Top Safest Stocks For 2014

LeapFrog Enterprises (LF) is a developer of educational toys/products for children. In particular, the company’s biggest claim-to-fame is its very well received “LeapPad” line of specialized, education-focused tablets. While the stock enjoyed an impressive run from its 2011 lows, shares have not been able to replicate this showing during 2013, with shares up a mere 11.47% YTD. It is my belief that owning shares at current levels may prove to be particularly risky, in light of what I believe to be highly optimistic sell-side EPS estimates against management’s guide, particularly as growth has slowed (management is now guiding to mid single digit Y/Y top line growth) and competitive pressures continue to mount.

LeapFrog Has A History Of Beating Estimates, But Such Overachievement Is Now Taken For Granted

LeapFrog has been very good about handily surpassing its own, as well as sell-side EPS estimates, with the firm posting earnings surprises on the order of 22% – 43% above sell-side consensus. However, what seems particularly troubling is that despite management’s full year guide of $0.57 – $0.60 per share on both GAAP and non-GAAP bases, Street consensus comes in at $0.65 with a range of $0.59 – $0.74.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Ishares Trust Dow Jones United States (IDU)

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Sector Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Index (the Index). The Index measures the performance of the utilities sector of the United States equity market. The Index includes companies in industry groups, such as electricity and gas, water and multi-utilities. The Index is a subset of the Dow Jones U.S. Total Market Index and is capitalization weighted. The Index is reconstituted quarterly.


The Fund will concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 Stocks For 2014: SL Green Realty Corporation(SLG)

SL Green Realty Corp. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The firm engages in the property management, acquisitions, financing, development, construction, and leasing. It also provides tenant services to its clients. The firm invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily invests in commercial office and retail properties. SL Green Realty Corp. was founded in 1970 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]Property management, financing and construction real estate investment trust (REIT) SL Green (SLG) raised its quarterly dividend 51.5% to 50 cents per share, payable on Jan. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31.
    SLG Dividend Yield: 2.2%
  • [By Marc Bastow]Property management and financing real estate investment trust SL Green Realty (SLG) raised its quarterly dividend 52% to 50 cents per share. SLG did not release a payment or ex-dividend date for the new dividend.
    SLG Dividend Yield: 2.04%

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Gazprom OAO (GAZP)

Gazprom OAO is a Russia-based company engaged in the operation of gas pipeline systems and gas supply to European countries. In addition, it is involved in the oil production and refining activities, as well as energy generation. It’s activities comprise exploration and production of gas, transportation of gas, sale of gas domestically and abroad, gas storage, production of crude oil and gas condensate, processing of oil, gas condensate and other hydrocarbons, and sales of refined products, as well as electric and heat energy generation and sales. On January 9, 2013, the Company sold its 76.69% stake in Zapsibgazprom OAO and whole stake in March Kauno termofikacijos elektrine. In April 2013, it also created Gazprom Invest LLC, as well as, signed a purchase-sale contract for shares in 72 gas distribution organizations belonging to Rosneftegaz OAO. In November 2013, the Company raised its stake to 100% in CJSC Gazprom Neft Orenburg. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ian Sayson]Russian stocks fell for a third day as crude oil, the nation’s chief export earner, retreated. Mechel fell to the lowest level since Sept. 6, while OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the natural-gas export monopoly, retreated 0.9 percent.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN)

Zurich Insurance Group Limited is a Switzerland-based holding company engaged in the insurance sector. The Company provides a range of general and life insurance products and services for individuals, small business, mid-sized and large-sized companies, and multinational corporations. The Company offers its products and services through three business segments, namely General Insurance, Global life and Farmers. The General Insurance segment offers motor, home and commercial products and services for individuals, as well as small and large business. The Global life segment offers life insurance, savings, investment and pensions solutions. The Farmers segment includes farmers management services, which provides non-claims management services to the farmers exchange, as well as Farmers Re business, which includes reinsurance assumed from the Farmers Exchange by the Company’s group. Furthermore, the Company provides reinsurance and insurance business considered as non-core business. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN) lost 3.6 percent after second-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates. Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) declined the most in seven weeks as Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer reported worse-than-expected sales. BG Group Plc, which derives 20 percent of its oil-and-gas production from Egypt, slipped 2.4 percent as the death toll from nationwide violence in the most populous Arab country climbed above 500.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Samson Oil and Gas Ltd (SSN)

Samson Oil & Gas Limited (Samson), incorporated on April 6, 1979, is engaged in exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Samson owns a working interest in each of its three material producing properties, through which it has entered into operating agreements with third parties under which the oil and gas are produced and sold. The Company also has 100% working interest in one exploration property and 50% to 100% in a second property. As of June 30, 2012, the Company’s properties included North Stockyard Project; State GC Oil and Gas Field, New Mexico; Davis Bintliff (Sabretooth Prospect), Brazoria County, Texas; Hawk Springs Project, Goshen County, Wyoming, and Roosevelt Project, Roosevelt County, Montana. As of June 30, 2012, the Company along with its subsidiaries produced approximately 87,956 barrels of oil and 214,463 thousand cubic feet of gas.


North Stockyard Project -Williston Basin, North Dakota


Samson has 34.5% working interest in 3,303 acres adjacent to the North Stockyard Oil Field, which is located in the Williston Basin in North Dakota and is operated by Zavanna LLC. Together with the Company’s working interest owners, it has drilled seven wells in this field, six in the Bakken formation and one in the Mission Canyon formation. During July 2012, the Harstad #1-15H well averaged 15 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). The Leonard-23H (10% working interest, 37.5% after non-consent penalty) is a Mississippian Middle Bakken Formation. In July 2011, this well averaged 46 barrels of oil per day. The Company drilled its third Bakken well in the North Stockyard Field, the Gary-24H (37% working interest). During July 2012, this well averaged 75 BOPD. It drilled its fourth Bakken well in the North Stockyard Field, the Rodney-14H (27% working interest). In July 2011, this well averaged 92 BOPD. It drilled its fifth Bakken well in the North Stockyard Field in Williams County, North Dakota, the Earl 1-13H (32% working interest). In July 2011, the well averaged 193 BOPD. In June 2011, it drilled its sixth Mississippian Bakken well in the North Stockyard field in Williams County, North Dakota, the Everett 1-15H (26% working interest). As of June 30, 2012, the North Stockyard project had net proved reserves of 598,500 barrels of oil and 757,800 thousand cubic feet (of natural gas).


State GC Oil and Gas Field, New Mexico


The State GC oil and gas field is located in Lea County, New Mexico, and covers approximately 600 acres. As of June 30, 2012, the field had two wells, the State GC#1 and State GC#2. Average daily production during the year ended June 30, 2012 from the State GC oil and gas field was approximately 43 BOPD and 37 million standard cubic feet per day. As of June 30, 2012, the State GC oil and gas field had net proved reserves of 65,500 barrels of oil and 87,300 thousand cubic feet (of natural gas).


Davis Bintliff #1 Well (Sabretooth Prospect), Brazoria County, Texas


The Davis Bintliff #1 well is operated by Davis Holdings. During the year ended June 30, 2012, this well averaged 29 BOPD and 2.61million cubic feet per day. As of June 30, 2012, the Davis Bintliff well had net proved reserves of 700 barrels of oil and 66,400 Thousand cubic feet (of natural gas).


Hawk Springs Project, Goshen County, Wyoming


The Company has 37.5%-100% working interest in Hawk Springs Project. The Spirit of America 1 replacement well, Spirit of America 2, was successfully drilled to a total depth of 10,634 feet during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012).


Roosevelt Project, Roosevelt County, Montana


The well was drilled to a total measured depth of 14,972 feet with the horizontal lateral remaining within the target zone for the entire lateral length. approximately 3,425 barrels of oil have been produced.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]Had Samson Oil & Gas Limited (NYSEMKT:SSN) made the late-July surge and subsequent early-August pullback and then gotten stuck in the mud again, I might not even bother taking a look at it. That’s not how it happened though. Since the pullback, SSN has perked up again, perhaps not as hot as it was with the initial rally at the end of last month, but more than hot enough to get my attention. I suspect another surge – perhaps a longer-lasting surge – is in the cards.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc (HTGC)

Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (HTGC), incorporated on December 18, 2003, is an internally managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company. The Company is a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to venture capital-backed companies in technology-related markets, including technology, biotechnology, life science, and clean-technology industries at all stages of development. The Company’s investment objective is to maximize the Company’s portfolio total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity-related investments. The Company invests primarily in structured debt with warrants and, to a lesser extent, in senior debt and equity investments. The Company also makes investments in qualifying small businesses through two wholly-owned, small business investment company (SBIC) subsidiaries, Hercules Technology II, L.P. (HT II) and Hercules Technology III, L.P. (HT III).


The Company focuses its investments in companies active in the technology industry sub-sectors characterized by products or services that requires advanced technologies, including, but not limited to, computer software and hardware, networking systems, semiconductors, semiconductor capital equipment, information technology infrastructure or services, Internet consumer and business services, telecommunications, telecommunications equipment, renewable or alternative energy, media and life science. Within the life science sub-sector, the Company generally focuses on medical devices, bio-pharmaceutical, drug discovery, drug delivery, health care services and information systems companies. Within the clean technology sub-sector, the Company focuses on sustainable and renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency and monitoring technologies. The Company refers to all of these companies as technology-related companies and intend, under normal circumstances, to invest at least 80% of the value of its assets in such businesses.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Perry]My first BDC recommendation for you is Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC). Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Hercules is a leading specialty finance company that provides venture debt and equity to venture capital and private equity-backed technology and life-science companies.
  • [By Lawrence Meyers]Business development companies like Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC) invest money into middle-market companies that are experiencing fast growth.  Often, these investments take the form of mezzanine debt paying interest in the teens, and some warrants.  Hercules likes to focus more on senior secured revolvers and term loans to refinance existing debt, and will even take second-liens.  It has more attractive upside with its investments than other BDCs because it focuses on tech, energy tech, healthcare, life sciences and business services — all of which can fetch higher multiples upon exit.  It pays out a sturdy 7.3% dividend.
  • [By Helix Investment Research]Keating Capital is far from the only publicly traded pre-IPO investment company. There are several others, including GSV Capital (GSVC) and Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC). Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC) is also a pre-IPO fund, but with the bulk of its assets (over 92%) invested into loans to and debt of private companies, as opposed to their equity, the company’s investment philosophy is different than that of these other pre-IPO funds. Unlike GSV Capital and Firsthand, Keating Capital, as a matter of policy, always purchases equity directly from portfolio companies, never from secondary markets such as SharesPost or SecondMarket. Mr. Keating outlined that this is due to the company’s requirement that it be given access to all relevant financial data and managerial projections of its portfolio companies at all times, something that Mr. Keating believes is essential to being able to make informed investor decisions. We note that shares of Facebook (FB) and Twitter are conspicuously absent from Keating Capital’s portfolio; the company declined to purchase shares of either company due to an inability to acquire direct financial information regarding these companies. In addition, Keating Capital has a stated goal of investing in the most senior equity securities available at each portfolio company.
  • [By Chad Tracy]StreetAuthority expert analyst Amy Calistri has had incredible success with BDCs in her Daily Paycheck portfolio. When she recommended Hercules Technology (NYSE: HTGC) in February 2010, the stock was trading for a little more than $10 a share.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Regency Energy Partners LP (RGP)

Regency Energy Partners LP (the Partnership), incorporated on September 8, 2005, is engaged in the gathering and processing, contract compression, treating and transportation of natural gas and the transportation, fractionation and storage of natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Partnership operates in five business segments: Gathering and Processing, Joint Ventures, Contract Compression, Contract Treating, and Corporate and Others. Its assets are primarily located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia and the mid-continent region of the United States, which includes Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. In May 2013, Regency Energy Partners LP closed the acquisition of Southern Union Gathering Company, LLC from Southern Union Company. In February 2014, Regency Energy Partners LP closed its acquisition of the midstream business of Hoover Energy Partners LP.


During the year ended December 31, 2012, Lone Star NGL LLC (Lone Star), a newly formed joint venture that is owned 70% by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (ETP) and 30% by the Partnership, acquired all of the membership interest in LDH Energy Asset Holdings LLC (LDH), a wholly owned subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy LLC. The Partnership focuses on providing midstream services in some of the most prolific natural gas producing regions in the United States, including the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Fayetteville, Marcellus, Bone Spring, and Avalon shales as well as the Permian Delaware basin and the mid-continent region. The Partnership provides wellhead-to-market services to producers of natural gas, which include transporting raw natural gas from the wellhead through gathering systems, processing raw natural gas to separate NGLs and selling or delivering the pipeline natural gas and NGLs to various markets and pipeline systems.


The Partnership owns and operates a fleet of compressors used to provide turn-key natural gas compression services for customer specific systems. The Partnership owns and operates a fleet of equipment used to provide treating services, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide removal, natural gas cooling, dehydration and BTU management, to natural gas producers and midstream pipeline companies.


Gathering and Processing Operations


The Partnership operates gathering and processing assets in four geographic regions of the United States: north Louisiana, the mid-continent region of the United States, south Texas and west Texas. The Partnership’s north Louisiana assets gather, compress, treat and dehydrate natural gas in five Parishes (Claiborne, Union, DeSoto, Lincoln and Ouachita) of north Louisiana and Shelby County, Texas. Its assets also include two cryogenic natural gas processing facilities, a refrigeration plant located in Bossier Parish, a conditioning plant located in Webster Parish, an amine treating plant in DeSoto Parish, and an amine treating plant in Lincoln Parish. The Partnership’s south Texas assets gather, compress, treat and dehydrate natural gas in LaSalle, Webb, Karnes, Atascosa, McMullen, Frio and Dimmitt counties. The pipeline systems that gather this gas are connected to third-party processing plants and its treating facilities that include an acid gas reinjection well located in McMullen County, Texas.


One of the Partnership’s treating plants consists of inlet gas compression, a 60 one million cubic feet per day amine treating unit, a 55 one million cubic feet per day amine treating unit and a 40 ton (per day) liquid sulfur recovery unit. In January 2012, it completed an expansion of the treating plant, adding an incremental 20 one million cubic feet per day of treating capacity to the facility. The Partnership owns a 60% interest in ELG that includes a treating plant in Atascosa County with a 500 gallons per minute amine treater, pipeline interconnect facilities and approximately 13 miles of ten inch diameter pipeline. Talisman Energy USA Inc. and Statoil Texas Onshore Properties LP own the remaining 40% interest. It operates this plant and the pipeline for the joint venture while its joint venture partner operates a lean gas gathering system in the Edwards Lime natural gas trend that delivers to this system.


The Partnership’s west Texas gathering system assets offer wellhead-to-market services to producers in Ward, Winkler, Reeves, and Pecos counties, which surround the Waha Hub. The NGL market outlets include Lone Star’s west Texas NGL pipeline. It offers producers four different levels of natural gas compression on the Waha gathering system. The Waha processing plant is a cryogenic natural gas processing plant that processes raw natural gas gathered in the Waha gathering system. The Waha processing plant also includes an amine treating facility, which removes carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from raw natural gas gathered before moving the natural gas to the processing plant.


The Partnership’s mid-continent region includes natural gas gathering systems located primarily in Kansas and Oklahoma. Its mid-continent gathering assets are extensive systems that gather, compress and dehydrate low-pressure gas from approximately 1,500 wells. These systems are geographically concentrated, with each central facility located within 90 miles of the others. The Partnership also owns the Hugoton gathering system that has approximately 1,875 miles of pipeline extending over nine counties in Kansas and Oklahoma. This system is operated by a third party. Its mid-continent systems are located in two natural gas producing regions in the United States, the Hugoton Basin in southwest Kansas and the Anadarko Basin in western Oklahoma.


Joint Ventures Operations


The Partnership owns investments in four joint ventures: a 49.99% general partner interest in RIGS Haynesville Partnership Co., a general partnership, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Regency Intrastate Gas LP (HPC); a 50% membership interest in MEP; a 30% membership interest in Lone Star, and a 33.33% membership interest in Ranch JV. HPC owns RIGS, a 450-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from northwest Louisiana to downstream pipelines and markets. MEP owns an interstate natural gas pipeline with approximately 500 miles stretching from southeast Oklahoma through northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and central Mississippi to an interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line system in Butler, Alabama. Lone Star is an entity owning a diverse set of midstream energy assets, including NGL pipelines, storage, fractionation and processing facilities located in the states of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.


Contract Compression Operations


The natural gas contract compression segment services include designing, sourcing, owning, installing, operating, servicing, repairing and maintaining compressors and related equipment. These field-wide applications include compression for natural gas gathering and natural gas processing. The Partnership’s contract compression operations are primarily located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California.


Contract Treating Operations


The Partnership owns and operates a fleet of equipment used to provide treating services, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide removal, natural gas cooling, dehydration and BTU management, to natural gas producers and midstream pipeline companies. Its contract treating operations are primarily located in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.


The Company competes with PELICO Pipeline, LLC (Pelico), ETP, KMP, Chesapeake Midstream Partners, L.P., Enterprise Products Partners LP, DCP Midstream Partners, L.P., Copano Energy, L.L.C, Southern Union Gas Services, Targa Resources Partners L.P., ONEOK Partners L.P., Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P., CenterPoint Energy Transmission, Gulf South Pipeline, L.P., Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, Gulf Crossing Pipeline, Centerpoint Energy Gas Transmission and Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America, Exterran Holdings, Inc., Compressor Systems, Inc., USA Compression, Valerus Compression Services LP, J-W Energy Company, TransTex Gas Services, LP, Cardinal Midstream LLC, SouthTex Treaters, Interstate Treating Inc., Thomas Russell Co. and Spartan Energy Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]Natural gas companies Eagle Rock Energy Partners L.P(EROC). and Regency Energy Partners L.P(RGP). said the Federal Trade Commission is requesting additional information regarding Eagle Rock’s sale of its midstream business to Regency. Eagle Rock slipped 2.6% to $4.95 premarket.
  • [By Robert Rapier]There were six MLP questions remaining at the end of the chat that required an extended answer, or a bit more research. This week I will answer three: one on the MLP Parity Act, another on Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP) and Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH), and finally one on Golar LNG Partners (Nasdaq: GMLP).
  • [By Marc Bastow]Natural gas and gas liquids processor and distributor Regency Energy Partners (RGP) raised its quarterly dividend 6.7% to 47.5 cents per share, payable on Feb. 14 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 7. At more than 6%, RGP stock has the highest yield on this week’s list of dividend stock increases.
    RGP Dividend Yield: 6.91%
  • [By Robert Rapier]But it is important to note that ETE also has interests in Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE: SXL) and Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP).

    Finally, consider NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS) and its general partner NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH). Like ETE, NSH went public in 2006 and has also significantly outperformed its limited partner since:

    The vast majority of partnerships don’t have a publicly-traded GP. But in each of these three cases in which the GP is publicly traded, the GP tends to outperform the LP units on long-term gains, an advantage somewhat offset by the typically higher LP yield.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: Quality Systems Inc.(QSII)

Quality Systems, Inc. engages in the development and marketing of healthcare information systems in the United States. The company operates through three divisions: QSI Dental, NextGen, and Practice Solutions. The QSI Dental division develops, markets, and supports software suites for dental and medical practices, as well as supports medical clients that utilize its UNIX based medical practice management software product and Software as a Service based NextDDS financial and clinical software. It also develops, markets, and manages electronic data interchange(EDI)/connectivity applications, as well as QSInet application service provider solutions. The NextGen division offers NextGen ambulatory product suite comprising electronic health records and enterprise practice management solutions; and NextGen inpatient products, including NextGen Clinicals for work efficiency and communication, as well as NextGen Financials, a financial and administrative system. It also offers comm unity connectivity solutions, such as health information exchange, patient portal, and health quality measures; and EDI, hosting, data protection, consulting, and physician resources services. The Practice Solutions division provides technology solutions and consulting services in the areas of revenue cycle management services, including billing and collection services for medical practices. The company?s solutions automate various aspects of medical and dental practices, as well as networks of practices, such as physician hospital organizations and management service organizations, ambulatory care centers, community health centers, and medical and dental schools. Quality Systems was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]In the wake of the Obamacare fiasco, small cap healthcare information systems stock Computer Programs & Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: CPSI) has put in a good performance, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of large cap players like Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) and McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK) and small cap Quality Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: QSII).
  • [By Ben Levisohn]In our view, [Athenahealth] possesses the strongest position to harvest opportunities arising from the invariable chaos created by ICD-10 [a revamp of the World Health Organization’s disease codes. Ed.] in October. In a recent investor call with the AC Group…CEO Mark Anderson estimated that of the 1.1MM billable healthcare providers (active physicians and nurse practitioners) in the U.S., 20-25% will be transitioned to an outsourced billing service following the implementation of ICD-10 in October 2014. To put his point into perspective, we are modeling for 10,400 new physicians to go live on Collector in 2014. Mr. Anderson was quite vocal about the superiority of athenaCollector to ambulatory RCM services provided by eCW (private), Quality Systems (QSII), and CareCloud (private). We continue to believe Athena has the “mouse trap” technology for outsourced billing services to hospital-owned and independent practices.
  • [By Keith Speights]Investing in what you best understand is a great way to begin buying stocks. As a personal example, I worked for years in the health care technology sector. One of my best stock picks ever was physician software systems vendor Quality Systems (NASDAQ: QSII  ) . Because of my understanding of the industry, I knew that there was a likelihood that demand would accelerate for technology to help doctors.
  • [By Keith Speights]Cerner’s recent stock performance trounces that of other publicly traded companies, including Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX  ) , Greenway Medical (NYSE: GWAY  ) , and Quality Systems (NASDAQ: QSII  ) . Only athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN  ) gives Cerner a run for its money over the past year.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: ResMed Inc (RMD)

ResMed Inc., (ResMed), incorporated on March 31, 1994, is a holding company for the ResMed Group. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is a developer, manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders. Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) includes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and other respiratory disorders that occur during sleep. The Company has developed a number of products for SDB and other respiratory disorders including airflow generators, diagnostic products, mask systems, headgear and other accessories. Its manufacturing operations are located in Australia, Singapore, France, Germany, Malaysia and the United States. Its distribution and sales sites are located in the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Norway and Sweden. In December 2013, ResMed Inc acquired Unimedis SRO, a surgical appliance and manufacturing company.


Air Flow Generators


The Company produces continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), variable positive airway pressure (VPAP) and AutoSet systems for the titration and treatment of SDB. The flow generator systems deliver positive airway pressure through a patient interface, either a small nasal mask, nasal pillows system, or full-face mask. Its VPAP units deliver bilevel therapy. There are two preset pressures: a higher pressure as the patient breathes in, and a lower pressure as the patient breathes out. AutoSet systems are based on a technology to monitor breathing and can also be used in the diagnosis, treatment and management of OSA. The Company’s Stellar 100 and 150 ventilation devices, provide both invasive and non invasive ventilation applications for adult and pediatric patients.


ResMed Inc.’s CPAP products include S8 Escape, S9 Elite and S9 Escape. Its VPAP products include VPAP III STA with QuickNav, VPAP S / VPAP IV, VPAP IV ST, S8 Auto 25, VPAP Tx Lab System, S9 VPAP S, S9 VPAP ST, S9 VPAP Auto, S9 VPAP Adapt, S9 AutoSet CS, S9 Auto 25 and S9 VPAP COPD. The Company’s automatic positive airway pressure products include S9 AutoSet and S9 Escape Auto. Its ventilation products include Elisee 150, VS III and Stellar 100 and 150.


Masks, Accessories, Motors and Diagnostic Products


Masks, accessories, motors and diagnostic products together accounted for approximately 46% of its net revenues in fiscal 2012. Its Mask products include Activa LT, Swift LT for Her, Swift FX, Mirage SoftGel, Quattro FX, Swift FX for Her, Mirage FX, Mirage FX for Her, Pixi Pediatric Mask, Quattro FX for Her, Swift FX Bella, Quattro Air and Swift FX Nano. Its diagnostic products includes ApneaLink + Oximetry and ApneaLink Plus (U.S.)


Accessories and Other Products


The Company to assist those professionals diagnosing or managing the treatment of patients have data communications and control products, such as the EasyCare, ResLink, ResControl, ResControl II, TxControl, ResScan and ResTraxx modules that facilitate the transfer of data and other information to and from the flow generators. These products include humidifiers, such as H5i and H4i, which connect directly with the CPAP, VPAP and AutoSet flow generators to humidify and heat the air delivered to the patient, helping to prevent the drying of nasal passages that can cause discomfort. Other optional accessories include cold passover humidifiers, carry bags and breathing circuits. The Company’s data/patient management products include S9 Embletta Adapter, ResScan v3.14, ResTraxx v17.1., ResTraxx v18.3, ResScan v3.16 and EasyCare 1.0.


The Company competes with Philips BV, DeVilbiss Healthcare., Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited, Apex Medical Corp, BMC Medical Co. Ltd and Weinmann Gerate fur Medizin GmbH + Co. KG.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Damian Illia]A Delaware corporation formed in 1994, ResMed Inc. (RMD) is a global leading designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical products for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and other respiratory disorders. For the quarter ended in Dec. 31, 2013 ResMed reported a 2 percent increase (a 1 percent increase in constant currency basis) in revenue over the quarter ended in Dec. 31, 2012. However, these earnings failed to meet analyst estimates; and not without a reason. A relatively poor performance was expected due to continued pressure in the United States, especially as a consequence of the market’s restructuring due to competitive Medicare bidding. This might also be one of the reasons why this stock still remains undervalued.
  • [By Ben Levisohn]Resmed (RMD) has plunged 12% to $49.50 in after-hours trading after it reported a profit of 56 cents, below estimates of 58 cents.

    Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) has gained after it reported a profit of 68 cents, missing forecasts for 71 cents, but beat on revenue.

  • [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 ResMed (NYSE: RMD  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company’s inventory growth to sales growth. How is ResMed doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 10.0%, and inventory decreased 9.3%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue increased 9.9%, and inventory shrank 9.3%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue grew 1.9%, and inventory dropped 14.5%.

Top Safest Stocks For 2014: AeroVironment Inc.(AVAV)

AeroVironment, Inc. designs, develops, produces, and supports unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and efficient energy systems for various industries and governmental agencies. Its UAS provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, including real-time tactical reconnaissance, tracking, combat assessment, and geographic data to the small tactical unit or individual war fighter. The UAS wirelessly transmit critical live video and other information generated by their payload of electro-optical or infrared sensors directly to a hand-held ground control system, enabling the operator to view and capture images during the day or at night on a hand-held ground control unit. AeroVironment also provides spare equipment, alternative payload modules, batteries, chargers, repair services, and customer support for the UAS. In addition, the company produces industrial productivity and clean transportation solutions for commercial and government customers, develops potential clean t ransportation solutions, and performs contract engineering services; offers PosiCharge electric vehicle charging systems for industrial electric material handling fleets, electric vehicle charging systems for passenger and fleet vehicles, and power cycling and test systems for developers and manufacturers of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as battery packs, electric motors, and fuel cells; and supplies power cycling and test systems to research and development organizations that focus on developing electric propulsion systems, electric generation systems, and electricity storage systems. It supplies its UAS primarily to the organizations within the United States department of defense. AeroVironment, Inc. was incorporated in 1971 and is headquartered in Monrovia, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) was also up, gaining 19.50 percent to $37.92 after the company reported upbeat Q3 earnings.

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  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]AeroVironment Inc.’s(AVAV) fiscal third-quarter profit nearly tripled as the pilotless-drones maker reported a sharp jump in revenue and booked a gain on an investment. Adjusted profit and revenue results for the latest quarter easily exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Shares climbed 10% to $34.90 in light premarket trading.
  • [By Lauren Pollock]AeroVironment Inc.’s(AVAV) fiscal second-quarter profit fell 81% on a sharp decline in revenue and margins. However, shares were up 4.4% at $28.10 in premarket trading as the maker of pilotless drones and rechargeable-batteries reported adjusted earnings and revenue that topped expectations.