Saturday, November 30, 2013

Target Corporation Reports Strong Start to Black Friday Sales (TGT)

Discount retailer Target Corporation (TGT) reported on Friday morning that it saw some of its highest single day sales on Thanksgiving and its Black Friday sales are off to a “strong start.”

Target said that nearly all of its deals were available online on Thanksgiving day. The retailer’s sales were two times the sales from Black Friday last year. On Thanksgiving day, popular items including the iPad Air, large screen TVs, Nintendo 3DS XL and Zoomer the Robot Dog sold out online by mid-morning.

Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target commented: “Our guests told us they want top gifts at a great value, and our team delivered.”

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“Whether online, on their mobile devices, or in our stores, guests shopped Target in unprecedented numbers. And, as always, our team provided the exceptional experience our guests have come to expect from Target,” Steinhafel added.

Target shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Friday. The stock is up 9% YTD.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Senators Push Bill to End Debt Ceiling’s Use as ‘Political Weapon’

Three Democratic senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would permanently allow Congress to disapprove debt ceiling increases, instead of approving them.

Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, introduced the Pay Our Bills Act, which they said was based on the "McConnell rule" first proposed in 2011 and employed again in the most recent agreement to end the government shutdown and avoid default.

The bill “would drastically reduce the chances that the debt ceiling could be used as a political weapon designed to extract policy concessions from the opposing party,” the senators said.

“We know from recent history that even the threat of not paying our bills does serious damage to our economy,” Boxer said in a statement. “It’s time for us to put in place a straightforward process to avoid a catastrophic default on our nation’s debt. The Pay Our Bills Act gives both houses of Congress and the president a say, but sends a strong message of certainty to the markets, to our families and to the world.”

“The way it works right now, the debt ceiling is like a ticking time bomb that threatens massive economic destruction,” added Schumer. “This bill would defuse it. By forcing Congress to disapprove debt ceiling increases, we greatly reduce the risk of default that would be a crushing blow to our economy – taking money out of middle-class pockets and destroying middle-class jobs. I hope our Republican colleagues will do the right thing and join in our efforts to limit the risk of default and provide certainty to American families and businesses.”

The disapproval mechanism, or McConnell Rule, was temporarily included in the bipartisan Senate agreement that reopened the government and avoided default earlier this month. This same mechanism was also used to lift the debt ceiling twice following passage of the Budget Control Act.

President Barack Obama has suspended the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, and under the new law, to disapprove the suspension Congress must draft and consider a resolution of disapproval. “If Congress passes the resolution of disapproval, the president has the option to veto the resolution. If Congress so chooses, it may attempt to override the veto with a two-thirds majority. However, subsequent increases in the debt ceiling will still have to be approved by Congress,” the lawmakers explained.

Boxer, Schumer and Hirono said they are pushing for the McConnell rule to be made permanent for all future increases in the debt limit, requiring that if Congress chooses to consider a resolution of disapproval it does so within 15 days after the President proposes an increase.

Sen. Orrin Hatch., R-Utah, said on the Senate floor Tuesday that “the debt limit debate provides us with an opportunity to re-examine our nation’s fiscal course and take steps to correct it.”

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He continued: “Sadly, we have a President who appears unwilling to have that conversation.  Instead, he apparently wants to press forward full steam ahead on our already unsustainable course, saddling future generations with unheard of debts and broken entitlement promises in the process. Quite simply, it would be folly to approve of yet another debt limit increase without also working to address these programs, which are the main drivers of our debts and deficits.  Therefore, I disapprove of the President’s exercise of an authority to suspend the debt limit, and I urge all of my colleagues to similarly disapprove.”


Check out Senate Agrees on Debt Deal, as SIFMA Chief Blasts GOP and Obama for Woes on ThinkAdvisor.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Consumers Feeling More Upbeat About U.S. Economy

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Shoppers At Kenwood Town Center As Consumer Sentiment Falls To 10-MonthTy Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images U.S. consumer sentiment rose in November as wealthier Americans' outlook on the economy improved, a survey released Wednesday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment measured 75.1 for November, up from a final reading of 73.2 in October and above the median forecast of 73.5 among economists polled by Reuters. "While rising stock prices and low interest rates will favor holiday sales of upper-end consumers, lower income households were still more concerned about job gains," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement. The preliminary November reading of the overall index was reported at 72.0 earlier this month. The survey's barometer of current economic conditions fell to 88.0 in November from 89.9 in October. The final figure was higher than the preliminary November reading of 87.2 but came in below a forecast of 89.0. The survey's gauge of consumer expectations rose to 66.8 from 62.5 in October, slightly above an expected 66.2. The one-year inflation expectation fell to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook stood at 2.9 percent, unchanged from last month.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014

Warren Buffett, arguably the best investor of all time, has his foibles. One such he admitted recently in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B)�� investor letter ��his ill-fated decision to buy $2 billion in several bond issues of Energy Future Holdings, which he called �� mistake ��a big mistake.��This mistake is part of his broader history of mixed results with energy investments.

Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU Energy, is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the largest energy generator in the state. It came into being when Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Texas Pacific Group (TPG) bought TXU out for $45 billion, the largest leveraged buyout in history, and took it private. Shareholders received $69.25 per share, a 25 percent premium. GS Capital Partners, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley were equity investors in the deal. Buffett bought $2 billion worth of bonds.

The investment met many of Buffett�� criteria for stock picking and business buying. At the time, the company served 2.1 million customers, it was simple and understandable, it had been producing the same product since 1882 and it produced a product that people could not live without. It was also profitable, with operating revenues that had increased substantially ��from $106 million to $151 million ��from 2004 to 2006.

However, TXU did not have a particularly wide competitive advantage in the deregulated Texas energy market. It also produced nuclear, coal and natural gas power, and ultimately, Buffett said, it was the plummeting of volatile natural gas prices that derailed the investment.

TXU explained how energy prices correlate to gas prices in its 2006 10-K: ��as-fueled generation is the predominant supply resource in the ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] region in terms of both the installed capacity and electricity generation, accounting for approximately 75% of the capacity and 50% of the energy produced in the ERCOT region. As a result, natural gas-fueled pl! ant operators are the marginal suppliers in ERCOT, and wholesale electricity prices are highly correlated to natural gas prices.

By mid- 2006, electricity prices had risen more than 35 percent, largely as a result of skyrocketing natural gas prices. But by late 2010, the price of natural gas plunged, making it difficult for Energy Future Holdings to meet its debt payments. Moody�� Investor Service described the company at that time as having a ��ery weak financial profile, untenable capital structure, questionable long-term business plan and material operating headwinds.��br>
Buffett�� stepping out of his usual bounds cost him greatly. He wrote down the investment by $1 billion in 2010, and an additional $390 million in 2011. He carries the bonds now at their market value of $878 million, and could lose the entire investment if natural gas prices do not increase.

Buffett made another energy investing mistake with ConocoPhillips (COP), which actually resulted in a greater loss than Energy Future Holdings ��an estimated more than $3 billion.

Buffett began buying COP stock in 2005 at near $60. Then, in 2008, he poured an additional $5 billion into the position, when the stock reached its all-time high in the $90s. Shortly after that purchase, the price of oil plunged, cutting the price of COP shares approximately in half.

The 2009 Berkshire investor letter also records Buffett�� admission: �� told you in an earlier part of this report that last year I made a major mistake of commission (and maybe more; this one sticks out). Without urging from Charlie or anyone else, I bought a large amount of ConocoPhillips stock when oil and gas prices were near their peak. I in no way anticipated the dramatic fall in energy prices that occurred in the last half of the year. I still believe the odds are good that oil sells far higher in the future than the current $40-$50 price. But so far I have been dead wrong. Even if prices should rise, moreover, the terrible ti! ming of m! y purchase has cost Berkshire several billion dollars.��

The price has never again reached the level of his 2008 purchases, but he has been selling as it has recovered. It has reached a 52-week high of $81.80.

His investment in PetroChina (PTR) was more successful than either of his two losses in Energy Future Holdings or ConocoPhillips, though he said he still thought he sold too soon.

Berkshire bought 1.3 percent of PetroChina for $488 million, which valued the company at about $37 billion, when he believed it was worth about $100 billion. In 2002, the stock sold near $20. Two factors, Buffett said in his 2007 investor letter, increased its value, the increased price of oil, and its management�� great job in building oil and gas reserves. Oil prices also played in his favor this time. It had gone up from $30 to $75 per barrel.

He sold the stock from $160 to $200 per share. This gave him a profit of about $3.5 billion on a $500 million investment. But unfortunately, the stock still had farther to go. By 2007 it had rocked to a high near $255.

On his PetroChina investment, Buffett emphasized that price was the primary factor that got him interested. �� sit there in my office and I read an annual report and it described a very good company. It told about the oil reserves, told about the refining, told about the chemicals, told about everything else, and I sat there and thought to myself, ��his company�� worth about $100 billion.��Now I didn�� look at the price first, I look at the business first. Because if I look at the price first I get influenced by that, so I look at the company first, I try to value it, and then I look at the price and if the price is way less than what I just valued it at, I�� going to buy it,��he said on a television interview after he sold his stake.

Though there were many different factors involved in these investments, price played an important role in whether they were successful or not, showing how important not! overpayi! ng is even for Warren Buffett.

See Warren Buffett�� portfolio here and also check out the Undervalued Stocks, Top Growth Companies, and High Yield stocks of Warren Buffett.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Nordstrom Inc.(JWN)

Nordstrom, Inc., a fashion specialty retailer, offers apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children in the United States. It offers a selection of brand name and private label merchandise. The company sells its products through various channels, including Nordstrom full-line stores, off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, Jeffrey? boutiques, treasure & bond, and Last Chance clearance stores; and its online store,, as well as through catalog. Nordstrom also provides a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards, and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The company?s credit and debit cards feature a shopping-based loyalty program. As of September 30, 2011, it operated 222 stores, including 117 full-line stores, 101 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store, and 1 clearance store in 30 states. The company was founded in 1901 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    They also drove up the share prices of its suppliers and department store rivals. Nordstrom (JWN) and Kohl�� Corp. (KSS ), both reporting Thursday, rose more than 2% each. Its suppliers Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) and Calvin Klein parent PVH Corp. (PVH) saw their shares up 2% and 4% each.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Macy�� Inc. (NYSE: M), Kohl�� Corp. (NYSE: KSS), and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) have all already reported poor quarterly results that barely met expectations in most cases. There�� no reason to expect anything substantially different this week, except perhaps from Home Depot, which has history of being cautious with its estimates.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Sara Lee Corporation(SLE)

Sara Lee Corporation engages in the manufacture and marketing of a range of branded packaged meat, bakery, and beverage products worldwide. Its packaged meat products include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages, sandwiches and bowls, smoked and dinner sausages, premium deli and luncheon meats, bacon, beef, turkey, and cooked ham. It also offers frozen baked products, which comprise frozen pies, cakes, cheesecakes, pastries, and other desserts. In addition, Sara Lee provides roast, ground, and liquid coffee; cappuccinos; lattes; and hot and iced teas, as well as refrigerated dough products. The company sells its products under Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Jimmy Dean, Sara Lee, State Fair, Douwe Egberts, Senseo, Maison du Caf

Top 10 Blue Chip Companies To Buy For 2014: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is an owner, operator and franchiser of restaurants featuring a variety of boldly-flavored, craveable menu items. This stock closed up 6% to $103.58 in Wednesday's trading session.

    Wednesday's Volume: 1.55 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 402,120

    Volume % Change: 319%

    From a technical perspective, BWLD ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $98.38 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of BWLD within range of triggering major breakout trade. That trade will hit if BWLD manages to take out its intraday high on Wednesday of $105.32 and then once it clears is 52-week high at $106.03 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BWLD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $98.38 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 402,120 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BWLD will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $110 to $120.

  • [By Steve Symington]

    Your secret sauce for profitable growth
    First up, consider spicing up your portfolio with shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD  ) . Though B-Wild is currently trading near its 52-week-high on the heels of another�successful March Madness ad campaign, there are a number of reasons to believe that the beer and wings specialist should be able to continue its winning streak for the foreseeable future.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI)

Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides workers compensation insurance and reinsurance products in the United States. The company?s Workers Compensation Insurance segment provides traditional workers compensation insurance coverage products, including guaranteed cost policies, policyholder dividend policies, retrospectively-rated policies, deductible policies, and alternative market products to employers. This segment distributes its workers? compensation products and services through its independent insurance agents primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, and Virginia. Its Segregated Portfolio Cell Reinsurance segment offers alternative market workers compensation solutions comprising program design, fronting, claims administration, risk management, segregated portfolio cell rental, asset management, and segregated portfolio management services to individual companies, groups, and associations. Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    ProAssurance Corp.(PRA) agreed to acquire Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI) for about $205 million, expanding the insurance company’s casualty insurance offerings. Eastern Insurance is a domestic casualty insurance group specializing in workers’ compensation products and services, among other things. ProAssurance plans to pay $24.50 in cash for each outstanding Eastern share, a 16% premium over Monday’s closing price.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: MEDIFAST INC(MED)

Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Nutrisystem have gained 20% to $18.05 at 1:34 p.m., while Weight Watchers (WTW) has risen 3.6% to $39.42. Medifast (MED), however, has dropped 1.9% to $24.94.

  • [By Holly LaFon] ast produces, distributes and sells weight and health management products with the brand names Medifast, Take Shape for Life, Hi-Energy Weight Control Centers and Woman�� Wellbeing.

    Its return on assets in the third quarter of 2011 was 19.6%, which has been increasing in the past several years. The average return on assets for the specialty retail industry is 10.48% for the trailing 12 months.

    The company�� total assets amounted to $94 million in 2010, which increased from $62.8 million in 2009. Net income also increased to $19.6 million in 2010 from $12 million in 2009.

    Boston Beer Inc. (SAM)

    Boston Beer Inc. is the largest brewer of handcrafted beers in America. Boston Beer is a growing company that recently saw a large increase in its return on assets. It increased from 19.3% in 2010 to 29.7% in 2011, and was negative as recently as 2008. The average return on assets for the beverages industry in the trailing 12 months is 9.47%.

    In 2011, the company�� total assets increased to $272.5 million from $258.5 million in 2010. Net income increased to $66 million from $50 million.

    Alliances Resources Partners (ARLP)

    Alliance Resources Partners is a coal producer and marketer primarily in the eastern U.S. Its ROA has been increasing since 2008 and increased to 22.5% in 2011 from 21.4% in 2010. The average return on assets for the oil, gas & consumable fuels industry in the trailing 12 months is 24.47%.

    In 2011, its total assets increased to $1.7 billion from $1.1 billion in 2010. Its net income increased to $389 million from $321 million.

    Factset Research Systems Inc. (FDS)

    Factset researches global market trends and develops analytical tools for investors. Of all of GuruFocus��5-star predictable companies, it has the highest return on assets at 27%. ROA has been increasing over the past several years. The average return on assets for the software industry for the trailing 12 m

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED) saw its stock down 5% in evening trading on Tuesday after the weight loss player had soft sales and guided expectations lower. Shares were still indicated down about 5%, but volume has not yet started.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Waste Management Inc.(WM)

Waste Management, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides waste management services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It offers collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services. The company also owns, develops, and operates waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Its collection services involves in picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility, or disposal site; and recycling operations include collection and materials processing, plastics materials recycling, and commodities recycling. In addition, it provides recycling brokerage, which includes managing the marketing of recyclable materials for third parties; and electronic recycling services, such as collection, sorting, and disassembling of discarded computers, communications equipment, and other electronic equipment. Further, the company e ngages in renting and servicing portable restroom facilities to municipalities and commercial customers under the Port-o-Let name; and involves in landfill gas-to-energy operations comprising recovering and processing the methane gas produced naturally by landfills into a renewable energy source, as well as provides street and parking lot sweeping services. Additionally, it offers portable self-storage, fluorescent lamp recycling, and medical waste services for healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and individuals, as well as provides services on behalf of third parties to construct waste facilities. The company was formerly known as USA Waste Services, Inc. and changed its name to Waste Management, Inc. in 1998. Waste Management, Inc. was incorporated in 1987 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Geoff Gannon]

    For example, a company involved in a mundane business like running hair salons ��like Regis (RGS), dentist offices ��like Birner Dental (BDMS), grocery stores ��like Village Supermarket (VLGEA), or garbage dumps ��like Waste Management (WM), may be easy to estimate as essentially a no-growth business.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    He is avoiding Apple (AAPL) and IPOs, as they remind him of 1983, the year he learned the beauty of boring when blue chips such as Waste Management (WM) and Pepsico (PEP) were stumbling and selling cheap, while 30 glitzy PC stocks went public and soared. Since then, the blue chips have overcome their problems and rose in value again, and most of the PC companies are gone.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Some of the companies most dependent on government for revenue are Harris Corp. (HRS) �with 80% of revenue government-derived; Granite Construction Inc. (GVA) �with 58%; Flir Systems Inc. (FLIR) �with 54%; and Waste Management Inc. (WM) � and Republic Services Inc. (RSG) �both with 50%, according to Goldman Sachs.

  • [By Daniel Sparks]

    The payout ratio is an excellent tool for dividend investors. Without it, it's tough to judge how sustainable a company's dividend is. Though a lower payout ratio is always better than a high payout ratio, some companies can easily cope with higher ratios than others. In the video below, Fool contributor Daniel Sparks looks at�Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , and Waste Management (NYSE: WM  ) , illustrating how the ratio deserves careful attention during analysis.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Brian Stoffel]

    Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG  )
    Most of the time, when a company handily beats expectations for revenue and earnings, its stock gets a pretty nice bump. Such was not the case, however, for Intuitive Surgical, maker of the daVinci Surgical Robotic system.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Thoratec Corporation(THOR)

Thoratec Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. The company?s primary product lines include ventricular assist devices, such as HeartMate II, an implantable left ventricular assist device consisting of a rotary blood pump to provide intermediate and long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and HeartMate XVE, an implantable and pulsatile left ventricular assist device for intermediate and longer-term MCS. Its ventricular assist devices also comprise Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device, an external pulsatile ventricular assist device, which provides left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for bridge-to-transplantation (BTT), including home discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery; and Implantable Ventricular Assist Device, an implantable and pulsatile ventricular assist device designed to provide left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for BTT comprising hom e discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery. The company also provides CentriMag, an extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platform that offers support up to 30 days for cardiac and respiratory failure. In addition, it offers PediMag and PediVAS extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platforms designed to provide acute surgical support to pediatric patients. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors internationally. Thoratec Corporation was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of medical device company Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR  ) sank 12% today after its quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations. �

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Crocs Inc.(CROX)

Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of plastic shoe specialist Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX  ) plummeted 21% today after its quarterly results and outlook easily missed Wall Street expectations.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: NKE is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index. The company's peer group includes: Crocs Inc. (CROX) with a 0.0% yield, Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK) with a 0.0% yield and Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) with a 0.4% yield.

10 Best Growth Stocks To Own For 2014: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    Three months after settling upon a new chief executive officer, it looks like Thorofare, N. J.-based Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP  ) will soon have itself a new CFO as well.

  • [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�� like Checkpoint Systems.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nuveen, Incapital team up to offer new equity unit trust

unit trust, equity, bob doll, nuveen asset management

Two Chicago investment firms are linking together in a partnership aimed at helping both expand – starting with unit investment trusts.

Fund manager Nuveen Asset Management and investment bank Incapital announced Monday a new stock-based unit investment trust developed with famous stock picker Robert C. Doll. The unit trust, which will debut in early 2014, is the first in a series of offerings to come from the partnership, Incapital's chief executive said on Monday.

Unit investment trusts are a twist on the traditional mutual fund. Shareholders own a pool of investments that the portfolio manager buys and holds until a termination date, when the trust is dissolved and the proceeds are paid out. The underlying securities are not actively traded.

Unit trusts have been regaining popularity. There was nearly $72 billion in 5,787 unit trusts in 2012, up from about $60 billion in 2011, according to the Investment Company Institute. That is the highest asset level the product has seen, in absolute terms, since 2000. Stock-based trusts draw the lion's share, or 92%, of new deposits.

In an interview, Incapital chief executive John Radtke said the unit trusts would be the first in a series of offerings by the partnership, which will take advantage of Nuveen's investment management expertise and Incapital's distribution network, as well as their trading and reporting website for issuers and broker-dealers.

5 Best Low Price Stocks To Watch Right Now

“There's more opportunities to grow this pie in the future,” Mr. Radtke said. “Our customer base was looking to move away from fixed income to alternative asset classes including equities.”

Mr. Doll's career in the asset management industry has spanned more than three decades. The equity strategist retired from BlackRock Inc. last year after it was revealed that his proprietary quantitative methods actually were third-party models that he had tweaked and customized. Months later, he emerged in a new role at Nuveen.

Nuveen, which historically has focused on local government debt, has been working to develop its offerings across asset classes since some of its bond offerings became unredeemable when credit markets seized up in 2008. The firm, which merged with U.S. Bancorp's long-term asset business after a 2010 acquisition, managed $118 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

Incapital is a boutique investment bank that specializes in bonds and complex debt products like structured notes — a hybrid derivative that might, for instance, combine the characteristics of a bond with those of an option to alter the risk-and-return profile of the investment.

The chairman of Incapi! tal is Thomas S. Ricketts, the son of TD Ameritrade Inc. founder J. Joseph Ricketts. The family purchased the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise in 2009. Like what you

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Don't Give Up on the American Funds

Virtually every investor knows by now that the average actively managed mutual fund fails to beat its benchmark. A variety of studies have come to slightly different results, but about two-thirds of actively managed funds fall short of their index.

See Also: Should You Give These Former Star Fund Managers Another Chance?

That has led to a long-standing question: Can individuals or, for that matter, professional investors identify funds that will beat their benchmarks in the future? (I stress the word future because it's a piece of cake to spot funds that have beaten their bogeys in the past.)

The American funds, the nation's largest actively managed fund group, have now entered the fray with a provocative study. It asserts that the American funds have, for the most part, beaten their indexes over the long term. And it argues, convincingly, that they may well continue to do so.

If you're a do-it-yourself investor, you may not be terribly familiar with the American funds. That's hardly surprising. You can only buy them through a broker or adviser (or a workplace retirement plan), and the fund firm's salespeople usually communicate only with those kinds of intermediaries. American officials and fund managers almost never talk with the media, which makes the new PR offensive all the more interesting.

But if you look at the pattern of money flowing into and out of the funds, you'll understand why they decided to "go public." The American funds have lost more than $200 billion in assets over the past few years. The firm is still huge, with $1 trillion under management, but it's hurting.

At first blush, the flood of redemptions is puzzling because the American funds are so good. The stock and balanced funds have, for the most part, beaten their relevant indexes over most periods. The study includes the firm's Class A shares over rolling one-, three-, five- and ten-year periods from 1934 through 2012. Over those periods respectively, 57%, 62%, 67% and 73% of the time the funds, in aggregate, topped their benchmarks. (Rolling periods represent different stretches of time. For example, rolling 12-month returns would look at returns from September 30, 2012, through September 30, 2013; August 30, 2012, through August 30, 2013; and so on.)

More-recent performance—over the past ten years—is even more impressive. The study also looked at rolling one-, three-,and five -year periods, as well as the ten-year period ending last December. In those four spans respectively, 58%, 69%, 77% and 92% of the time the funds, in aggregate, beat their benchmark.

Tom Lloyd, a Capital Group vice-president who coauthored the study, says he doesn't expect the funds to beat their benchmarks over every short-term period. It's over the long term that the funds have excelled, he says. He's right.

Then why are so many people dumping their American funds? Russel Kinnel, director of mutual fund research at Morningstar, offers a compelling explanation that starts with the 2000-02 bear market, during which the American funds held up remarkably well.

After the downturn ended, Kinnel says, the company "ramped up its sales operation." The American funds have always been good about touting their long-term record, not short-term performance. But many advisers, brokers and clients inferred, "Hey, these guys are bear-market-proof."

The funds recorded massive inflows from 2003 through 2007, a period of generally solid stock-market performance. Assets peaked in October 2007 at $1.2 trillion—more than in any other fund firm, if you exclude money markets.

Unfortunately, the devastating decline that began on October 9, 2007, was much broader than the 2000-02 bear market. Some sectors managed to advance during the earlier slump. But in the 2007-09 bear market, during which Standard & Poor's 500-stock index plunged 55.3%, there was no place to hide. The American stock and balanced funds performed about in line with or even a little better than their benchmarks, but many investors, particularly new ones, were deeply disappointed. What's more, the American bond funds failed to keep up with their benchmarks.

The firm is contrite about its bear-market performance. "We know we disappointed people," says spokesman Chuck Freadhoff. "We disappointed ourselves. People had expectations that we'd be recession-proof. We didn't meet those expectations."

Today, the shoe is on the other foot. All the buzz is about index funds and exchange-traded funds. Most ETFs track one index or another, and some follow indexes that were invented solely to be used by an ETF. Hardly anyone wants to hear about actively managed funds.

The people in charge at the American funds are trying to stem the bleeding—and they have a good story to tell. Managers and analysts often stay at the company throughout their careers. Their funds have always charged below-average fees. Of course, if you buy one of the funds through an adviser or broker, you'll also have to pay a sales charge or an asset-based management fee.

Studies have found that low costs are the best predictor of superior fund returns. The second-best predictor is good long-term, risk-adjusted returns under the same manager or group of managers. Morningstar has also found some predictive ability in its subjective measure of corporate culture. In all of these areas, the American funds excel.

In short, I believe American is the best large fund family that specializes in actively managed funds. My favorite American funds are Fundamental Investors (ANCFX), New World (NEWFX) and New Perspective (ANWPX). I don't care for Smallcap World (SMCWX), and I'm not a fan of American's bond funds. But all the rest of the choices are solid.

Steven T. Goldberg is an investment adviser in the Washington, D.C. area.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014

The new U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is clearly a believer that the country absolutely must become more self-sufficient with the nation's energy supplies. He recently outlined three points of focus in order to make this a reality: increase our efficiency, electrify our transportation sector, and utilize alternative fuels.

In the following video, Motley Fool energy analysts provide you with details on a variety of companies that are already addressing these issues, and offer reasons why they might be worth consideration for your investment portfolio.�

One such company has been attempting to capitalize on the the movement toward alternative energy as it continues gaining momentum. This potential opportunity in this field is Clean Energy Fuels, which focuses its natural gas efforts primarily on trucking and fleet vehicles. It's poised to make a big impact on an essential industry. Learn everything you need to know about Clean Energy Fuels in The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company. Just click here now to claim your copy today.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: Saratoga Electronic Solutions I (SAR.V)

Saratoga Electronic Solutions Inc. engages in placing and operating a network of automated teller machines (ATMs) primarily in eastern Canada. It also involves in the wholesale distribution of prepaid cards, point-of-sale activated prepaid phone personal identification numbers (P.O.S.A.), prepaid debit cards, long distance calling cards, and various electronic gift card solutions to consumers. The company provides its prepaid products through freestanding intelligent machines, P.O.S.A. terminals, and traditional merchants. As of March 31, 2011, it operated a network of approximately 445 ATMs, as well as managed approximately 2,670 point-of-sale locations. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Montreal, Canada.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: Vealls CP(VELCP.AX)

Vealls Limited engages in owning and operating a ski resort in New Zealand. Its Cardrona Ski Resort is located in the South Island of New Zealand. The company also operates the cattle breeding business located at the Clear Springs Station in New South Wales, Australia; and engages in the forestry activities, including the Oak forest (Foret de Leyde) near Moulins, France. In addition, it invests in real estate and negotiable securities. Vealls Limited is based in Toorak, Australia.

Top Performing Stocks To Watch Right Now: Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited(NZT)

Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services, as well as information, communication, and technology services in New Zealand and Australia. Its products and services include local, national, international, and value-added telephone services; mobile services; data, broadband, and Internet services; IT consulting, implementation, and procurement services; and equipment sales and installation services. The company also involves in the retail of telecommunications products and services. It serves residential, business, and government customers. Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited was founded in 1987 and is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: LaCrosse Footwear Inc.(BOOT)

LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of footwear for the work and outdoor markets. The company offers its products under the DANNER and LACROSSE brand names. Its Danner?s product offerings include product categories, such as uniform, hunting, work, hiking, and related accessories; and LaCrosse?s product offerings comprise product categories, such as hunting, work, cold weather, and related accessories. The company markets its products through employee field sales staff, independent distributors, sporting goods and outdoor retailers, general merchandise and independent shoe stores, wholesalers, industrial distributors, independent distributor and dealer networks outside the United States, Internet Websites, and a factory store in Portland, Oregon, as well as through federal, state, and other government agencies. LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASX)

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc. is principally engaged in the manufacture, assembly, processing, testing and distribution of integrated circuits (ICs). The Company provides semiconductor packaging and testing services, including plastic leaded chip carriers (PLCCs), quad flat packages (QFPs) and flip chip packaging technology, among others, which are applied in the manufacture of household electrical appliances, communication devices, automobile components, personal computers, set top boxes, servers, memory integrated circuits (ICs), mobile phones, digital cameras, game consoles, projectors, high definition (HD) televisions, wireless communication network products and power management ICs, among others. The Company operates its businesses primarily in Taiwan, Europe and the Americas. In August 2010, the Company acquired a 100% interest in EEMS Test Singapore.

The Company is focused on packaging and testing logic semiconductors. The Company offers its customers turnkey services, which consist of packaging, testing and direct shipment of semiconductors to end users designated by its customers. The Company�� global base of over 200 customers includes semiconductor companies across a range of end use applications, including Altera Corporation, ATI Technologies, Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited and Microsoft Corporation. During the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company�� packaging revenues accounted for 77.7% of its net revenues and its testing revenues accounted for 20.1% of its net revenues.

Packaging Services

The Company offers a range of package types to meet the requirements of its customers, with a focus on packaging solutions. Within its portfolio of package types, the Company focuses on the packaging of semiconductors. These include advanced leadframe-based package types, such as quad flat package, thin quad flat package, bump chip carrier and quad flat no-lead package, and package types based on substrates, such a! s flip-chip ball grid array (BGA) and other BGA types, as well as other packages, such as wafer-bumping products. Leadframe-based packages are packaged by connecting the die, using wire bonders, to the leadframe with gold wire. The Company�� leadframe-based packages include quad flat package (QFP)/ thin quad flat package (TQFP), quad flat no-lead package (QFN)/microchip carrier (MCC), advanced quad flat no-lead package (AQFN), bump chip carrier (BCC), small outline plastic package (SOP)/thin small outline plastic package (TSOP), small outline plastic j-bend package (SOJ), plastic leaded chip carrier (PLCC) and plastic dual in-line package (PDIP). Substrate-based packages employ the BGA design, which utilizes a substrate rather than a leadframe. It also assembles system-in-a-package products, which involve the integration of more than one chip into the same package. The Company�� substrate-based packages include Plastic BGA, Cavity Down BGA, Stacked-Die BGA, Flip-Chip BGA and land grid array (LGA).

The Company�� wafer-level packaging products include wafer level chip scale package (aCSP) and advanced wafer level package (aWLP). The Company offers module assembly services, which combine one or more packaged semiconductors with other components in an integrated module to enable functionality, typically using surface mount technology (SMT) machines and other machinery and equipment for system-level assembly. End use applications for modules include cellular phones, personal digital assistant (PDAs), wireless local area network (LAN) applications, bluetooth applications, camera modules, automotive applications and toys.

The Company provides module assembly services primarily at its facilities in Korea for radio frequency and power amplifier modules used in wireless communications and automotive applications. Interconnect materials connect the input/output on the semiconductor dies to the printed circuit board. Interconnect materials include substrate, which is a multi-layer m! iniature ! printed circuit board. The Company produces substrates for use in its packaging operations.

Testing Services

The Company provides a range of semiconductor testing services, including front-end engineering testing, wafer probing, final testing of logic/mixed-signal/radio frequency (RF) and memory semiconductors and other test-related services. The Company provides front-end engineering testing services, including customized software development, electrical design validation, and reliability and failure analysis. The Company provides final testing services for a variety of memory products, such as static random access memory (SRAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), single-bit erasable programmable read-only memory semiconductors and flash memory semiconductors.

The Company provides a range of additional test-related services, including burn-in testing, module sip testing, dry pack, tape and reel, and electric interface board and mechanical test tool design. The Company offers drop shipment services for shipment of semiconductors directly to end users designated by its customers.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) gained 53.93 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,683.93 at 8:58 a.m. in London, rebounding from a 1.4 percent loss yesterday. The benchmark has rallied 13 percent this year as central banks around the world commit to maintain monetary stimulus to nurture economic growth. The broader FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) increased 0.8 percent today, while Ireland�� ISEQ Index advanced 0.5 percent.

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Advanced Semiconductor Engineering�(ASX) builds and distributes integrated circuits and other electronics. It�� not as sexy as some mobile chipmakers, but thankfully it doesn�� have to be — ASX is simply capitalizing on the general demand for microchips in everything from cars to computers to TVs.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (NYSE: ASX  ) is expected to report Q2 earnings around July 7. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) fell 1.31 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,679.77 at 10:12 a.m. in London, trimming an earlier decline of as much as 0.6 percent. The gauge has climbed 13 percent this year as central banks maintained stimulus measures to support the global economy. The broader FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) was also little changed today, while Ireland�� ISEQ Index retreated 0.3 percent.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: Nanotech Security Corp(NTS.V)

Nanotech Security Corp. designs and sells light based recognition nanotechnology for use in anti-counterfeiting and authentication processes and products for currency, legal documents, and commercial products. The company, through its subsidiary, Tactical Technologies Inc., designs, manufactures, and sells communication surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment for the law enforcement and defense industries in the United States and Canada. It offers radio frequency identification equipment, audio transmitters, repeaters, and intelligence kits, as well as custom built surveillance vehicles, mobile/portable surveillance platforms, cellular/IP based video surveillance systems, agent alert alarm transmitters, and other video surveillance systems. The company was formerly known as Wireless2 Technologies Inc. and changed its name to Nanotech Security Corp. in April, 2010. Nanotech Security Corp. was incorporated in 1984 and is headquartered in Surrey, Canada.

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: China Sunergy Co. Ltd.(CSUN)

China Sunergy Co., Ltd. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells solar cells and solar modules. It offers monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon solar cells; and standard P-type solar cells and HP solar cells, as well as emitter cells. The company sells its products to module manufacturers, system integrators, and distributors. It sells solar cells and modules under CSUN and CEEG brand names primarily in Europe, the People?s Republic of China, India, South Korea, Australia, and the Untied States. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Nanjing, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    China Sunergy (NASDAQ: CSUN  ) results for the company's fiscal Q4 and 2012 have been released. For the quarter, total sales were $54.4 million, less than half the $110.8 million the firm posted in the same period the previous year. Net loss, meanwhile, was steeper at $70.5 million ($5.27 per diluted American Depositary Share), compared to Q4 2011's red figure of $49.6 million ($3.71).

Top Clean Energy Stocks To Buy For 2014: SMG ORD GBP0.50(STVG.L)

STV Group plc engages in the production and broadcasting of television programmes in the United Kingdom and internationally. The company also provides Internet services; sells advertising airtime and space in these media; creates and produces content for broadcast networks; and offers content in various platforms, including digital terrestrial, cable and satellite, online, and connected devices for advertisers to attract mass audiences. In addition, it operates digital channels and Website, which offer news, sport, and entertainment; STV Player that provides STV programmes; and STV Local, a network of hyper-local Websites. STV Group plc is headquartered in Glasgow, the United Kingdom.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gundlach on Shiller CAPE Fund: ‘A Better Mousetrap’

Fixed-income guru and DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach has teamed with Nobel Prize winner and Yale economist Robert Shiller to launch a new mutual fund: The DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE Fund, based on sector selectivity and Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (CAPE).

But it’s not your “plain vanilla” CAPE fund—a la the Barclays ETN+Shiller CAPE ETN (CAPE), which began trading a year ago.

As the two financial experts described on a webinar late Thursday, the fund not only buys equity index futures of the four undervalued market sectors, it also uses some assets to build a fixed-income collateral portfolio.

The two experts say Barclays Bank approached them about work on the value-oriented product. “We looked into it … and we became convinced that there was an interesting idea here,” said Gundlach.

The fund began trading on Oct. 31 (DSEEX, DSENX).

“It’s put together using a total-return swap,” Gundlach said of the fixed-income side of the fund. “Our goal [with the fixed-income holdings] is to outperform cash.”

Both strategies, he says, are value plays on their respective markets (and indexes). “There is sort-of a double value proposition, not just from a philosophical standpoint but from a total-return standpoint,” the DoubleLine executive said. “The ups and downs of the fund’s price will be driven very largely by beta in the equity market.”

“We are excited about this,” Gundlach said, because it complements DoubleLine’s existing equity products with a value twist and is not actively managed.

“We think it’s a better mousetrap,” he said, pointing to the fact that using CAPE as an investment strategy has shown lower volatility and a higher rate of return over time. Hopefully, the fixed-income expert says, it will result in “a tastes great, less filling type of investment experience.”

Shiller, who joined the call despite laryngitis, has spent years looking at the limitations of market measurement, like traditional price-to-earnings ratios. “They are rather volatile … and usually the denominator of 12 months of data does not average enough” information, he said.

“A better measure of value is price divided by a long average of earnings,” Shiller stressed, noting “I believe there is something fundamental here.”

Investors tend to be overly optimistic and overly pessimistic, the financial expert notes. “CAPE is a solid way of assessing value,” he said. “It’s deflated by the CPI and involves a 10-year average of earnings for a sector.” Barclays, Shiller adds, has ooked at data from the 1880s and “has shown it would have worked well for over a hundred years … as a backward-looking perspective on earnings.”

He admits that this analysis may seem counterintuitive to some investors, who prefer to focus on what’s happening now.

“Bubbles,” Shiller cautioned, “are caused by … New Era thinking. I don’t mean to dismiss it, but there is a theory that markets can overreact to such things. And you want to lean away from that. We are looking at true versus hypothetical earnings.”

Year to date, the Shiller Barclays CAPE ETN has risen about 31%, while the S&P 500 has improved roughly 24% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average some 17%.

A key difference between the ETN and the new fund, according to DoubleLine, is that the ETN’s Treasury bill holding is fully exposed to counterparty risk, while the DoubleLine product is protected against such risk through exposure to its fixed-income structure.


Check out these related stories on ThinkAdvisor:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Will Intel Revolutionize Physical Retail?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --

On Wednesday, in Sell Best Buy, It Has No Pulse, I discussed why Best Buy (BBY) will, without profound change, die out over the long-term. But the more important part of that conversation might have involved Intel's (INTC) holiday plans for pop-up "retail" outlets.

I can't wait to see one of these stores because they have the potential to be exciting written all over them. If Best Buy brass is smart and forward-looking -- highly doubtful on both counts -- it will personally visit these Intel shops. Give Intel credit for doing little and big things to change its image from a stodgy old chipmaker to something more relevant. Earlier this year it ran an interesting advertising campaign with Pandora (P). Even if Intel Media fails, it was a gutsy move the company deserves points for even attempting. And this retail thing; it might actually be what flips the switch. Intel's not playing around. They're locating these stores in the hippest neighborhoods in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. In LA, where I live, they're locating on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Venice borders Santa Monica on LA's Westside. And Abbot Kinney might be the trendiest neighborhood in all of Southern California right now. But don't expect Best Buy -- the company that scoffed at the notion of partnering with (AMZN) -- or any of its equally-as-impotent physical retail peers to take what Intel is doing seriously, let alone utilize pages from its playbook. At the point where companies such as BBY should be tired and bored with themselves, they hang their hats on allegedly positive short-term results. Bad move. They should be hyper-focused on tearing it all apart and putting it back together again. These companies require nothing short of wholesale transformation. The notion of a retail location that changes its appearance several times a day and doesn't actually execute sales on-premises might be crazy enough to work as, if nothing else, a serious starting point for a strategy. Or maybe it ends up being the strategy. I don't know. But I do know that copying Apple's (AAPL) design and product placement or repackaging failed retail gimmicks will not work. Amazon eliminated the need for a physical location. Who, more than a decade ago, would have thought something that turned convention and consumer habit on its ear would morph into a multi-billion dollar powerhouse that would send some of retail's biggest players scurrying like rats? As many people who will take the idea of not selling anything in your store seriously. Of course, the number of people who will scoff at the premise will likely equal the number of folks who predicted Amazon wouldn't be around much past 1999. In other words, free your mind and the rest will follow. Unless you have what Apple has going for it, the experience of walking into a store, browsing and buying something has been nothing short of soul-sucking. If it, as we know it, went away tomorrow we would all be better off for it. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Aero Buys: Set to Soar?

Most of our profits came from stocks with $100 million-plus of daily volume. But that doesn't mean every thinly-traded name is a loser. In fact, here are two intriguing candidates that could "grow up" as more institutions buy in, observes Mike Cintolo, editor of Cabot Market Letter.

Experience has taught us that if you're going to buy thinly-traded stocks, you must be demanding.

First, you want a great story, focusing on companies that have something unique going for them right now, preferably something revolutionary, that's changing the way millions of people work or live.

Second, this story must be backed up by some great numbers—we like to see many quarters of rapid sales growth, and/or a couple of solid quarters and big earnings estimates going forward.

Third, you want a solid chart—not just a general uptrend, but also bullish volume clues, a sign that funds are buying. Also, it helps if the market has recently come under some pressure—if a thinner stock can hold up during choppy times, it's a good indication that current holders are sitting tight.

Below are two airline-related stocks that fill the bill:

Gogo (GOGO) is the company behind Internet access on airline flights. About 7,000 daily flights have the company's technology in North America, and it dominates the industry with about an 80% market share; more opportunities exist for Gogo overseas (though competition is greater, too).

The service is a hit with consumers and airlines, with studies showing that consumers favor flights that are Wi-Fi enabled over others. The firm's third-quarter results were terrific, with revenues of $85.4 million, up 48% from a year ago.

Gogo is still losing money, but cash flow is turning positive and the stock leapt out of a nice base this week following the quarterly report.

Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) is a dominant supplier of aerostructures (fuselages, wing systems, etc.) to both Boeing and Airbus—in fact, it makes 70% of the airframe content for the Boeing 737, and is the largest aerostructure provider to Boeing's newer 787.

Top 5 Financial Companies To Buy Right Now

After a few hiccups, due to execution issues, management has been shaken up (including a new CFO), and the third-quarter report was excellent.

With the aerospace boom in place, there's no reason SPR can't continue to prosper—earnings are expected to rise to $2.66 per share in 2014, the backlog is $38 billion (!) and the stock has been trending higher for a year and just popped above long-time resistance at $26.

Subscribe to Cabot Market Letter here…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

5 Stocks That Deserve A Closer Look Before Earnings

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo Louis Navellier Popular Posts: The Best Stocks to Buy in Q4: Market LeadersTop Gear: Which 3 Automakers Make The Cut?2 Stocks to Avoid in Q4 Recent Posts: 5 Stocks That Deserve A Closer Look Before Earnings 2 Stocks to Avoid in Q4 The Best Stocks to Buy in Q4: Market Leaders View All Posts

If you’ve used my Portfolio Grader tool or have kept up with this blog, you know that I put a lot of weight on what analysts are saying about any given stock. And an effective way to judge how the analyst community feels about a stock is tracking their earnings estimates for the quarter.

Upward revisions are an important indicator of a company’s future success. You see, analysts are paid to estimate a company’s earnings outlook. If an analyst makes a wrong estimate that ends up costing investors money, that analyst could be out of a job. If a number of Wall Street analysts start to move their forecasts higher, it’s a good bet that the stock will outperform expectations and deliver market-beating returns to investors since positive revisions are never made lightly.

I know that during earnings season, I focus mainly on sales and earnings growth. But even though we’re in the lull between earnings, we’re seeing interesting analyst activity regarding some of the hottest names on Wall Street. While the market may have not reacted to these upgrades just yet, I want you to be prepared for what’s to come the next earnings season.

So without further ado, here are five companies that have the analyst community buzzing, and they should be on your radar as well.

Best Buy (BBY): In the past two months, estimates have been revised up 22%. Analysts now expect 175% year-on-year earnings growth this quarter. Meanwhile, the industry average is 30% annual earnings growth. . ManpowerGroup (MAN): In the past month, the consensus estimate has been hiked up 19% to $1.08 per share. Analysts now expect 37% earnings growth. MAN is a buy. Netflix (NFLX): In the past three months, the consensus estimate has climbed 9%. Analysts now forecast 22% sales growth and a whopping 269% earnings growth. NFLX is a strong buy. Tesla (TSLA): In the past three months, analysts have completely reversed their projections. Earlier, the consensus was that Tesla Motors would post a net loss of 3 cents per share. Now the consensus calls for earnings of 12 cents per share. This translates into 113% earnings growth! TSLA is a strong buy. Whirlpool (WHR): In the past three months, earnings estimates have risen 15%. Analysts now expect 47% earnings growth. WHR is a strong buy.

To put these earnings estimates into perspective, analysts forecast that the average S&P 500 company will grow earnings by 15.1% this quarter. This means that each of the five buys above are well-positioned to win big next earnings season, which kicks off on October 8. If you want to see how the analyst community feels about one of your holdings, feel free to run it through my Portfolio Grader screening tool. After hitting “submit,” you’ll see that one of the components of the stock’s Fundamental Grade is “Analyst Earnings Revisions.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

Top Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014

As Europe's financial crisis and recession continue, it's hard to believe that the troubled continent's markets are performing well. Despite a tough start to the year, however, the German DAX (DAXINDICES: ^DAX  ) has been all green in the past month. This past week, the DAX picked up another 1.9% to set an all-time �high. Germany's been the lone holdout of fiscal responsibility in Europe throughout the recession, but how are its stocks performing -- and is there value across the Atlantic for your portfolio?

Unemployment down, but growth remains elusive
Germany's experience in the recession has been a lot smoother than its European neighbors. Unemployment rates for both young and old workers �have fallen below their pre-recession levels and manufacturing recently has picked up. The nation's industrial production rose 1.2% in March, beating flat expectations and giving hope that Europe's industrial �nexus can pick up where the rest of the continent is lagging. However, Germany's Purchasing Managers Index hasn't fared quite �as well, falling further into contraction territory in April.

Top Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014: MGIC Investment Corp (MTG)

MGIC Investment Corporation (MGIC), incorporated June 21, 1984, is a holding company and through wholly owned subsidiaries is a private mortgage insurer in the United States. As of December 31, 2012, its principal mortgage insurance subsidiaries, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) and MGIC Indemnity Corporation (MIC), were each licensed in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. During the year ending December 31, 2012, the Company wrote new insurance in each of those jurisdictions in MGIC and/or MIC. The Company capitalized MIC to write new insurance in certain jurisdictions where MGIC no longer meets, and is unable to obtain a waiver of, those jurisdictions��minimum capital requirements. Private mortgage insurance covers losses from homeowner defaults on residential mortgage loans, reducing and, in some instances, eliminating the loss to the insured institution if the homeowner defaults.

Mortgage Insurance

Primary insurance provides mortgage default protection on individual loans and covers unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses associated with the default and subsequent foreclosure. Primary insurance is written on first mortgage loans secured by owner occupied single-family homes, which are one-to-four family homes and condominiums. Primary insurance is also written on first liens secured by non-owner occupied single-family homes, which are referred to in the home mortgage lending industry as investor loans, and on vacation or second homes. Primary coverage can be used on any type of residential mortgage loan instrument approved by the mortgage insurer.

When a borrower refinances a mortgage loan insured by the Company by paying it off in full with the proceeds of a new mortgage that is also insured by it, the insurance on that existing mortgage is cancelled, and insurance on the new mortgage is considered to be new primary insurance written. Therefore, continuation of its coverage fr! om a refinanced loan to a new loan results in both a cancellation of insurance and new insurance written. When a lender and borrower modify a loan rather than replace it with a new one, or enter into a new loan pursuant to a loan modification program, its insurance continues without being cancelled assuming that the Company consent to the modification or new loan.

The borrower�� mortgage loan instrument requires the borrower to pay the mortgage insurance premium. There are several payment plans available to the borrower, or lender, as the case may be. Under the monthly premium plan, the borrower or lender pays it a monthly premium payment to provide only one month of coverage. Under the annual premium plan, an annual premium is paid to it in advance, and it earns and recognizes the premium over the next 12 months of coverage, with annual renewal premiums paid in advance thereafter and earned over the subsequent 12 months of coverage. Under the single premium plan, the borrower or lender pays it a single payment covering a specified term exceeding twelve months.

Pool insurance is used as an additional credit enhancement for certain secondary market mortgage transactions. Pool insurance covers the excess of the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage, if primary insurance is required on that mortgage loan, as well as the total loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which did not require primary insurance. Pool insurance is used as an additional credit enhancement for certain secondary market mortgage transactions. Pool insurance covers the excess of the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan, which exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage, if primary insurance is required on that mortgage loan, as well as the total loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which did not require primary insurance. In general, the loans insured by it in Wall Street bulk transactions consisted of loans with reduced underwriting documentation; cash out! refinanc! es, which exceed the standard underwriting requirements of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively GSEs); A- loans; subprime loans, and jumbo loans.

Other Products and Services

The Company has participated in risk sharing arrangements with the GSEs and captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements with subsidiaries of certain mortgage lenders, which reinsure a portion of the risk on loans originated or serviced by the lenders, which have MGIC primary insurance. It provides information regarding captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements to the New York Department of Insurance (known as the New York Department of Financial Services), the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD). It performs contract underwriting services for lenders, in which it judges whether the data relating to the borrower and the loan contained in the lender�� mortgage loan application file comply with the lender�� loan underwriting guidelines. It also provides an interface to submit data to the automated underwriting systems of the GSEs, which independently judge the data. These services are provided for loans, which require private mortgage insurance, as well as for loans that do not require private mortgage insurance. It provides mortgage services for the mortgage finance industry, such as portfolio retention and secondary marketing of mortgages.

The Company competes with Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company, Radian Guaranty Inc., CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, and Essent Guaranty, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer]

    In this segment of The Motley Fool's everything-financials show,�Where the Money Is, banking analysts Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson dicuss earnings from MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG  ) and look ahead to Radian (NYSE: RDN  ) 's (NYSE: RDN  ) quarterly results.

Top Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014: ImmunoGen Inc.(IMGN)

ImmunoGen, Inc. engages in the research and development of targeted therapeutics for the treatment of cancer using cancer biology, monoclonal antibodies, and highly potent cell-killing agents. The company develops its products using its Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology. Its product candidates include Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), a Phase III clinical trial product for HER2+ breast cancer; lorvotuzumab mertansine (IMGN901), a Phase I clinical trial product, which targets CD56 found on small-cell lung cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, multiple myeloma, ovarian cancers, carcinoid tumors, and other cancers of neuroendocrine origin; IMGN529, a pre-investigational new drug stage drug for CD37+ B-cell malignancies, such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; and IMGN853, a preclinical stage product for cancers that overexpress folate receptor 1, including ovarian cancer. The company?s earlier-stage compounds in development stage comprise SAR3419, a Phase I clinical trial product for CD19+ B-cell malignancies, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; SAR650984, a Phase I clinical trial product for CD38+ hematological malignancies; SAR566658, a phase one clinical trial product for DS6+ solid tumors; and BT-062, a Phase I product for multiple myeloma. It has collaboration agreements with Amgen, Inc.; Bayer Schering Pharma AG; Biogen Idec MA Inc.; Biotest AG; Genentech, Inc.; Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.; and sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. ImmunoGen, Inc. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sean Williams]

    A new type of treatment that involves utilizing antibodies to carry toxins also shows plenty of promise. These antibodies work by releasing a toxin once they come into contact with very specific protein signatures released by the targeted cancer cells, and could be the key to targeted cancer treatments. One example is Roche and ImmunoGen's (NASDAQ: IMGN  ) Kadcyla, which was approved by the FDA in February as a second-line treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer. The drug combines the HER2 protein-blocking power of Herceptin and uses ImmunoGen's targeted antibody payload technology to deliver the chemotherapy agent directly to the cancer cells. With minimal healthy tissue death, Kadcyla improved progression-free survival and median overall survival by 3.2 months and 5.8 months, respectively, as compared to another current standard of treatment, which is GlaxoSmithKline's�and Roche's Xeloda.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Cramer Talks Up Biotech and Cancer Biotech in Particular. For what his opinion might be worth, MSNBC�� Mad Money host Jim Cramer recently commented that the 25 best-performing small cap stocks this year are "almost entirely biotech." He went on to point out that Celldex Therapeutics has been "just incredible��and that other companies to watch include Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), ImmunoGen, Inc (NASDAQ: IMGN) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ONXX), which all have promising cancer products on the way. He also added that:�

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Now what: We're still in the top of the second inning of a nine-inning game here, but ADCs certainly appear to be the future of cancer therapy -- at least one path to treating it. Immunomedics still has a long road to climb as its two ADC peers are much further along in their development process. ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN  ) , for instance, already has an FDA-approved drug for late-stage HER2-positive breast cancer known as Kadcyla that utilizes the company's proprietary targeted-antibody payload technology (the same concept as ADCs with a different name) in combination with Roche's�Herceptin. In trials, this combo extended median overall survival by 5.8 months over the placebo to 30.9 months. Something similar can be said for Seattle Genetics�and its ADC pipeline.

Hot Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: Banco Bradesco SA (BBD)

Banco Bradesco S.A. (the Bank), incorporated on November 5, 1943, is commercial bank. The Bank offers a range of banking and financial products and services in Brazil and abroad to individuals, large, midsized and small companies and local and international corporations and institutions. It operates in two segments: the banking, and the insurance, pension and capitalization bonds. Its products and services encompass banking operations, such as loans and advances and deposittaking, credit card issuance, purchasing consortiums, insurance, leasing, payment collection and processing, pension plans, asset management and brokerage services. The main services it offers through Bradesco Expresso are receipt and submission of account applications; receipt and submission of account applications; Social Security National Service (INSS) benefit payments; checking and savings account deposits, and receipt of consumption bills, bank charges and taxes. In May, 2011, the Bank acquired Banco do Estado do Rio de Janeiro S.A. (BERJ).


The Banking segment includes deposit-taking with clients, including checking accounts, savings accounts and time deposits; loans and advances (individuals and companies, real estate financing, microcredit, onlending BNDES funds, rural credit, leasing, among others); credit cards, debit cards and pre-paid cards; management of receipts and payments; asset management; services related to capital markets and investment banking activities; intermediation and trading services; custody, depositary and controllership services; international banking services, and purchasing consortiums.

The Bank offers a variety of deposit products and services to our customers through its branches, including Non-interest bearing checking accounts, such as Easy Account, Click Account, Academic Account and Cell Phone Bonus Account; traditional savings accounts; time deposits, and deposits from financial institutions. As of December 31, 2011, it had 43.4 million savings a! ccounts. It offers its customers certain additional services, such as identified deposits and real-time banking transfers. Its loans and advances to customers, consumer credit, corporate and agricultural-sector loans, totaled R$263.5 billion as of December 31, 2011.

The Bank�� loan portfolio consists of short-term loans, vehicle financings and overdraft loans on checking accounts. It also provides revolving credit facilities and traditional term loans. As of December 31, 2011, it had outstanding advances, vehicle financings, consumer loans and revolving credit totaling R$58.0 billion, or 22.0% of its portfolio of loans and advances. Banco Bradesco Financiamentos (Bradesco Financiamentos) offers direct-to-consumer credit and leasing for the acquisition of vehicles and payroll-deductible loans to the public and private sectors 'in Brazil. Supported by BF Promotora de Vendas Ltda. (BF Promotora), and using the Bradesco Financiamentos brand, the Bank operates through its network of correspondents in Brazil, consisting of retailers and dealers selling light vehicles, trucks and motorcycles, to offer financing and/or leasing for vehicles. Through Bradesco Promotora brand, it offer payroll-deductible loans to social security retirees and pensioners, public-sector employees, military personnel and private-sector companies sponsoring plans, and other aggregated products (insurance, capitalization bonds, cards, purchasing consortiums, and others).

As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had 63,156 outstanding real estate loans. As of December 31, 2011, the aggregate outstanding amount of its real estate loans amounted to R$15.9 billion, representing 6% of its portfolio of loans and advances. As of December 31, 2011, it had 69,491 microcredit loans outstanding, totaling R$62.8 million. Its BNDES onlending portfolio totaled R$35.4 billion as of December 31, 2011.

The Bank provides traditional loans for the ongoing needs of its corporate customers. It had R$85.8 billion of outstand! ing other! local commercial loans, accounting for 32.5% of its portfolio of loans and advances as of December 31, 2011. It offers a range of loans to its Brazilian corporate customers, including short-term loans of 29 days or less; guaranteed checking accounts and corporate overdraft loans; discounting trade receivables, promissory notes, checks, credit card and supplier receivables, and a number of other receivables; financing for purchase and sale of goods and services; corporate real estate financing, and investment lines for acquisition of assets and machinery. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had R$11 billion in outstanding rural loans, representing 4.2% of its portfolio of loans and advances. The Bank conducts its leasing operations through its primary leasing subsidiary, Bradesco Leasing and also through Bradesco Financiamentos.

The Bank offers electronic solutions for receipt and payment management solutions, which include collection and payment services and online resource management enabling its customers to pay suppliers, salaries, and taxes and other levies to governmental or public entities. The global cash management concept provides solutions for multinationals in Brazil and/or domestic companies operating abroad. It manages third-party assets through mutual funds; individual and corporate investment portfolios; pension funds, including assets guaranteeing the technical provisions of Bradesco Vida e Previdencia, and insurance companies, including assets guaranteeing the technical provisions of Bradesco Seguros.

The Bank�� subsidiaries Bradesco S.A. CTVM and Agora S.A. CTVM (or Bradesco Corretora and Agora Corretora, respectively) trade stocks, options, stock lending, public offerings and forwards. They also offer a range of products, such as Brazilian government securities (under the Tesouro Direto program), BM&F trading, investor clubs and investment funds.

The Bank offers a range of international services, such as foreign exchange transactions, foreign tr! ade finan! ce, lines of credit and banking. As of December 31, 2011, its international banking services included New York City, a branch and Bradesco Securities Inc., its subsidiary brokerage firm, or Bradesco Securities United States, and its subsidiary Bradesco North America LLC, or Bradesco North America; London, Bradesco Securities U.K., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Securities U.K.; Cayman Islands, two Bradesco branches and its subsidiary, Cidade Capital Markets Ltd., or Cidade Capital Markets; Argentina, Banco Bradesco Argentina S.A., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Argentina; Banco Bradesco Luxemburgo S.A. its subsidiary, or Bradesco Europe; Japan, Bradesco Services Co. Ltd., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Services Japan; in Hong Kong, its subsidiary Bradesco Trade Services Ltd, or Bradesco Trade, and in Mexico, its subsidiary Ibi Services, Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, or Ibi Mexico.

The Bank�� Brazilian foreign-trade related business consists of export and import finance. In addition to import and export finance, its customers have access to a range of services and foreign exchange products, such as purchasing and selling travelers checks and foreign currency paper money; cross border money transfers; advance payment for exports; accounts abroad in foreign currency; cash holding in other countries; collecting import and export receivables; repaid cards with foreign currency (individual), and structured foreign currency transactions through its foreign units.

Insurance, pension plans and capitalization bonds

The Bank offers insurance products through a number of different entities, which it refers to collectively as Grupo Bradesco Seguros. It offers life, personal accident and random events insurance through its subsidiary Bradesco Vida e Previdencia. It offers health insurance policies through Bradesco Saude and its subsidiaries for small, medium or large companies. It provides automobile, property/casualty and liability products through its subsidiary Bradesco Auto! /RE. It a! lso offers certain automobile, health, and property/casualty insurance products directly through its Website.

Top Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014: pSivida Corp.(PSDV)

pSivida Corp., together with its subsidiaries, develops drug delivery products for treatment of back-of-the-eye diseases that are administered by implantation, injection, or insertion. The company?s lead product candidate includes Iluvien, which is in Phase III clinical trials and delivers fluocinolone acetonide (FA) for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), a cause of vision loss. It is also conducting Phase II clinical trials with Iluvien for the treatment of wet and dry form of age-related macular degeneration, and retinal vein occlusion. In addition, the company?s products include Retisert for the treatment of posterior uveitis, an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation of the posterior of the eye that can cause sudden or gradual vision loss; and Vitrasert for cytomegalovirus retinitis, a blinding eye disease that occurs in individuals with advanced AIDS. It is developing the Latanoprost product, an injectable, bioerodible drug delivery implant i n Phase I/II dose-escalating study for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension; the Posterior Uveitis product candidate in a Phase I/II study for the treatment of posterior uveitis; BioSilicon technology system, which is nano-structured porous silicon designed for use as a drug delivery platform and to deliver smaller molecules; and Tethadur, which utilizes BioSilicon to deliver large biologic molecules, including peptides and proteins. It has strategic collaborations with Bausch & Lomb Incorporated; Alimera Sciences, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; and Intrinsiq Materials Cayman Limited. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Kell]

    Specialty pharmaceutical firm pSivida Corp.(PSDV) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn’t approve a treatment for an eye disease found in patients with diabetes. The company’s stock tumbled 47% to $2 premarket, while shares of Alimera Sciences Inc.(ALIM) were down 39% to $1.66, as the treatment is licensed and sold by Alimera in other markets.

  • [By Smith On Stocks]

    This note focuses on the implications of the complete response letter (CRL) received by Alimera (ALIM) for Iluvien. This product was developed by pSivida (PSDV) but was partnered with Alimera. This report deals only with the investment significance for pSivida.

Top Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014: Midstates Petroleum Company Inc (MPO)

Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc. is an independent exploration and production company. The Company�� areas of operation include Pine Prairie, South Bearhead Creek/Oretta, West Gordon and North Cowards Gully. Its Upper Gulf Coast Tertiary trend extends from south Texas to Mississippi across its operating areas in central Louisiana. As of December 31, 2011, it had accumulated approximately 77,100 net acres in the trend. As of December 31, 2011, its development operations are focused in the Wilcox interval of the trend. The Company�� business is conducted through Midstates Petroleum Company LLC, as a direct, wholly owned subsidiary. In September 2012, the Company and its subsidiary acquired all of Eagle Energy Production, LLC�� producing properties as well as their developed and undeveloped acreage primarily in the Mississippian Lime oil play in Oklahoma and Kansas.

As of December 31, 2011, it drilled 57 gross wells in the trend, approximately 93% of. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its average daily production were 7,499 barrels of oil equivalent per day. As of December 31, 2011, it had a total of 974 gross vertical drilling locations, including 115 related to acreage under option, in the trend. As of December 31, 2011, the Company�� properties included approximately 92 gross active producing wells, 95% of, which it operate, and in which it held an average working interest of approximately 99% across its 77,100 net acre leasehold. During March 31, 2012, the Company continued its drilling program, spudding 14 wells, of which nine are producing, three are being drilled and two are waiting to be completed. As of December 331, 2011, it averaged daily production is approximately 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Pine Prairie

The Company�� properties in the Pine Prairie area represented 46% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company�� average production from these properties was 3,793 net barrels of oil equ! ivalent per day, consisting of 2,143 barrels of oil, 565 barrels of natural gas liquidations (NGLs) and 6,508 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 92.2% and 68.9%, respectively, on its acreage in Pine Prairie area. The Company has an additional 194 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 10-acre spacing.

South Bearhead Creek/Oretta

The Company�� properties in the South Bearhead Creek/Oretta area represented 20.3% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company�� average production from these properties was 4,367 net barrels of oil equivalent per day, consisting of 2,196 barrels of oil, 438 barrels of NGLs and 10,396 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. During 2011, these wells produced at an average daily rate of 2,413 net barrels of oil equivalent per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 100% and 78.5%, respectively, on its acreage in South Bearhead Creek/Oretta area. The Company has an additional 43 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

West Gordon

The Company�� properties in the West Gordon area represented 21% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company�� average production from these properties was 1,002 net barrels of oil equivalent per day, consisting of 617 barrels of oil, 68 barrels of NGLs and 1,901 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 95.9% and 71.2%, respectively, on its acreage in West Gordon area. The Company has an additional 74 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

North Cowards Gully

The Company�� properties in the North Cowards Gully area represented 11.5% of ! its total! proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company�� average production from these properties was 149 net barrels of oil equivalent per day consisting of 103 barrels of oil, 11 barrels of NGLs, and 211 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 94.3% and 71.2%, respectively, on its acreage in North Cowards Gully area. The Company has an additional 95 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    One energy player that's starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Midstates Petroleum (MPO), an independent exploration and production company focused on the application of modern drilling and completion techniques to oil-prone resources. This stock is off to a rough start in 2013, with shares off by 30%.

    If you look at the chart for Midstates Petroleum, you'll notice that this stock has recently come out of a nasty downtrend that took shares from over $8 to its low of $4.26 a share. Shares of MPO have started to find some buying interest over the last month at $4.44, 4.26 and $4.48 a share, as the stock has held those levels on recent pullbacks. This could be signaling that a bottom is forming for MPO, since the downside volatility looks over. Shares of MPO are now rebounding strong off those support levels and are quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MPO if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $4.82 a share and then once it takes out its 50-day moving average at $5.30 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 542,939 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MPO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6 to its 200-day moving average of $6.54 a share.

    Traders can look to buy MPO off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $4.48 or $4.26 a share. One can also buy MPO off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.