Top Stocks To Buy

After spending several years focused primarily on compliance and cost management, many banks are repositioning for growth and looking toward new revenue opportunities, particularly from fee-based businesses such as wealth management, according to a new study.

Fifty-five percent of bank executives who participated in Fidelity Investments’ Bank Wealth Management Study, released Wednesday, expected the revenue contribution from their wealth management practices to grow by 25% or more in the next five years.

Fidelity defined a wealth management offering as including private/premium banking, trust management services, securities/brokerage, wealth advisory, investment management and RIA services.

The study identified a group of what it called “pacesetters,” whose wealth management typically represented about 35% of total bank revenue in the next five years, versus 20% for other banks.

“While some may assume that pacesetters were the largest banks or clustered in certain regions, our study found that what really set these firms apart was how they run their wealth management practices,” Mike Norton, head of the banking segment for Fidelity Institutional, said in a statement.

Top Stocks To Buy: MOCON Inc.(MOCO)

MOCON, Inc. develops, manufactures, markets, and services measurement, analytical, and monitoring products to detect, measure, and analyze gases and other chemical compounds; and provides related consulting services. It offers permeation products, including systems and services that measure the rate at which various gases and vapors transmit through various materials for the manufacturers of packaging materials comprising papers, plastic films, coatings, and containers, as well as users of such packaging materials, such as food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and consumer product industries; and laboratory testing services. The company also provides gas analyzer instruments, sensors, and detectors for use in industrial hygiene and safety, hydrocarbon gas analysis for oil and gas exploration, contaminant detection in the manufacture of specialty gases, environmental monitoring, and homeland security applications under the BEVALERT, PETROALERT, and piD-TECH names. In addition, it offers packaging products and services, including headspace analyzers to analyze the amount and type of gas present in the headspace of flexible and rigid packages for the packagers of foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals; and leak detection equipment to detect leaks in sterile medical trays, food pouches, blister packs, and other packages. Further, the company provides consulting and analytical services for foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, plastics, chemicals, electronics, and personal care products manufacturers; gas chromatography analyzer products and services for food, beverage, petroleum, chemical, and petrochemical manufacturers; and weighing and pharmaceutical products and services to determine the weight of pharmaceutical capsules and tablets. It sells its products through its direct sales force and independent sales representatives in the United States, Canada, Germany, China, and internationally. The company was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Minneapo lis, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By victorselva]

    On Nov. 21, Mario Gabelli bought Mocon Inc. (MOCO), a company which makes equipment to test packages and packaging material, and performs consulting and analytical services.

Top Stocks To Buy: 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) an d 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.

Top Stocks To Buy: Steamships Trading Company Ltd(PNG)

Steamships Trading Company Limited operates as a diverse trading conglomerate in Papua New Guinea. It involves in shipping, road transport, product manufacture, property, hotels, and information technology businesses. The company?s shipping business includes operation of a fleet of coastal vessels, and providing estuarine and river trades in the Gulf and Western Provinces; short and long term vessel charters, and cargo liner services using vessels ranging from 500DWT to 6000DWT; and stevedoring and shipping agency services. Its road transport business comprises general transport, fuel distribution, and long haul transport services; and customs clearance, handling equipment hire, integrated logistics, and specialist transportation services. Steamships Trading Company?s product manufacture business includes the production and distribution of food stuff comprising ice cream, vegetable oils, condiments, and seasonings; health and beauty goods; and spirits and premixed drinks , as well as involves in distributing imported wines and spirits. Its property business comprises residential, commercial, and industrial property development and leasing activities. The company?s hotel business engages in operating hotels. Its information technology business provides business-critical ICT consulting, solutions and services, IT outsourcing, business process outsourcing, Internet services, electronics and computer retail, and training and wide-ranging technical support. The company was founded in 1924 and is based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Steamships Trading Company Limited is a subsidiary of John Swire & Sons (PNG) Limited.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    And more could be in store. PAA has just agreed to swallow its former natural gas storage spinoff PAA Natural Gas Storage (PNG) in a $1.41 billion deal that will instantly be accretive to PAA shareholders. Meanwhile, Plains continues to build new capacity and crude-by-rail services in key refining markets like California.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Plains All American Pipeline L.P. (NYSE: PAA) was maintained as Outperform with a $64 price target (versus $51.44 current) after its announced acquisition of affiliated PAA Natural Gas Storage L.P. (NYSE: PNG) in an all-stock buyout.

Top Stocks To Buy: Hornbeck Offshore Services(HOS)

Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates offshore supply vessels (OSVs), multi-purpose support vessels, and a shore-base to provide logistics support and specialty services to the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry primarily in the United States and Gulf of Mexico. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment owns and operates fleets of the U.S.-flagged OSVs that support deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration, development, production, construction, installation, maintenance, repair, and enhanced oil recovery requirements of the oil and gas industry. This segment also owns conventional OSVs, work class ROVs, and a shore-base facility located in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. In addition, it provides vessel management services for other vessels owners, which include crewing, daily operational management, and maintenance activities. The Downstream segment owns and operates a fleet of ocean-going tug s and tank barges that transport petroleum products, primarily in the northeastern United States, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and Puerto Rico. These tugs and tank barges provide coastwise transportation of refined and bunker grade petroleum products, as well as offer other services, including the support of deepwater well testing and other applications for refining, marketing, and trading companies. As of December 31, 2009, Hornbeck Offshore Services owned and operated a fleet of 47 new generation OSVs, and 9 double-hulled barges and 10 ocean-going tugs. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Covington, Louisiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Traders Reserve]

    For investors who want a piece of this developing trend, Transocean and Seadrill are two of the bigger players in this arena. Other offshore drillers/rig operators are Noble (NE) and Ensco (ESV). Companies that provide services to offshore drillers and benefit from increases in exploration and drilling activity are Gulfmark Offshore (GLF), Hornbeck (HOS), Seacor (CKH) and Tidewater (TDW).

Top Stocks To Buy: Prudential Financial Inc.(PRU)

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers various financial products and services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The company operates through three divisions: The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management, The U.S. Individual Life and Group Insurance, and The International Insurance and Investments. The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management division provides individual variable and fixed annuity products, as well as offers retirement investment and income products and services to retirement plan sponsors in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. This division also provides investment management and advisory services to the public and private marketplace. The U.S. Individual Life and Group Insurance division offers individual variable life, term life, and universal life insurance products; and group life, long-term and short-term group disability, long-term care, and group corporate-, bank-and trus t-owned life insurance products to institutional clients. This division also sells accidental death and dismemberment, and other ancillary coverages, as well as provides plan administrative services; and offers preferred provider and indemnity dental coverage plans to clients. The International Insurance and Investments division provides international individual life insurance products in Japan, Korea, and other foreign countries; and offers proprietary and non-proprietary asset management, investment advice, and services to retail and institutional clients internationally. In addition, the company engages in real estate brokerage franchise business, which involves marketing its franchises to the real estate companies. Further, it provides institutional clients and government agencies with various services in connection with the relocation of their employees. Prudential Financial, Inc. was founded in 1875 and is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Sometimes even a stodgy life insurer needs some love, and Merrill Lynch has provided it in spades to Prudential (PRU).

    NHLI via Getty Images Martin Brodeur plays at Prudential Center. Merrill Lynch makes the save. Or something like that.

    That’s because Merrill Lynch’s Seth Weiss and Ian Ryave decided to upgrade Prudential today. They explain why:

  • [By John Kell]

    Prudential Financial Inc.’s(PRU) fourth-quarter loss widened, as the insurer recorded a jump in net investment losses, particularly due to changes in the value of the Japanese yen.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Insurers such as Aflac Inc. (AFL) , Allstate Corp. (ALL) , Aetna Inc. (AET) , Cigna Corp. (CI)  and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU)  will also report, along with exchange operators Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ)  and CME Group Inc. (CME) . 

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    What’s more, the financial sector is expected to be the biggest drag on revenue growth for the quarter. With the S&P 500 expected to post 0.3% revenue growth for the fourth quarter, revenue for the financial sector is expected to decline by 10.2%, according to Butters. Much of that has to do with Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) , which had a big one-time revenue gain due to pension risk-transfer transactions in the year-ago quarter. But even without the insurer, revenue for the sector is still expected to decline by 0.3%, according to Butters.

Top Stocks To Buy: DENTSPLY International Inc.(XRAY)

DENTSPLY International Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets dental consumable products, dental laboratory products, and dental specialty products worldwide. The company?s dental consumable products include dental sundries, such as dental anesthetics, prophylaxis pastes, dental sealants, impression materials, restorative materials, tooth whiteners, and topical fluoride; and small equipment, including high and low speed handpieces, intraoral curing light systems, dental diagnostic systems, and ultrasonic scalers and polishers used in dental offices for the treatment of patients. Its dental laboratory products comprise dental prosthetics, including artificial teeth, precious metal dental alloys, dental ceramics, and crown and bridge materials, as well as equipment, such as computer aided machining ceramic systems and porcelain furnaces used in the preparation of dental appliances by dental laboratories. The company?s dental specialty products consist of endodonti c instruments and materials, implants and related products, bone grafting materials, 3D digital implantology, and orthodontic appliances and accessories. Its customers include dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratories, and dental schools. The company distributes its dental products directly to dental laboratories and dental professionals, as well as through distributors, dealers, and importers. DENTSPLY International Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in York, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap dental stock BIOLASE Inc (NASDAQ: BIOL) surged 17.69% after announcing it had received a license from the Health Canada-Medical Device Bureau to sell its EPIC dental soft-tissue diode laser systems throughout Canada, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of mid cap dental stocks like Sirona Dental Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: SIRO), DENTSPLY International Inc (NASDAQ: XRAY) and Align Technology, Inc (NASDAQ: ALGN).

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    DENTSPLY International (NASDAQ: XRAY) shares touched a new 52-week high of $47.65. DENTSPLY’s trailing-twelve-month ROE is 15.95%.

    Sun Life Financial (NYSE: SLF) shares gained 2.47% to create a new 52-week high of $34.80 on Q3 results. Sun Life reported its Q3 operating net income from continuing operations of $422 million.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Align have surged 24% to $57 at 12:37 p.m. Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO) has risen 0.8% to $69.61, Dentsply International (XRAY) is up 0.1% at $45.44, Integra Lifesciences (IART) has  gained 0.4% to $44.23 and Danaher (DHR) has fallen 0.3% to $72.13.