are intended to approximate the Index in terms of key characteristics, such as price/earnings ratio, earnings growth and dividend yield.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Viscofan SA (VIS) fell 9.6 percent, its largest weekly drop in more than five years, after saying it may miss its targets for 2013 because of weak currencies. The Spanish maker of sausage casings in July predicted annual net income of 107 million euros to 108 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of as much as 195 million euros.

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Unusual volume (at least 5X ADV): iShares Utilities ETF (NYSE: IDU), First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX Fund (NYSE: FXU), iShares MSCI Germany Small Cap ETF (NYSE: EWGS), iShares MSCI USA ETF (NYSE: EUSA), SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF (NYSE: GUR), PowerShares Water Resources (NYSE: PHO) and the Vanguard Industrials ETF (NYSE: VIS).

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO)

Cisco Systems, Inc., incorporated on December 10, 1984, designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry and provide services associated with these products and their use. The Company provides a line of products for transporting data, voice, and video within buildings, across campuses, and around the world. Its products are designed to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Its products are installed at enterprise businesses, public institutions, telecommunications companies, commercial businesses, and personal residences. The Company has five segments: United States and Canada, European Markets, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific, and Japan. The Emerging Markets theater consists of Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In July 30, 2012, it acquired NDS Group Ltd. In Oc tober 2012, it acquired virtual networking company, vCider. In August 2011, the Company acquired Versly. In November 2011, it acquired BNI Video. In March 2012, the Company acquired Lightwire, Inc. In May 2012, the Company acquired ClearAccess. In December 2012, the Company acquired Cloupia. In December 2012, the Company acquired Cariden Technologies Inc. In December 2012, the Company acquired Meraki, Inc.

The Company’s product offerings fall into three categories: its core technologies, routing and switching; advanced technologies, and other products. In addition to its product offerings, the Company provides a range of service offerings, technical support services and advanced services. The advanced services program supports networking devices, applications, solutions, and complete infrastructures.

Routing

The Company offers a range of routers, from core network infrastructure for service providers and enterprises to access routers for branch offices and for telecommuters and consumers at ho! me. Key products within its routing category are the Cisco ASR 901/903, Cisco 1000, 5000, and 9000 Cisco Aggregation Services Routers (ASR), as well as the Cisco ASR 800, 1900, 2900 and 3900 Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR):; Cisco CRS-1, 7600 and Cisco CRS-3 Cisco Carrier Routing Systems (CRS). During the fiscal year ended July 31, 2010 (fiscal 2010), Cisco introduced the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System (CRS-3) and Cisco 7600 Series Routers.

Service Provider Video

The Company’s end-to-end, digital video distribution systems and digital interactive set-top boxes enable service providers and content originators to deliver entertainment, information, and communication services to consumers and businesses around the world. Key product areas within its Service Provider Video category are: Set-Top Boxes, IP set-top boxes (both High-Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD)); Digital cable set-top boxes (both HD and SD); Cable Modem CPE ( Data, EMTA, and Gateways); Videoscape Software Products and Headend Equipment (Encoders, Decoders, and Transcoders).

Switching

The Company’s switching products offer many forms of connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, access points, and servers, and also function as aggregators on local-area networks (LANs), metropolitan-area networks (MANs), and wide-area networks (WANs). Its switching systems employ several widely used technologies, including Ethernet, Power over Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, Packet over Synchronous Optical Network, and Multiprotocol Label Switching. Many of its switches are designed to support an integrated set of advanced services, allowing organizations to be more efficient by using one switch for multiple networking functions rather than multiple switches to accomplish the same functions.

Cisco offers a family of Ethernet switching solutions from fixed-configuration switches for small an d medium-sized businesses to modular switches for enterprise! s and ser! vice providers. Its fixed-configuration switches are designed to provide a foundation for converged data, voice, and video services. Key products within its switching category are the Cisco Catalyst 2960, 3560, 3750, 4500 and 6500 Series; the Cisco Nexus 2000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 Series switches; and MDS Series: MDS 9000.

Fixed-configuration switches are designed to cover a range of deployments in small and medium-sized businesses. It fixed-configuration switches are designed to provide a foundation for converged data, voice, and video services. They range from small, standalone switches to stackable models that function as a single, scalable switching unit. Modular switches are typically utilized by enterprise and service provider customers. Fixed-configuration and modular switches also include products such as optics modules which are shared across multiple product platforms.

NGN Routing

Routing technology is fundamental to the Int ernet, and this technology interconnects public and private IP networks for mobile, data, voice, and video applications. The Company’s NGN Routing products are designed to enhance the intelligence, security, reliability, scalability, and level of performance in the transmission of information and media-rich applications. It offers a broad range of routers, from core network infrastructure and mobile Internet network for service providers and enterprises to access routers for branch offices and for telecommuters and consumers at home. Key product areas within its NGN Routing category are, Cisco Aggregation Services Routers: Cisco ASR 901/903, Cisco ASR 1000, Cisco ASR 5000 and Cisco ASR 9000. Cisco Integrated Services Routers: Cisco ISR 800, Cisco ISR 1900, Cisco ISR 2900 and Cisco ISR 3900. Cisco Carrier Routing Systems: Cisco CRS-1, Cisco CRS-3 and Cisco 7600 Series Routers.

Security

Cisco security solutions deliver identity, network and content se curity solutions designed to enable customers to reduce the ! impact of! threats and realize the benefits of a mobile, collaborative, and cloud-enabled business. The products in this category span firewall, intrusion prevention, remote access, virtual private networks (VPNs), unified clients, network admission control, Web gateways, and email gateways. Its AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client solution enables users to access networks with their mobile device of choice, including laptops and smartphone-based mobile devices, while allowing organizations to manage the security risks of networks. Its cloud-based Web security service is designed to provide real-time threat protection and to prevent malware from reaching corporate networks, including roaming or mobile users. It focuses on a proactive, layered approach to counter both existing and emerging security threats. During the fiscal year ended July 28, 2012, it introduced the Cisco ASA 5500-X Series Midrange Security Appliance, Cisco Security Manager 4.3, the IPS 4500 Series, and Prime Security M anager.

Wireless

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network aims to harness the network to solve business problems, uniting high-performance wireless access across campus, branch, remote and outdoor environments. Its offerings include wireless access points (including the Cisco Aironet product family), controllers, antennas, and integrated management. The Company’s offerings provide users with simplified management and mobile device troubleshooting features which are designed to reduce operational cost and maximize flexibility and reliability. It is also investing in custom chipsets to deliver functions such as CleanAir proactive spectrum intelligence, ClientLink acceleration for mobile devices and VideoStream multicast optimization technology.

Data Center

The Company’s data center product category has been its major product category for the past two fiscal years. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Server Access Virtu alization form the core of the Data Center product category.! Key prod! uct areas within its Data Center product category are: Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers, Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers and Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.

Other Products

The Company’s other products category primarily consists of Linksys home networking products, certain emerging technologies, and other networking products. In addition to its product offerings, it provide a range of service offerings, including technical support services and advanced services.

The Company competes with Alcatel-Lucent; ARRIS Group, Inc.; Aruba Networks, Inc.; Avaya Inc.; Belden Inc.; Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.; Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.; Citrix Systems, Inc.; D-Link Corporation; LM Ericsson Telephone Company; Extreme Networks, Inc.; F5 Networks, Inc.; Force10 Networks, Inc.; Fortinet, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Company; Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.; International Business Machines Corporation; Juniper Networks, Inc.; LogMeIn, Inc .; Meru Networks, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; NETGEAR, Inc.; Polycom, Inc.; Riverbed Technology, Inc.; and Symantec Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    In January, Blackstone just reported that its fiscal Q4 earnings more than doubled year-over-year and the company continues to perform well in 2014. If you’re looking for solid dividend stocks, you could do a lot worse than BX stock.

    High Dividend Stocks — Cisco (CSCO)

    Market Cap: $114.5 billion
    Dividend Yield: 3.4%
    Sector: Technology

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Before thinking that these five are the biggest drags on the DJIA for 2014, other DJIA stocks have been dead weight for a bit longer then 2014. Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) are down some 18% from their 52-week high, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are down some 14% from their 52-week high. Their problems began in 2014, so they are not on the year-to-date loser list of the DJIA stocks.

  • [By Mani]

    [Related -Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): How Evolved Services Platform Will Fare For Cisco?]

    Therefore, Modoff believes that Cisco could drive overall revenue growth in their datacenter switching business in fiscal 2015 and beyond, given the ASP accretive 40GE Modular switch refresh cycle and also from the 1GE to 10GE refresh cycle in the Top of Rack.

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord(TM)

Toyota Motor Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, assembly, and sale of passenger cars, minivans, and commercial vehicles. It offers conventional engine vehicles, including subcompact and compact cars under the Corolla, Yaris, micropremium iQ, Passo, Ractis, Vitz, and Etios brand names; mini-vehicles, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and auto parts under Toyota brand name; mid-size cars under the Camry, REIZ, Avensis, and Mark X brand names; luxury cars under the Lexus and Crown brands; Century limousine; sports cars under the Scion tC and Lexus brands; sport-utility vehicles under the Sequoia, 4Runner, RAV4, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, and Land Cruiser brands; pickup trucks under the Tacoma and Tundra brands; minivans under the Alphard, Vellfire, Corolla Verso, Wish, Hiace, Regius Ace, Estima, Noah, Voxy, Sienta, Isis, Passo Sette, and the Sienna brands; cabwagons; large, medium, and small trucks; and large, small, and micro-buses. The company also provides hybrid cars under Prius and Crown brands. In addition, it offers a range of financial services comprising retail financing, retail leasing, wholesale financing, and insurance; and credit cards and housing loans. Further, the company designs and manufactures prefabricated housing, as well as involves in the information technology related businesses, such as an e-commerce marketplace known as GAZOO.com; and sales promotions for KDDI communication related products, primarily the au brand. It sells its vehicles in approximately 170 countries and regions, including Japan, North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Toyota City, Japan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Getting slapped with a $1.2 billion penalty to settle charges of sudden unintended acceleration that led to the recall of ten million vehicles is never a small thing, even for a company as big and profitable as Toyota Motor (TM). And the settlement with the US Justice Department left the company with both a black eye-the company admitted to wrongdoing as part of the penalty deal-and a black cloud hanging overhead-the company was charged with wire fraud, with the prosecution on that charge deferred for three years, as long as the company continues to cooperate with authorities.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    No one expected the legacy automakers to remain on the sidelines and let Tesla Motors (TSLA) dominate electric autos. And today, there’s word on the competition as Honda Motor (HMC) and Toyota Motor (TM) both updated plans for their fuel-cell-powered vehicles.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    KBB expects Chrysler Group LLC to post the biggest year-over-year gain in March, 7.2%. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is expected to get an increase of 2.3%, while Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is expected to get a 1% boost, and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) should see a gain of just 0.4%. Sales for Honda Motor Corp. (NYSE: HMC) are slated to be flat with March of 2013.

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: King George Financial Corp (KGF)

King George Financial Corporation is a Canada-based company. The Company operates in the area of commercial and residential real estate investment holding and development, as well as medium to long term investment in real estate and hotel related marketable securities. The Company has four segments: rental operation, real estate development, management and finance services, and others. Its principle assets include an office building in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, held through its 100% subsidiary 905 W. Pender Investments Ltd; real estate located in the City of Surrey, British Columbia, held through its subsidiary 0819277 BC Ltd, 0788607 BC Ltd, and 50% ownership interest in Surrey Campus Residences Joint Venture. The real estate assets consist of residential building lots, and investment in common shares of Allied Hotel Properties Inc., a hotel ownership and management company, and United Malayan Land BHD (UML), a Malaysian real estate development company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Kingfisher Plc (KGF) declined 5.7 percent to 373.6 pence, its biggest loss in more than two years, after Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said consumer confidence in France “is still weak with no obvious signs of an imminent improvement.” Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer also reported same-store sales growth of 0.4 percent for its B&Q chain in the U.K. and Ireland, missing analysts’ estimates. France accounted for about 40 percent of its sales and the U.K. for 41 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.(PNK)

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns, develops, and operates casinos, and related hospitality and entertainment facilities in the United States. It operates casinos, such as L’Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles, Louisiana; River City Casino and Lumiere Place in St. Louis, Missouri; Boomtown New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana; Belterra Casino Resort in Vevay, Indiana; Boomtown Bossier City in Bossier City, Louisiana; and Boomtown Reno in Reno, Nevada. The company also operates River Downs racetrack in southeast Cincinnati, Ohio. As of May 26, 2011, it operated seven casinos and one racetrack. The company was formerly known as Hollywood Park, Inc. and changed its name to Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. in February 2000. Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. was founded in 1935 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Time to make the switch
    If I could name a sector that I’d certainly tread lightly around considering that consumers are tightening their wallets, it would be the casino sector. Casino companies rely on loose wallets and vacations to drive profits. This is why I feel it could be the time to say goodbye to casino and race track operator Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK  ) near its 52-week high.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA  ) and Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK  ) fell as much as 11% today after the government brought into question the merger of the two companies.

  • [By Dan Radovsky]

    Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK  ) has reached an agreement in principle with the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission that would allow the company to complete its proposed acquisition of Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA  ) , Pinnacle announced today.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) has gained 56% this year; Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has climbed 38%. And Deutsche Bank has nice things to say about both today.

    Bloomberg

    First Pinnacle. Deutsche Bank’s Carlo Santarelli ponders the stock’s big move and comes away still seeing value in its shares. He writes:

    When we upgraded PNK in April, our thesis centered on the FCF strength of the combined entities [Pinnacle completed its acquisition of Ameristar Casinos on Aug. 14], a handful of favorable catalysts, easing regional gaming comps, & an inexpensive relative valuation. Given the shares’ sizeable move since then, we believe it is worth revisiting the investment case. Post the announcement of several asset sales and the closing of the transaction, we are adjusting our estimates, raising our PT to $30 from $24, and maintaining our bullish view at current levels given what we still believe to be an attractive free cash flow valuation, meaningful potential synergy realization beyond the $40 mm of announced benefits, and a free option on a lagging regional recovery.

    Santarelli also revisited Las Vegas Sands and there too, he likes what he sees. He writes:

    With…LVS at [a share price level] that have been challenging to break from over the last year plus, we believe this time is different and hence we see continued upward momentum…In the case of LVS, we see; 1) meaningful mass market strength continuing through year end, setting the stage for upward company and market estimate revisions for 2014, 2) continued cash flow appreciation and capital returns serving as downside protection and positive catalysts, and 3) continued shared gains, largely driven by table optimization and mass market strength, driving both estimates and sentiment.

    He also likes Wynn Resorts (WYNN), despite its 34% gain. Santarelli writes:

    As for WYNN, we believe near-term estimates continue to take a back seat to capital return

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Web.com Group Inc(WWWW)

Web.com Group, Inc. provides Internet services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in North America, South America, and the United Kingdom. It provides .com, .net, .co, .org, and .info domains, as well as domain services, including domain name registration, domain name transfers, domain name renewal, domain expiration protection, and domain privacy services; develops and supports a subscription Web service package that includes the tools and functionality necessary for a business to create and maintain online presence, as well as provide tutorials and tools for customers to edit and manage their sites. The company?s primary Do It For Me subscription offering comprise eWorks! XL, which provides domain name registration, initial site design, technical support, Webmail, online Web tools, and Internet scorecard; custom Website design services comprising map and directions pages, external links pages, Website statistics, database applications, password security, and e mail services; and social media and call center services. It also provides various Do-It-Yourself Website building and marketing solutions for SMBs, such as hosting services, Website design tools, email marketing tools, and LogoYes design and brand building tools. In addition, the company offers online marketing services, including search engine optimization, local and national search engine marketing, subscription-based services, budget-based search engine marketing, and click search engine marketing services; lead generation services consisting of Leads by Web.com to contractors, homebuilders, and remodeling professionals; and eCommerce merchant services. Web.com Group, Inc. markets its products and services through outbound and inbound telesales, online channel, affiliate network and private label partners, distribution partners, resellers, and direct sales. The company was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW  ) rose more than 10% this morning — and are still up around a 9% gain — after the company surprised the Street with better-than-expected quarterly results and solid guidance for the rest of 2013.

  • [By CRWE]

    Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WWWW), a leading provider of internet services and online marketing solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses, will report its third quarter results for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2012 after the U.S. financial markets close on October 25, 2012.

Top Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Weir Group PLC (WEIR)

The Weir Group PLC is engaged in engineering businesses. It operates in three segments: Minerals, Oil and Gas, and Power and Industrial. The Minerals segment provides slurry handling equipment and associated aftermarket support for abrasive high wear applications used in the mining and oil sands markets. The Oil & Gas segment provides products and service solutions to upstream, production, transportation, refining and related industries. The Power & Industrial segment designs and manufactures valves, pumps and turbines as well as providing specialist support services to the global power generation, industrial and oil and gas sectors. The Company’s subsidiaries include American Hydro Corporation, EnviroTech Pumpsystems Inc, Gema Industrigummi AB, Linatex Rubber Products Sdn Bhd and Mesa Manufacturing Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Weir Group Plc (WEIR) added 1.6 percent to 2,239 pence, the highest price in almost two months. The U.K.’s largest supplier of pressure pumps was raised to buy from hold at Berenberg Bank.