Top US Companies For 2015

There’s never a shortage of losers in the stock market. Let’s take a closer look at five of this past week’s biggest sinkers.


May 10

Weekly Loss

Ruckus Wireless (NYSE: RKUS  )



Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO  )



Rackspace (NYSE: RAX  )



Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN  )



Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED  )

Top US Companies For 2015: Ametek Inc (AME)

AMETEK, Inc. (AMETEK), incorporated in 1930, is a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. The Company markets its products worldwide through two groups: the Electronic Instruments Group (EIG) and the Electromechanical Group (EMG). EIG builds monitoring, testing, calibration and display devices for the process, aerospace, industrial, power and medical markets. EMG produces engineered electromechanical connectors for hermetic (moisture-proof) applications, specialty metals for niche markets and brushless air-moving motors, blowers and heat exchangers. End markets include aerospace, defense, mass transit, medical, office products and other industrial markets. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired Powervar, a provider of power management systems and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. In January 2014, the Company acquired Teseq Group. In February 2014, the Company acquired VTI Instruments.

The Electronic Instruments Group

EIG consists of a group of differentiated businesses. EIG manufactures instruments used for testing, monitoring, calibration and display for the process, aerospace, industrial and power markets. EIG is specialized in the markets it serves, including aerospace engine sensors, heavy-vehicle instrument panels, analytical instrumentation, level measurement products, power instruments and pressure gauges. It has joint venture operations in China, Taiwan and Japan. EIG had 56 operating facilities: 35 in the United States, seven in the United Kingdom, five in Germany, three in France, two in Switzerland and one each in Argentina, Austria, Canada and Denmark, as of December 31, 2011. EIG also shares operating facilities with EMG in China and Mexico.

Process and analytical measurement and analysis instruments include oxygen, moisture, combustion and liquid analyzers; emission monitors; spectrometers; mechanical and electronic ! pressure sensors and transmitters; radiation measurement devices; level measurement devices; precision pumping systems, and force-measurement and materials testing instrumentation. EIG’s focus is on the process industries, including oil, gas and petrochemical refining, power generation, specialty gas production, water and waste treatment, natural gas distribution and semiconductor manufacturing. AMETEK’s analytical instruments are also used for precision measurement in a number of other applications including radiation detection for the United States Department of Homeland Security, materials analysis, nanotechnology research and other test and measurement applications.

TMC serves the manufacturers of life sciences, photonics and semiconductor equipment with a range of custom active piezoelectric vibration cancellation systems, based on their patented active piezo technology. TMC also supplies passive vibration cancellation systems, optical test tables, acou stic isolation hoods and magnetic isolation hoods. Reichert Technologies provides high-technology instruments used by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians for vision correction and the screening and diagnosis of eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Atlas Material Testing Technology LLC (Atlas) has products, which include weather exposure test systems, corrosion-testing instruments, specialty lighting systems, and large-scale weathering test chambers. In addition, Atlas offers indoor laboratory and outdoor testing services, photovoltaic and solar testing and consulting. AMETEK’s power businesses provide analytical instruments, uninterruptible power supply systems and programmable power supplies used in a range of industrial settings. EIG designs and manufactures power measurement and recording instrumentation used by the electric power and manufacturing industries. Those products include power transducers and meters, event and trans ient recorders, annunciators and alarm monitoring systems us! ed to mea! sure, monitor and record variables in the transmission and distribution of electric power.

EIG’s Solidstate Controls business designs and manufactures uninterruptible power supply systems for the process and power generation industries. EIG also manufactures sensor systems for land-based gas turbines and for boilers and burners used by the utility, petrochemical, process and marine industries worldwide. EIG’s programmable power business provides programmable alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power sources. EM Test provides equipment used to perform electrical immunity and electromagnetic compatibility testing. EM Test manufactures a full line of conducted electromagnetic compatibility test equipment, including electrical fast transient generators, electrostatic discharge simulators, surge generators, waveform simulators and multifunctional generators.

Aerospace products include airborne data systems; turbine engine temperature mea surement products; vibration-monitoring systems; indicators; displays; fuel and fluid measurement products; sensors; switches; cable harnesses, and transducers. EIG serves all segments of commercial aerospace, including helicopters, business jets, commuter aircraft and commercial airliners, as well as the military market. Its customers are the producers of airframes and jet engines and other aerospace system integrators. The Company also serves the commercial aerospace aftermarket with spare part sales and repair and overhaul services.

Electromechanical Group

EMG provides engineered motors, blowers, fans, heat exchangers, connectors, and other electromechanical products or systems for commercial and military aerospace applications, defense, medical equipment, business machines, computers and other power or industrial applications. EMG had 58 operating facilities: 34 in the United States, nine in the United Kingdom, three in France, two each in China , Czech Republic, Italy and Mexico and one each in Brazil, M! alaysia, ! Morocco and Taiwan, as of December 31, 2011. Differentiated businesses consists of the technical motors and systems businesses and the engineered materials, interconnects and packaging businesses. Technical motors and systems consist of brushless motors, blowers and pumps, as well as other electromechanical systems. These products are used in aerospace and defense, business machines, computer equipment, mass transit vehicles, medical equipment, power, and industrial applications.

EMG produces electronically commutated (brushless) motors, blowers and pumps. These motor-blower systems and heat exchangers are used for thermal management and other applications on a range of military and commercial aircraft and military ground vehicles, and are used in medical and other applications. These motors provide cooling and ventilation for business machines, computers and mass transit vehicles. EMG also serves the commercial and military aerospace third-party maintenance, re pair and overhaul (MRO) market. These services are provided on a global basis with facilities in the United States, Europe and Singapore.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, engineered materials, interconnects and packaging products represented 37% of EMG’s net sales. AMETEK provides specialized metal powder, strip, wire and bonded products. It produces stainless steel and nickel clad alloys; stainless steel, cobalt and nickel alloy powders; metal strip; specialty shaped and electronic wire, and advanced metal matrix composites used in electronic thermal management. Its products are used in automotive, appliance, medical and surgical, aerospace, telecommunications, marine and general industrial applications.

Coining provides custom-shaped preforms, microstampings and wire used for joining electronic circuitry, packaging microelectronics and providing thermal protection and electric conductivity for a range of electronic devices. Coining’s products are used in engineered applications for the radio f! requency ! (RF)/microwave, photonics, medical, aerospace and defense, and general electronics industries. Avicenna produces fine-featured catheter and other medical components for leads, guide wires and custom medical assemblies. Avicenna complements the Company’s medical device market businesses fits with its Technical Services for Electronics (TSE) business. TSE fits with the HCC Industries division, which manufactures engineered electronic interconnects and microelectronics packaging for sophisticated electronic applications.

AMETEK is a medical interconnects provider with integrated capabilities for the catheter, cardiac and neurostimulation markets. During 2011, floorcare and specialty motor markets represented 18% of EMG’s net sales, where it sells air-moving electric motors to the floorcare other equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including vertically integrated OEMs that produce some of their own motors. EMG produces motor-blowers for a range of floorcare products , ranging from hand-held, canister and upright vacuums to central vacuums for residential use. High-performance vacuum motors also are marketed for commercial and industrial applications.

The Company also manufactures a variety of specialty motors used in a range of products, such as household and personal care appliances; fitness equipment; electric materials handling vehicles, and sewing machines. In addition, its products are used in outdoor power equipment, such as electric chain saws, leaf blowers, string trimmers and power washers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Zygo (NASDAQ: ZIGO) shares gained 31.06% to touch a new 52-week high of $19.24 after Ametek (NYSE: AME) announced its plans to buy Zygo for about $364 million.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Electronic device maker Ametek  (NYSE: AME  )  announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.06 per share, the same rate it paid for the last five quarters after it raised the payout 50% from $0.04 per share.

Top US Companies For 2015: Merck & Company Inc.(MRK)

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. The company?s Pharmaceutical segment provides human health pharmaceutical products, such as therapeutic and preventive agents for the treatment of human disorders in the areas of bone, respiratory, immunology, dermatology, cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity, infectious diseases, neurosciences and ophthalmology, oncology, vaccines, and women’s health and endocrine. This segment also offers human health vaccines, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines. Its Animal Health segment discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets animal health products. This segment offers antibiotics, anti-inflammatory products, vaccines, products for the treatment of fertility disorders, and parasiticides for cattle, swine, horses, poultry, dogs, cats, salmons, and fish. The Consumer Care segment develops, manufac tures, and markets over-the-counter, foot care, and sun care products. Its over-the-counter product line includes non-drowsy antihistamines; treatment for occasional constipation; decongestant-free cold/flu medicine for people with high blood pressure; nasal decongestant spray; and treatment for frequent heartburn. This segment?s foot care products comprise topical antifungal, and foot and sneaker odor/wetness products; and sun care products include sun care lotions, sprays and dry oils; and sunburn relief products. The company serves drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies, physicians, physician distributors, veterinarians, animal producers, and managed health care providers, as well as food chain and mass merchandiser outlets in the United States and Canada. Merck & Co., Inc. was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Gilead should gain FDA approval shortly for its all-oral HPV treatment that combines Sovaldi with another drug. While the statement makes it sound like there won’t be a price increase, that’s not really the case. Currently, many people infected with HPV have to take Sovaldi and either Merck’s (NYSE: MRK  ) Pegintron or Roche’s Pegasys. The plan seems to be to price the Sovaldi combination at the current price of Sovaldi plus the price of the companion drug.

  • [By vl2014]

    Merck (MRK) led the Dog pack for the month of August with a gain of 5.9%. The New Jersey-based drugmaker reported second-quarter earnings that were comfortably ahead of our expectations, thanks to better-than-expected performance on the top line and continued tight cost controls. Regarding the former, although worldwide revenues were down 1% year over year, to $10.9 billion, this was $300 million ahead of our estimate, as stronger gains in the company’s core franchises helped to mitigate generic competition and declines in Hepatitis-C drugs.

Top US Companies For 2015: Libbey Inc (LBY)

Libbey Inc. (Libbey), incorporated in 1987, is a producer of glass tableware products in the Western Hemisphere, in addition to supplying to key markets throughout the world. The Company produces glass tableware in five countries and sells to over 100 countries. It operates in two segments: Glass Operations and Other Operations. Glass Operations includes worldwide sales of manufactured and sourced glass tableware and other glass products from domestic and international subsidiaries. Other Operations includes worldwide sales of sourced ceramic dinnerware, metal tableware, hollowware and serveware and plastic items. It design and market, under its Libbey, Crisa, Royal Leerdam, World Tableware, Syracuse China and Crisal Glass brand names. The Company’s import and market ceramic dinnerware under the Syracuse China brand name through its subsidiary Syracuse China Company (Syracuse China).

Through its subsidiary B.V. Koninklijke Nederlandsche Glasfabriek Leerdam ( Royal Leerdam), the Company manufactures glass stemware under the Royal Leerdam brand name. Through its subsidiary Crisal-Cristalaria Automatica S.A. (Crisal), the Company manufactures glass tableware in Portugal for its worldwide customer base. Through its World Tableware Inc. (World Tableware) subsidiary, the Company imports metal flatware, hollowware, serveware and ceramic dinnerware for resale.

The Company’s glass tableware includes tumblers, stemware, including wine glasses, mugs, bowls, ashtrays, bud vases, salt and pepper shakers, shot glasses, canisters, candleholders and various other items. Libbey Holland produces stemware. Libbey Portugal produces glass tableware, mainly tumblers, stemware and glassware accessories. Libbey Mexico’s glass tableware product assortment also includes glass bakeware and handmade glass tableware. In addition, Libbey Mexico’s products include blender jars, washing machine windows and other glass products sold principally t o original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Through its Syrac! use China and World Tableware subsidiaries, the Company offers a range of ceramic dinnerware products. These include plates, bowls, platters, cups, saucers and other tableware accessories. Its World Tableware subsidiary provides an selection of metal flatware, including knives, forks, spoons and serving utensils. In addition, World Tableware sells metal hollowware, including serving trays, pitchers and other metal tableware accessories, as well as a line of dinnerware.

The customers for Libbey’s tableware products include approximately 500 foodservice distributors in the United States and Canada. In the retail channel, the Company sells to mass merchants, department stores, retail distributors, national retail chains and specialty housewares stores. In addition, the Company’s business-to-business channel primarily includes customers that use glass containers for candle and floral applications, gourmet food packaging companies, and various OEM applications. I n Mexico, it sells to retail mass merchants and wholesale distributors, as well as candle and food packers, and various OEM users of custom molded glass. In Europe, it market glassware to retailers, distributors and decorators that service the retail, foodservice and developed business-to-business channel, which includes breweries and distilleries. In China, Libbey sells to distributors and wholesalers.

The Company competes with Arc International, Pasabahce, Anchor Hocking Company, Bormioli Rocco Group, Homer Laughlin, Oneida Ltd., Steelite and Walco, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    On Wednesday, small cap kitchen stock Everyware Global Inc (NASDAQ: EVRY) surged 52.94% after announcing an amendment to extend its forbearance agreement with lenders until July 15 that could give the company time to find a long-term financing solution – meanings its worth taking as closer look at the stock along with potential peers Libbey Inc (NYSEMKT: LBY) and Lifetime Brands Inc (NASDAQ: LCUT).

  • [By John Udovich]

    Everyone is familiar with the Tupperware brand from consumer products stock Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE: TUP) and you are probably familiar with the brands of mid cap stock Jarden Corp (NYSE: JAH) along with small cap stocks Libbey Inc (NYSEMKT: LBY) and Lifetime Brands Inc (NASDAQ: LCUT); but what about the stocks themselves? Chances are, their brands or products are right under your nose at home and you probably don’t know anything about the mid cap or small cap stock behind them.

Top US Companies For 2015: American Airlines Group Inc (AAL)

American Airlines Group Inc., formerly AMR Corporation, incorporated in October 1982, operates in the airline industry. The Company’s principal subsidiary is American Airlines, Inc. (American). As of December 31, 2011, American provided scheduled jet service to approximately 160 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. AMR Eagle Holding Corporation (AMR Eagle), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, owns two regional airlines, which do business as American Eagle-American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the American Eagle carriers). American also contracts with an independently owned regional airline, which does business as AmericanConnection (the AmericanConnection carrier). As of December 31, 2011, AMR Eagle operated approximately 1,500 daily departures, offering scheduled passenger service to over 175 destinations in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

American, AMR Eagle a nd the AmericanConnection airline served more than 250 cities in approximately 50 countries with, on average, 3,400 daily flights and the combined network fleet numbered approximately 900 aircraft as of December 31, 2011. American Airlines is also a founding member of the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, JAL, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Together, oneworld members serve 750 destinations in approximately 150 countries, with about 8,500 daily departures. American is also one of the scheduled air freight carriers in the world, providing a range of freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system onboard American’s passenger fleet.

To improve access to each other’s markets, American has established marketing relationships with other airlines and rail companies. As of December 31, 2011, American had marketing relationships with Air Berlin, Air Pacific, A ir Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cape Air, C! athay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, Dragonair, Deutsche Bahn German Rail, EL AL, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, GOL, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetStar Airways, LAN (includes LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru), Niki Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

American has established the AAdvantage frequent flyer program (AAdvantage). AAdvantage members earn mileage credits by flying on American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection carrier or by using services of other participants in the AAdvantage program. Mileage credits can be redeemed for free, discounted or upgraded travel on American, American Eagle or other participating airlines, or for other awards. American sells mileage credits and related services to other participants in the AAdvantage program. There are over 1,000 program participants, including a credit card issuer, hotels, car rental co mpanies, and other products and services companies in the AAdvantage program. As of December 31, 2011, AAdvantage had approximately 69 million total members.

The Company competes with Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Delta Air Lines (Delta), Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways (JetBlue), Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines (Southwest) and AirTran Airways (Air Tran), Spirit Airlines, United Airlines (United) and Continental Airlines (Continental), US Airways and Virgin America Airlines.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    American Airlines (AAL) said it reached a tentative agreement with its flight attendants on Friday. The market doesn’t seem thrilled, however, as shares of American Airlines have dropped more than 2%.

    Credit Suisse analysts Julie Yates and Krishna Vege think investors are “missing the forests for the trees” when it comes to American Airlines:

    Following Friday’s tentative agreement with the Flight Attendant union and recent company discussions, we accelerate labor inflation for Flight Attendant & Pilot groups to 2015 from 2016. No details have been disclosed, but APFA indicated the agreement contains the highest wages and best work rules of any network carrier which is not a surprise since American Airlines management preferred fixed increases to profit sharing and is committed to strong labor relations. Healthy labor relations are key to executing the integration, so we see the swift pace of the flight attendant agreement as a positive and expect pilot negotiations will be similarly harmonious.

    For investors willing to wait out well-telegraphed near-term PRASM headwinds and downward adjustments to consensus as labor escalation is pulled forward in 2015, we think the QTD
    sell off of 15% offers an attractive entry point. Shares are trading at just 8x our 2015E when fully taxed and American Airlines stands to benefit the most in a declining fuel-price environment given the absence of hedging.

    Shares of American Airlines have dropped 2.5% to $36.70 at 2:03 p.m. today, though it’s not the only airline getting pounded. United Continental (UAL) has fallen 3.1% to $47.83 and Delta Air Lines (DAL) has declined 1.6% to $38.03.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Airlines stocks are facing turbulence today after Merrill Lynch downgraded JetBlue (JBLU) to Underperform from Neutral. Delta Air Lines (DAL) American Airlines (AAL), United Continental (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) have all dropped today.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    August was the third straight month of underwhelming PRASM results from Delta Air Lines. Perhaps not coincidentally Alaska Air and JetBlue (JBLU) have been underperforming industry PRASM lately as well, two airlines defending themselves against Delta Air Lines. To be sure, Delta Air Lines’ PRASM is still growing faster than its CASM, which means margins are expanding y/y, but the rate of margin change is likely to be “less good” relative to United Continental (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) due to Delta Air Lines’ capacity choices. We like Delta Air Lines, just not as much as most other Outperform-rated airlines.

Top US Companies For 2015: Agilent Technologies Inc (A)

Agilent Technologies, Inc. (Agilent), incorporated on May 5, 1999, is a measurement company providing bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions to the communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis industries. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), it had three business segments: electronic measurement business, chemical analysis business and life sciences business. Its electronic measurement business addresses the communications, electronics and other industries. Agilent’s chemical analysis business focuses on the petrochemical, environmental, forensics and food safety industries. Its life sciences business focuses on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic and Government, bio-agriculture and food safety industries. In addition to its three businesses, it conducts research through Agilent Technologies Laboratories (Agilent Labs). In fiscal 2011, the Company acquired A2 Technologies, Lab901 and Biocius Life Sciences I nc. On December 21, 2011, the Company acquired BioSystem Development business and P.V.R. s.r.l., a vacuum pump manufacturer. In February 2012, the Company acquired software solutions and technology for device-level modeling and validation from Accelicon Technologies. In June 2012, the Company acquired cancer diagnostics company, Dako. In August 2012, the Company acquired Aurora SFC Systems, Inc.

Electronic Measurement Business

The Company’s electronic measurement business provides electronic measurement instruments and systems, software design tools and related services that are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment, and microscopy products. Related services include start-up assistance, instrument productivity and application services and instrument calibration and repair. It also offers customization, consulting and optimization services throughout the customer’s product li fecycle. It sells products and services applicable to a rang! e of communications networks and systems, including wireless communications and microwave networks, voice, broadband, data, and fiber optic networks. Test products include Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software, vector and signal analyzers, signal generators, vector network analyzers, one box testers, oscilloscopes, logic and protocol analyzers, and bit-error ratio testers.

The Company’s wireless communications and microwave network products include radio frequency and microwave test instruments and electronic design automation software tools. These products are required for the design and production of wireless network products, communications links, cellular handsets and base stations. It provides handheld products for the installation and maintenance of wireless networks. Its electronic design automation software tools and instruments are used by radio frequency integrated circuit design engineers to model, simulate and analyze communications product designs at the circuit and system levels.

The Company’s suite of fiber optic test products measure and analyze a range of optical and electrical parameters in fiber optic networks and their components. Components which can be tested with Agilent solutions include source lasers, optical amplifiers, filters and other passive components. Test products include optical component analyzers, optical power meters and optical spectrum analyzers. It sells the products into the general purpose test market, including general purpose instruments, modular instruments and test software, digital test products, semiconductor and board test solutions, electronics manufacturing test equipment, atomic force microscopes and radio frequency and network surveillance solutions. The Company’s general purpose products include spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, signal generators, logic analyzers, digitizing oscilloscopes, voltmeters, multimeters, frequency counters, bench and system power supp lies, function generators and waveform synthesizers. Modular! instrume! nts and test software are used by the designers and manufacturers of electronic devices as the building blocks of systems that can be configured for a range of test applications.

The Company’s digital test products are used by research and development engineers across a range of industries to validate the function and performance of their digital product and system designs. These designs include a range of products from digital control circuits to high speed systems, such as computer servers and the gaming consoles. The test products offered include oscilloscopes, logic and serial protocol analyzers, logic-signal sources and data generators.

The Company’s semiconductor and board test solutions enable customers to develop and test semiconductors, test and inspect printed circuit boards, perform functional testing, and measure position and distance information to the sub-nanometer level. It is a supplier of parametric test instruments and systems used to examine semiconductor wafers during the manufacturing process. Its in-circuit test system helps identify quality defects, such as faulty or incorrect parts, that affect electrical performance. Its laser interferometer measurement systems provide precise position or distance information for dimensional measurements. Its atomic force microscopes (AFM) are imaging devices. An AFM allows researchers to observe and manipulate molecular and atomic level features. Its portfolio of AFM products provides customers with tools for a range of nanotechnology applications, including semiconductor, data storage, polymers, materials science and life science studies. The Company’s surveillance systems and subsystems are used by defense and government engineers and technicians to detect, locate and analyze signals of interest. The products offered include receivers for detecting radio frequency signals, probes for detecting wire line signals and software that enables the identification a nd analysis of these signals. Agilent’s electronic measureme! nt custom! ers include contract manufacturers of electronic products, handset manufacturers and network equipment manufacturers who design, develop, manufacture and install network equipment, service providers who implement, maintain and manage communication networks and services, and companies who design, develop, and manufacture semiconductors and semiconductor lithography systems. Its customers use its products to conduct research and development, manufacture, install and maintain radio frequency, microwave frequency, digital, semiconductor, and optical products and systems and conduct nanotechnology research.

The Company competes with Aeroflex Incorporated, Anritsu Corporation, Ansys Corporation, EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering, Inc., National Instruments Corporation, Rohde & Schwartz GmbH & Co. KG, Spirent plc, Danaher Corporation, Bruker Corporation, LeCroy Corporation, Teradyne, Inc., Test Research Inc. and Zygo Corporation.

Chemical Analysis Business< /p>

The Company’s chemical analysis business provides application-focused solutions that include instruments, software, consumables and services that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and chemical properties of substances and products. Its product categories in chemical analysis include gas chromatography (GC) systems, columns and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments; atomic absorption (AA) instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) instruments; software and data systems; vacuum pumps and measurement technologies; services and support for its products. Agilent provides custom or standard analyzers configured for specific chemical analysis applications, such as detailed speciation of a complex hydrocarbon stream, calculation of gas calorific values in the field, or analysis of a new bio-fuel formulation. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable ! products ! for these and other similar instruments. Its MS products incorporate technologies for measuring mass, including single-quadrupole, triple-quadrupole, and ion trap mass spectrometers. It combines its mass spectrometers with other instruments to instruments, such as GC/MS, and ICP-MS. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments. The Company’s spectroscopy instruments include atomic absorption (AA) spectrometers, inductively coupled plasma-optical emissions spectrometers (ICP-OES), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometers (ICP-MS), fluorescence spectrophotometers, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometers, Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrophotometers, near-infrared (NIR) spectrophotometers, Raman spectrometers and sample automation products. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments.

The Company’s vacuum techno logies products are used to create, control, measure and test vacuum environments in life science, industrial and scientific applications where clean and vacuum environments are needed. Products include a range of vacuum pumps, including diffusion, turbomolecular and ion getter; intermediate vacuum pumps, including rotary vane, sorption and dry scroll, vacuum instrumentation, including vacuum control instruments, sensor gauges and meters, and vacuum components, including valves, flanges and other mechanical hardware. Its products also include helium mass spectrometry and helium-sensing leak detection instruments used to identify and measure leaks in hermetic or vacuum environments. The Company offers a range of services, including an exchange and rebuild program, assistance with the design and integration of vacuum systems, applications support and training in basic and advanced vacuum technologies. The Company offers a range of consumable products, which support its technol ogy platforms, including sample preparation consumables, suc! h as soli! d phase extraction (SPE) and filtration products, self manufactured GC and LC columns, chemical standards, and instrument replacement parts. Consumable products also include scientific instrument parts and supplies, such as filters and fittings for GC systems; xenon lamps and cuvettes for UV-Vis-NIR, fluorescence, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy instruments; and graphite furnace tubes, hollow cathode lamps and specialized sample introduction glassware for its AA, ICP-OES and ICP-MS products.

The Company competes with Bruker Corporation, PerkinElmer Inc., Shimadzu Corporation and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

Life Sciences Business

The Company’s life sciences business provides application-focused technologies and solutions, which include instruments, software, consumables and services. Its product categories include liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, microarrays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrumentation, bioreagents, electrophores is, software and informatics, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, and, consumables and services. The Agilent liquid chromatograph (LC) portfolio is modular in construction and can be configured as analytical and preparative systems. Agilent’s liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometer (LC/MS) portfolio includes instruments built around five analyzer types, such as single quadrupole, triple quadrupole, ion trap, time-of-flight (TOF) and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF). It is a provider of microarray-based, genomics research solutions. It provides products for sequencing platforms. Its portfolio of PCR instrumentation, reagents and kits, coupled with its other products, such as microarrays and target enrichment systems for sequencing, provides a range of workflow solutions to customers in the genomics marketplace.

Agilent is a supplier of electrophoretic separation solutions. The 2100 Bioanalyzer analyzes biomolecules or c ells in microfluidic networks of channels and wells etched i! nto glass! chips. The 3100 OFFGEL Fractionator resolves proteins or peptides by isoelectric point with liquid-phase recovery. It provides software for instrument control, data acquisition, data analysis, laboratory content and business process management, and informatics. With OpenLab, Agilent has open architecture, which enables capture, analyze, and share scientific data throughout the lab and across the enterprise. It offers a range of consumable products, which support its LC, and MS technology platforms. These consumable products include sample preparation products; self manufactured LC columns and instrument replacement parts, and consumable supplies to meet its customers’ analysis needs. It offers a range of startup, operational, educational and compliance support services for measurement and data handling systems. Its support services include maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and training for all of its chemical and bioinstrumentation analysis hardware and software products .

The Company competes with Affymetrix Inc., Bruker Corp., Danaher Corporation, Illumina, Inc., Life Technologies Corp., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Waters Corp.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Samaha]

    First, Danaher’s management was keen to point out that the weakness was limited to two specific areas. Communications revenue within its test and measurement segment was down at a “low double-digit” rate, which the company linked to delays in spending by wireless carriers. Indeed, rival Agilent (NYSE: A  ) also reported a 6% fall in its communications revenue. The other difficult area came in the dental segment, which recorded “weak consumable sales,” possibly due to bad weather earlier in the year. Unfortunately, according to Danaher CEO Larry Culp, both products tend to be “high-margin variables”, and their underperformance hit operating profits within the test and measurement and dental segments.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc. (A)  declined 0.5% to $55.60 on moderate volume after the measurement instruments company reported adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 72 cents a share on revenue of $1.73 billion. Analysts estimated 73 cents a share on revenue of $1.73 billion.

  • [By Mr. TopStep]

    Overnight, the Asian markets closed modestly higher, and Europe is trading modestly lower. Today’s economic schedule starts with MBA purchase applications, Producer Price Index, Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations, Housing Market Index, EIA Petroleum Report and earnings from Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A), Macy’s (NYSE:M), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO), and Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF).

Top US Companies For 2015: iShares North American Tech-Software ETF (IGV)

iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index Fund (the Fund), formerly, iShares S&P GSTI Software Index, seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance as represented by the S&P North American Technology-Software Index (the Index). The Index has been developed as an equity benchmark for United States-traded, software-related stocks.

The Index includes companies that are producers of client/server applications, enterprise software, Internet software, personal computer and entertainment software. The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities in the Index, which has a similar investment profile as the Index.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap cloud and enterprise services stock Rally Software Development Corp (NYSE: RALY) just had a reversal – meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with potential performance benchmarks like Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL), iShares North American Tech-Software (NYSEARCA: IGV) and First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index (NASDAQ: SKYY).

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q2 2014 earnings report for software stock Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE), a potential peer or performance benchmark of other software stocks or players like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Autodesk, Inc (NASDAQ: ADSK) and iShares S&P GSTI Software Index Fund (NYSEARCA: IGV), is scheduled for after the market closes on Tuesday. Aside from the Adobe Systems Incorporated earnings report, it should be said that Microsoft Corporation reported Q3 2014 earnings on April 24th (FYQ3 revenues and EPS beat; cloud revenue doubled; Q4 view was light) and Autodesk, Inc reported Q1 2015 earnings on May 15th (Q1 revenues beat and earnings met estimates). The last time Adobe Systems reported earnings, it beat expectations thanks to strong adoption of Creative Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud as the company has been shifting away from from physical products to cloud-based software that users subscribe to.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Although Small cap Synacor Inc (NASDAQ: SYNC) calls itself the place “where Tech, Hollywood and Madison Avenue meet in the cloud,” its not exactly been a blockbuster for investors – meanings its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of potential benchmarks like the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index (NASDAQ: SKYY), iShares North American Tech-Software (NYSEARCA: IGV) and Global X Social Media Index ETF (NASDAQ: SOCL).

Top US Companies 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 Stephen Quickel]

    Tenneco Inc. (TEN)

    Located cross town from PKG in Lake Forest, TEN is a supplier emissions control and other auto parts with revenues of $9 billion. Earnings growth is estimated at 19% a year with an 11.4 P/E and a 0.60 PEG.

  • [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 US Companies For 2015: Powershares Dynamic Retail Portfolio (PMR)

PowerShares Dynamic Retail Portfolio (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield of an equity index called the Dynamic Retail Intellidex Index (the Retail Intellidex). The Retail Intellidex consists of stocks of 30 United States retailers. These are companies that are principally engaged in operating general merchandise stores, such as department stores, discount stores, warehouse clubs and superstores; specialty stores, including apparel, electronics, accessories and footwear stores;, and home improvement and home furnishings stores. Dealers of motor vehicles and parts, auction houses or rental companies may also be included. Stocks are selected principally on the basis of their capital appreciation potential as identified by the AMEX (the Intellidex Provider) pursuant to its Intellidex methodology. The Fund’s investment advisor is PowerShares Capital Management LLC.

The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in common stocks of retail companies. It will normally invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the Retail

Intellidex. The Fund, using an indexing investment approach, attempts to replicate the performance of the Retail Intellidex. The Fund generally will invest in all of the stocks comprising the Retail Intellidex in proportion to their weightings in the Retail Intellidex.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich] has a shocking post entitled, “20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind,” which might make you want to consider shorting or reevaluating any investment strategies involving retail or retail ETFs like the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR), Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: RTH) and Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares (NYSEARCA: RETL). Before you dismiss something from a blog with the words “Economic Collapse” in it (they are, after all, peddling “doom and gloom”) because the Obama administration plus Joe Biden and their surrogates in the media keep telling you there is an economic recovery along with growth in jobs, consider just the following retail store closure plans or job cuts mentioned in the post:

  • [By Ron Rowland]

    The five funds consist of three ETFs and two traditional mutual funds. The names and gains of the three ETFs were PowerShares Dynamic Retailing ETF (PMR) 0.6%, Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) 0.7%, and SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) 1.1%.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap Checkpoint Systems, Inc (NYSE: CKP) fights shoplifting or retail theft and other forms of “shrink” that costs retailers over $112 billion worldwide last year (according to a study funded by the company), meaning it might be an interesting stock to take a closer look at and to compare its performance with that of SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR). Just how bad can shoplifting or shrink be for a retailer? Troubled retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP) has just reported that shoplifting took a full percentage point off the department store chain’s profit margins during the quarter. Moreover and given that tens of millions of Americans are now facing higher health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare (which will likely impact consumer discretionary spending), retailers will need to find ways to shore up their margins and bottom lines by preventing retail theft with solutions from company’s like C heckpoint Systems.

Top US Companies For 2015: Hudson Global Inc (HSON)

Hudson Global, Inc. (Hudson) incorporated on January 1, 2003, provides specialized professional-level recruitment and related talent solutions worldwide. The Company’s Core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Talent Management solutions. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in 20 countries with three geographic business segments: Hudson Americas, Hudson Asia Pacific, and Hudson Europe. The Company’s core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery,RPO and Talent Management Solutions.

The Company’s Permanent Recruitment services leverage the firm’s more than 1,200 consultants, supported by the Company’s psychologists and other scientific specialists in the development and delivery of its methods to identify, select and engage the best-fit talent for critical client roles. In Contract Consulting, Hudson provides a rang e of project management, interim management and professional contract staffing services. Hudson’s Legal eDiscovery services consists of eDiscovery solutions, managed document review including logistical deployment, project management, process design and productivity management, and contract attorney staffing. Hudson’s RPO delivers outsourced recruitment solutions tailored to the individual needs of mid- to large-cap multinational companies. Hudson RPO services include complete recruitment outsourcing, project-based outsourcing, contingent workforce solutions and recruitment consulting. Hudson’s Talent Management Solutions capability encompasses services such as talent assessment, interview training, executive coaching, employee development and outplacement.

The Company’s clients include small to large-sized corporations and government agencies. As of December 31, 2012 , there were approximately 460 Hudson Americas clients, 1,200 Hudson Asia Pacific clients and 2 ,700 Hudson Europe clients.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions is an interesting staffing stock because it intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization through a targeted accretive acquisition strategy. The company has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries while its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States. His stint at Hudson Global culminated with him leading the company’s IPO on the Nasdaq in 2003. During 2004 and 2005, Flood was also the CFO/COO for Hudson North America when he returned the business to profitability after several loss-making years (Note: Before the IPO, Hudson was part of what is now Monster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW)). In addit ion, CEO Matt Briand has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. Back in June, Staffing 360 Solutions announced revised revenue guidance for the company’s fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2014, with revenue now expected to be in excess of $26.8 million, as opposed to the verses a previously forecast amount of $24.1 million for an increase of $2.7 million or 11% over the forecast. The update also noted that Staffing 360 Solutions has successfully completed five acquisitions over the past year, including operations in the United States and Europe. Moreover, Staffing 360 Solutions previously reported revenues of approximately $557,000 for the quarter ended May 31, 2013 versus $26.8 million for the quarter ended May 31, 2014 for a year-over-year increase of $26.2 million or 4,711%. On Thursday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 1.02% to $1.95 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.20 a share) for a market cap o f $59.75 mill

  • [By John Udovich]

    The government’s closely watched jobs report today is expected to show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 218,000 positions and may have finally returned employment to its pre-recession level, but executive search or staffing stocks like Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON), Robert Half International Inc (NYSE: RHI) and up and coming Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (OTCBB: STAF) have already made investors winners since the official end of the recession:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization with diversified staffing services by engaging in a targeted accretive acquisition strategy. Staffing 360 Solutions has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries. Moreover, its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States, culminating with him leading the company’s IPO and listing of its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market in 2003. During 2004 and 2005 he was the CFO/COO for Hudson North America (returning the business to profitability after several loss-making years) while prior to the IPO, it should be noted that Hudson was part of what is now Mo nster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW). CEO Matt Briand also has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions issued an updated forecast for the next three fiscal quarters is as follows: $24.1 million for the quarter ending May 31, 2014, $30.2 million for the quarter ending August 31, 2014, and $32.1 million for the quarter ending November 30, 2014. Staffing 360 Solutions has also recently completed the acquisition of PeopleSERVE, which provides IT professional and management consultants on a contract and direct hire basis to state and local government, multinational and regional businesses and entrepreneurial firms throughout the greater Boston area. On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 0.50% to $1.99 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.10 a share) for a market cap of $60.98 million plus the stock is down 0.5% since the start of the year, up 20.6% over the past y ear and up 165.3% ove