It's been a busy week for Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) . And at the end, the second largest oil services company seems to have come out trumps. Here is a company whose management knows what it's doing. The strategy to return cash to investors through share buybacks is proving to be a master stroke.
Halliburton's corporate headquarters in Houston. Source: Wikimedia commons.
Not the best of weeks ...
Starting with the reporting of the second-quarter results, this hasn't been the most impressive of weeks for Halliburton. A flat rig count and lower drilling activity ensured that revenue from the North American segment -- the company's largest market -- declined almost 10%, year over year, in the first six months of 2013. To top that, a federal antitrust probe has been initiated targeting the U.S. hydraulic fracturing market, with the top names, including Halliburton, coming under investigation.
Top 5 Paper Companies To Buy For 2015: Autoliv Inc (ALV)
Autoliv, Inc. (Autoliv) is a holding company. Autoliv is the supplier of automotive safety systems, with a range of product offerings, including modules and components for passenger and driver-side airbags, side-impact airbag protection systems, seatbelts, steering wheels, safety electronics, whiplash protection systems and child seats, as well as night vision systems, radar and other active safety systems. Autoliv has two main operating segments: airbags/seatbelt (including restraint electronics) products and active safety electronics products. In March 2010, the Company acquired Visteon Corporation's radar system business. In April 2010, the Company acquired Delphi's Occupant Protection Systems (OPS) operations in Korea and China. In addition, in April 2010, Autoliv Inc.'s Automotive Holding AS increased its stake in Norma AS from 51% to 93.74%. Additionally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB and ING Luxembourg SA sold their 6.67% and 10% stake, respectively, held in Norma AS. In October 2010, the Company acquired 51% interest in Bejing Delpi Automotive Safety Products. In November 2011, the Company acquired the airbag cushion cut&sew assets from Milliken. In June 2012, the Company sold its subsidiary Autoliv Mekan AB to Verktygs Allians i Hassleholm AB.
Autoliv has approximately 80 wholly or partially owned or leased production facilities located in 28 countries, consisting of both component factories and assembly factories. The Company�� component factories manufacture inflators, initiators, textile cushions, webbing materials, electronics, pressed steel parts, springs and overmoulded steel parts used in seatbelt and airbag assembly, seat subsystems, steering wheels and its active safety and night vision systems, and its other safety electronic systems. During the year ended December 31, 2010, Autoliv�� revenues were approximately 67% of airbags and associated products and approximately 33% of seatbelts and associated products. The Company�� markets are in Europe, North A! merica, Asia-Pacific and Japan. Its customers include the car manufacturers.
During 2010, the products manufactured by Autoliv�� consolidated subsidiaries consisted of approximately 121 million complete seatbelt systems (of which approximately 49 million were fitted with pretensioners), approximately 57 million side-impact airbags (including curtain airbags), approximately 28 million frontal airbag modules, approximately 12 million steering wheels, approximately 11 million electronic units (airbag control), approximately 0.4 million active safety systems and 0.1 million night vision systems. Autoliv owns two principal subsidiaries, AAB and Autoliv ASP, Inc. (ASP). Its AAB and ASP are developers, manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive industry of automotive safety systems. AAB and ASP�� products include seatbelts, frontal and side-impact airbags, steering wheels and seat sub-systems, as well as components for such systems.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sarah Jones]
Allianz (ALV) gained 3.6 percent to 120.70 euros after reporting a 24 percent rise in first-quarter profit to about 1.7 billion euros after results improved at all of its businesses. Operating profit of 2.8 billion euros also topped analysts��estimates.
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Allianz SE (ALV) fell 1.6 percent to 126.40 euros. Europe�� biggest insurer was cut to neutral from buy at Citigroup Inc., which says earnings growth is limited.
- [By Rich Duprey]
In a bid to be more competitive, auto airbag manufacturer Autoliv (NYSE: ALV ) announced yesterday that it will invest $50 million to build a new textile center in China that�will consist of a weaving plant, an airbag cushion plant, and a development center for airbag cushions and textiles.
Top 5 Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2014: CSS Industries Inc (CSS)
CSS Industries, Inc. (CSS), incorporated on November 5, 1923, is a company primarily engaged in the design, manufacture, procurement, distribution and sale of seasonal and all occasion social expression products, principally to mass market retailers. These seasonal and all occasion products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper, decorations, classroom exchange Valentines, decorative ribbons and bows, floral accessories, Halloween masks, costumes, make-up and novelties, Easter egg dyes and novelties, craft and educational products, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items that commemorate life�� celebrations. In September 5, 2012, it sold the Halloween portion of its Paper Magic business to Gemmy Industries (HK) Limited.
CSS��product provides its retail customers the opportunity to use a single vendor for much of their seasonal product requirements. A substantial portion of CSS��products are manufactured, packaged and/or warehoused in 10 facilities located in the United States, with the remainder purchased primarily from manufacturers in Asia and Mexico. The Company�� products are sold to its customers by national and regional account sales managers, sales representatives, product specialists and by a network of independent manufacturers��representatives. The Company�� principal operating subsidiaries include Paper Magic Group, Inc. (Paper Magic), Berwick Offray LLC (Berwick Offray) and C.R. Gibson, LLC (C.R. Gibson). CSS designs, manufactures, procures, distributes and sells a range of seasonal consumer products primarily through the mass market distribution channel. Christmas products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper and decorations. CSS��Valentine product offerings include classroom exchange Valentine cards and other related Valen! tine products, while its Easter product offerings include Dudley�� brand of Easter egg dyes and related Easter seasonal products. CSS also designs and markets decorative ribbons and bows, all occasion boxed greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, decorative and waxed tissue, decorative films and foils, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, floral accessories and other gift and craft items to its mass market, craft, specialty and floral retail and wholesale distribution customers, and teachers' aids and other learning oriented products to the education market through mass market retailers, school supply distributors and teachers' stores. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markings, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Dudley��, Don Post Studios, Eureka, Learning Playground, Stickerfitti and iota. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markings, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Seastone, Dudley��, Eureka, Learning Playground and Stickerfitti.
CSS operates 10 manufacturing and/or distribution facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama and Texas. Its boxed greeting cards are produced by Asian manufacturers to the Company�� specifications. Halloween make-up and Easter egg dye products are manufactured in Asia to specific formulae by contract manufacturers who meet regulatory requirements for the formularization and packaging of such products. Ribbons and bows are primarily manufactured and warehoused in seven facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas. Memory books, stationery, journals and notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items are imported from Asian manufacturers and warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Florence, Alabama. Floral accessories, including pot covers, foil, waxed tissue, shred, aisle runners, corsage bags and other paper! and film! products, are manufactured in a facility located in Milford, New Hampshire and Juarez, Mexico. Manufacturing includes gravure and flexo printing, waxing and converting. Products are warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Berwick, Pennsylvania. Other products including, but not limited to, decorative tissue paper, all occasion gift wrap, gift tags, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, classroom exchange Valentine products, Halloween masks, costumes and novelties, Easter products, decorations and school products are designed to the specifications of CSS and are imported primarily from Asian manufacturers.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Gifts maker�CSS Industries� (NYSE: CSS ) �announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.15 per share, the same rate it's paid since 2008.
Top 5 Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2014: Wasgau Produktions & Handels AG (MSH)Wasgau Produktions & Handels AG is a Germany-based retailer and producer of food articles. The Company divides its business activities into the two main segments Wholesale and Retail. The Wholesale�� businesses include seven Cash and Carry markets for restaurateurs and wholesale customers, as well as commercial businesses of the holding company WASGAU Produktions & Handels AG, which are supported by its subsidiary WASGAU Dienstleistungs & Logistik GmbH, active within warehouse management and transportation. The Operations within the Retail segment are mainly carried out through Company�� subsidiaries WASGAU Metzgerei GmbH and WASGAU Baeckerei & Konditorei GmbH, which produce and supply its stores with a variety of meats and bakery products, respectively. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated through 24 affiliated companies and subsidiaries located in Germany. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Benjamin Pimentel]
The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) �gave up 6 points to close at 4,352. But the benchmark ended the week up 1%. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) �also was down a fraction on Friday, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) was up 0.7%.
- [By Benjamin Pimentel]
The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) �fell 0.4% to close at 4,052. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) �and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) �each gained a fraction.
Top 5 Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2014: AspenBio Pharma Inc.(APPY)
AspenBio Pharma, Inc. operates as an emerging biomedical company focused on obtaining the United States FDA clearance for its lead product, AppyScore. Its research and development activities primarily focus on a human appendicitis blood-based test. The company?s lead product candidate, AppyScore, is a blood-based diagnostic test to help physicians manage patients who enter emergency rooms complaining of abdominal pain and suspected of having acute appendicitis. It is also developing animal healthcare products focusing on reproduction. The company was formerly known as AspenBio, Inc. and changed its name to AspenBio Pharma, Inc. on September 26, 2005. AspenBio Pharma, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is based in Castle Rock, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lee Jackson]
Vernaxis Inc. (NASDAQ: APPY) is an in vitro diagnostic company focused on obtaining FDA clearance for and commercializing its CE MarkedAPPY1 Test, a rapid, multiple biomarker-based assay for identifying patients that are at low risk for appendicitis. They have moved ahead with their pivotal trial enrollment, and the analyst at Canaccord Genuity rates the company as a stock to buy. Its price target for the stock is a whopping $7, the high target for the stock. A move to that level would represent a 250% move for shareholders. The consensus target is at $5.25.�Vernaxis closed Friday at $1.97.