Friday, June 27, 2014

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014

Stocks snapped back from brutal declines last week, as deeply oversold conditions and some surprisingly good earnings reports from companies like Goldman Sachs and previously recommended Coca��ola and Intel Intel helped markets recoup nearly all of the prior week�� losses.

The put��all ratio, which we noted was at elevated levels one week ago, began to turn lower and stocks rose as fear unwound. Markets were closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

Market breadth, measured by new highs/new lows and advance/decline ratios, was overwhelmingly positive, although risk appetite appears to be waning with large caps outperforming small caps. During the four��ay week the S&P 500 Index gained 2.71%, outpacing the 2.38% gain for the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index.

After the violent spasms of the stock market this past week, our lead over the S&P 500 is widening, providing more confirmation that a simple strategy of purchasing reliable dividend-payers when they��e cheap is the way to go. I��e sent out 266 recommendations to buy dividend-paying stocks, MLPs, REITs and BDCs since July 11, 2012, when this newsletter started as Forbes Dividend Stock Daily. Buying each one when instructed, and following subsequent sell recommendations, produced a total return of 25.2% with a 5.7% average yield at time of purchase. Substituting the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) at each of the same times earned 20.9%.

Top 5 Beverage Stocks To Buy For 2015: First Niagara Financial Group Inc.(FNFG)

First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for First Niagara Bank, N.A. that provides retail and commercial banking, and other financial services to individuals, families, and businesses. It offers retail deposit accounts, which include savings, negotiable order of withdrawal, checking, money market, and certificate of deposit accounts, as well as provides business savings and checking, money market, cash management accounts, and municipal deposit accounts. The company?s loan portfolio comprises commercial real estate and multi-family loans; commercial business loans; residential real estate loans; home equity loans; and consumer loans consisting of indirect mobile home loans, and personal secured and unsecured loans. It also sells insurance products, including commercial and personal insurance, surety bond, life, disability, and long-term care coverage products. In addition, the company offers risk management consulting services comprising altern ative risk and self-insurance services, claims investigation and adjusting services, and third party administration services for self insured workers? compensation plans. Further, it provides employee benefits plan and compensation consulting services. Additionally, First Niagara Financial Group offers wealth management services that manage client funds utilizing various third party investment vehicles consisting of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and annuities, as well as other investment products, such as individual retirement accounts, education savings plans, and retirement plans. As of December 31, 2010 it operated 257 bank branches, including 115 in Upstate New York and 142 branches in Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1870 and is based in Buffalo, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    First Niagara Financial (NASDAQ: FNFG  ) will return money to two separate classes of its stockholders. The company has declared quarterly dividends for its common shares and its class B preferreds, both of which will be paid on May 15 to shareholders of record as of May 3.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Vectren Corporation (VVC)

Vectren Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides energy delivery services to residential, commercial, and industrial and other contract customers in Indiana and west central Ohio. It offers natural gas distribution and transportation services, and electric distribution services; and owns and operates coal-fired and gas-fired electric generating facilities with an installed generating capacity of 1,298 megawatts. The company�s electric transmission system consists of 989 circuit miles of 345, 138, and 69 kilovolt lines, and 35 substations; and distribution system comprises 4,281 pole miles of lower voltage overhead lines and 372 trench miles of conduit containing 1,999 miles of underground distribution cable, 96 distribution substations, and 54,000 distribution transformers. In addition, it provides gas marketing, gas portfolio optimization, and other portfolio and energy management services to municipalities, utilities, industrial operations, schools, and healthcar e institutions; mines and sells coal; offers underground construction and repair, performance contracting, and renewable energy services; and invests in energy-related opportunities and services, real estate, and leveraged leases. Further, the company engages in transmission pipeline construction and maintenance; pump station, compressor station, terminal, and refinery construction; and hydrostatic testing services. It serves the automotive assembly, parts, and accessories; feed, flour, and grain processing; metal castings; aluminum products; polycarbonate resin and plastic products; gypsum products; electrical equipment; metal specialties; glass; steel finishing; pharmaceutical and nutritional products; gasoline and oil products; ethanol; and coal mining industries. As of December 31, 2011, it supplied natural gas services to approximately 993,300 customers; and electric services to approximately 141,600 customers. Vectren Corporation was founded in 1912 and is headquartere d in Evansville, Indiana.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Chuck Carnevale]

    Vectren Corp. (VVC): A Low Growth Utility

    Our first example looks at Vectren Corp.�� historical earnings, a utility with a 15-year historical earnings growth rate that is below our 3% threshold established in Part 1. Note that fair valuation is calculated using Graham Dodd�� Formula (GDF) deriving a fair value PE of 13.8 (slightly below, but close to our PE 15 standard). However, a normal PE of 16 has been historically applied by Mr. Market. Therefore, valuation falls between a PE of 13.8 to 16, or well within a range of normalcy.

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Exelon (NYSE: EXC), down 1.2 percent, and Vectren (NYSE: VVC), off 2.3 percent.

    Top Headline
    Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE: HSH) announced its plans to buy Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF) for around $6.6 billion including debt. Hillshire will offer $18.00 in cash and 0.50 shares of its common stock for each Pinnacle share.

  • [By David Dittman]

    Answer: I like NextEra Energy, which has significant renewables exposure and operates in a region with solid economic fundamentals. I also like smaller utes that operate in smaller footprints with solid long-term fundamentals, including Cleco (NYSE: CNL), Pinnacle West, Vectren (NYSE: VVC) and SCANA (NYSE: SCG).

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Exelon (NYSE: EXC), down 1.2 percent, and Vectren (NYSE: VVC), off 2.3 percent.

    Top Headline
    Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE: HSH) announced its plans to buy Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF) for around $6.6 billion including debt. Hillshire will offer $18.00 in cash and 0.50 shares of its common stock for each Pinnacle share.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (MACK)

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated in 1993, is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of serious diseases, with an initial focus on cancer. The Company�� product candidates include MM-398, MM-121, MM-111, MM-302 and MM-151. As of June 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 74% interest of Silver Creek.

The Company�� Network biology is an interdisciplinary approach to drug discovery and development that enables the Company to build functional and predictive computational models of biological systems based on quantitative, kinetic, multiplexed biological data. The Company provides its scientists with insights into how the complex molecular interactions that occur within cell signaling pathways, or networks, regulate cell decisions and how dysfunction within these networks leads to disease. The Company applies network biology throughout the research and development process, including for target identification, lead compound design and optimization, diagnostic discovery, in vitro and in vivo predictive development and the design of clinical trial protocols.


MM-398 is a stable nanotherapeutic encapsulation, or enclosed sphere carrying an active drug, of the marketed chemotherapy drug irinotecan. MM-398 achieved its primary efficacy endpoints in Phase 2 clinical trials in pancreatic and gastric cancer. In an open label, single arm Phase 2 clinical trial of MM-398 as a monotherapy in 40 metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who had previously failed treatment with gemcitabine, patients treated with MM-398 achieved median overall survival of 22.4 weeks. Additionally, 20% of the patients in this Phase 2 trial survived for more than one year, and the Company observed a disease control rate, meaning patients exhibited stable disease or partial or complete response to treatment, of 47.5% at six weeks.

The Company focuses on initiati! ng a Phase 3 clinical trial of MM-398 for the treatment of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who have previously failed treatment with gemcitabine. The trial is expected to enroll approximately 250 patients and is designed to compare the efficacy of MM-398 as a monotherapy against the combination of the chemotherapy drugs fluorouracil, or 5-FU, and leucovorin. There are multiple ongoing Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of MM-398. In July 2011, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted MM-398 orphan drug designation for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.


MM-121 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets ErbB3, a cell surface receptor, or protein attached to the cell membrane that mediates communication inside and outside the cell, that the Company�� network biology approach identified as a target in a range of cancers. A monoclonal antibody is a type of protein normally produced by cells of the immune system that binds to just one epitope, or chemical structure, on a protein or other structure. MM-121 is designed to inhibit cancer growth directly, restore sensitivity to drugs to which a tumor has become resistant and delay the development of resistance of a tumor to other agents. In collaboration with Sanofi, the Company focuses on testing MM-121 in combination with both chemotherapies and other targeted agents across a range of spectrum of solid tumors, including lung, breast and ovarian cancers. The Company partnered MM-121 with Sanofi after it initiated Phase 1 clinical development of the product candidate.


MM-111 is a bispecific antibody designed to target cancer cells that are characterized by overexpression of the ErbB2 cell surface receptor, also referred to as HER2. A bispecific antibody is a type of antibody that is able to bind simultaneously to two distinct proteins or epitopes. The Company�� network biology approach identified that ligand-induced signaling through the complex of ErbB2 ! (HER2) an! d ErbB3 is a promoter of tumor growth and survival than previously appreciated.


MM-302 is a nanotherapeutic encapsulation of doxorubicin with attached antibodies that are designed to target MM-302 to cells that over express the ErbB2 (HER2) receptor. The Company is conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial of MM-302 in patients with advanced ErbB2 (HER2) positive breast cancer.


MM-151 is an oligoclonal therapeutic consisting of a mixture of three fully human monoclonal antibodies designed to bind to non-overlapping epitopes of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EGFR is also known as ErbB1. An oligoclonal therapeutic is a mixture of two or more distinct monoclonal antibodies. The Company has designed MM-151 to block signal amplification that occurs within the ErbB cell signaling network. The Company has submitted an investigational new drug application (IND), to the FDA for MM-151 in July 2011.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); popups.forEach]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc.(MACK) and Sanofi (SAN.FR) have ended their license and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of Merrimack’s antibody MM-121 to treat several forms of cancer. Merrimack dropped 10% to $7.07 premarket.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MACK) dipped 15.38% to $2.86 after the company reported that Phase 2 study Of MM-121 missed primary endpoint.

    IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI) shares fell 14.51% to $49.50 in the pre-market trading after the company reported downbeat Q3 revenue.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Rhoen Klinikum AG (RHK)

Rhoen Klinikum AG is a Germany-based provider of health care services. It is primarily engaged in building, acquiring and operating privately owned hospitals. The Company�� portfolio comprises basic and standard care, intermediate care, maximum care, specialist care, medical care centers (MVZ) at hospitals, portal clinics, university hospitals and academic teaching hospitals. These hospitals offer treatment in several specialist fields, including psychiatry, anesthesiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, various types of surgery, women�� medicine and obstetrics, geriatrics, neurology, rehabilitation, urology and internal medicine, among others. The Company operated a number of hospitals and medical care centers. In addition to the hospitals in Bad Berka, Frankfurt, Hildesheim, Karlsruhe, Munich, Pforzheim and Wiesbaden, among others, it has MVZ companies located in Germany, as well as two research and education companies and service companies. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Fresenius rose 3.6 percent after its Helios subsidiary agreed to buy 43 hospitals from Rhoen-Klinikum (RHK) AG. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc both dropped at least 2 percent, contributing the most to a decline by a gauge of commodity producers. TDC A/S fell 3.1 percent as a group of private-equity firms sold its stake in Denmark�� biggest phone company.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Xing AG (O1BC)

Xing AG, formerly Open Business Club AG, is a Germany-based company engaged in the provision and maintenance of online business communication services. It offers companies enterprise solutions afforded by Web 2.0 and manages the communities for professional networking. It supplies support in establishing new business contacts, expanding and managing the network of contacts and organizing meetings and events. It enables its customers to identify experts in several fields and receive advice on any topic as well as promote themselves in their business environments. It serves a number of networkers worldwide. The product portfolio consists of four categories: openBC platform; openBC Premium Groups; openBC mobile, with mobile phone access; openBC plugin, supporting Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. The solutions are offered in 16 languages and data as well as privacy protection is provided. It co-operates with epublica, a Web-based corporate solution provider and Sevenval AG. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    RWE AG (RWE), Germany�� second-largest utility, slipped 2.4 percent after RBC Capital Markets cut its recommendation on the stock. Lufthansa followed its European peers higher, recovering some of its Aug. 2 selloff. Xing AG (O1BC), the business social network, jumped the most since October as Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) upgraded its rating on the shares.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Whiting USA Trust I(WHX)

Whiting USA Trust I is a REIT. The trust was founded in 2007 and is based in Austin, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another name that's starting to move within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Whiting USA Trust I (WHX). This stock hasn't done much so far in 2013, with shares up just 4.5%.

    If you look at the chart for Whiting USA Trust I, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $3.65 to its intraday high of $4.87 a share. During that move, shares of WHX have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now spiked shares of WHX back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. Shares of WHX are now quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WHX if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $4.90 to $5.04 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 321,220 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WHX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6.23 to $8.01 a share.

    Traders can look to buy WHX off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below its 50-day at $4.12 a share. One can also buy WHX off strength once it takes out that breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

Top 10 Performing Companies For 2014: Encore Wire Corp (WIRE)

Encore Wire Corporation (Encore), incorporated on April 5, 1989, is a manufacturer of electrical building wire and cable. The Company is a supplier of building wire for interior electrical wiring in commercial and industrial buildings, homes, apartments, and manufactured housing. Encore offers an electric building wire product line that consists of nonmetallic-building ( NM-B) cable, underground feeder-building (UF-B) cable, thermoplastic high heat resistant nylon coated/thermoplastic heat and water resistant nylon coated (THHN/THWN)-2 and other types of wire products, including metal clad and armored cable. All of these products are manufactured with copper or aluminum as the conductor. The principal customers for Encore�� wire are wholesale electrical distributors, who sell building wire and a variety of other products to electrical contractors. The Company sells its products primarily through 31 manufacturers��representatives located throughout the United States. The Company also purchases small quantities of other types of wire to re-sell to customers that buy products that the Company manufactures. The manufacturing process for the Company�� various products involves multiple steps, including: casting, drawing, stranding, compounding, insulating, jacketing and armoring.

The Company�� non-metallic sheathed cable is used primarily as interior wiring in homes, apartments and manufactured housing. NM-B cable is composed of either two or three insulated copper wire conductors, with an un-insulated ground wire, all sheathed in a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) jacket. UF-B cable is an underground feeder cable is used to conduct power underground to outside lighting and other applications remote from buildings. UF-B cable is composed of two or three PVC insulated copper wire conductors, with an un-insulated ground wire, all jacketed in PVC. THHN/THWN-2 cable is used primarily as feeder, circuit and branch wiring in commercial and industrial buildings. It is composed of a copper or aluminu! m single conductor, either stranded or solid, and insulated with PVC, which is further coated with nylon.

Cross-linked high heat water resistant insulated wire (XHHW)-2 Cable is a XHHW-2 wire used for general purpose applications utilized in conduit or other recognized raceways for service, feeders, and branch-circuit wiring. It�� composed of a copper or aluminum single conductor, either stranded or solid, and with a single layer of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation. Underground service entrance (USE)-2 Cable. USE-2 or rubber high heat-resistant (RHH) or RHW-2 wire is used for general purpose applications utilized in conduit or installed in underground applications or in recognized raceways for service, feeders, and branch-circuit wiring. It�� composed of a copper or aluminum single conductor, either stranded or solid, and with a single layer of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation suitable for wet locations.

Metal clad and armored cable is used primarily as feeder, circuit and branch wiring, primarily in commercial and industrial buildings. It is composed of multiple conductors, either stranded or solid, and insulated with PVC, which are further coated with nylon and then fully encased in a flexible aluminum or steel armored protective sheath that eliminates the need to pull the wire through pipe or conduit. The Company�� photovoltaic style cables are designed to meet the different needs of the emerging solar industry by providing connections between photovoltaic (PV) panels, collector boxes and inverters; and where also allowed by the National Electric Code (NEC). Its bare copper conductors are used in overhead electrical transmission and distribution systems for grounding electrical systems and circuit grounding.

The Company competes with Southwire Company, Cerro Wire LLC, United Copper Industries, BICC General and AFC Cable Systems, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Basic guidelines
    In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven't materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Encore Wire (Nasdaq: WIRE  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Encore Wire doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, not so great. Trailing-12-month revenue decreased 9.2%, and inventory increased 0.3%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue grew 3.9%, and inventory expanded 0.3%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue dropped 4.1%, and inventory dropped 5.1%.

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