Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014

Canadian-based Hudson's Bay has announced that it will purchase luxury retailer Saks (NYSE: SKS  ) for $16 per share in a deal valued at $2.9 billion. The appeal here for Hudson's Bay is interest in Saks' high-end real estate. In fact, the department store chain's Fifth Avenue Manhattan�address alone is worth an estimated $805 million, according to Deborah Weinswig of Citigroup.

Nevertheless, this isn't bad news for Saks shareholders, since the struggling retailer will sell at a nearly 5% premium to where the stock closed on Friday. Still, it may be even better news for rival luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus. That's because this premium on the Saks sale could help privately held Neiman Marcus score a higher valuation as it sets up for a possible initial public offering. Earlier this year, the retailer reportedly brushed off a buyout offer from private equity firm KKR (NYSE: KKR  ) , which had hoped to later merge Neiman Marcus with Saks.

In hindsight, this may have been a smart move for Neiman Marcus. Here's why.

Top 5 Quality Companies To Invest In Right Now: China New Borun Corporation (BORN)

China New Borun Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the production and distribution of corn-based edible alcohol in the People�s Republic of China. Its edible alcohol products are primarily sold as ingredients to producers of baijiu, which a grain-based alcoholic beverage to further blend them into finished products that are sold under various brand names in retail stores, bars, banquet halls, restaurants, and other locations. The company also produces distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) feed, corn germ, crude corn oil, and liquid carbon dioxide as by-products during the production of edible alcohol. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Shouguang, the People's Republic of China. China New Borun Corporation is a subsidiary of King River Holding Limited.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    With a market cap of only $60 million and practically no trading volume until last month, odds are good you and most of your trading friends have ever even heard of China New Borun Corp. (NYSE:BORN). That doesn't mean it can't become a good trading opportunity, however. In fact, BORN has become a good trading opportunity, especially this week.

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014: (ARM)

ARM Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design of microprocessors, physical IP, and related technology and software; and sale of development tools to enhance the performance of high-volume embedded applications. Its products include microprocessors cores, such as specific functions comprising video and graphics IP, fabric IP, embedded software, and configurable digital signal processing IP; physical IP components for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits, which comprise embedded memory, standard cell, and input/output components; software development tools that help software design engineers in the design and deployment of code, from applications running on open operating systems to low-level firmware. The company also offers support, maintenance, and training services, as well as design consulting services. ARM Holdings plc licenses and sells its technology and products to electronics companies, which in turn manufacture, market, and s ell microprocessors, application-specific integrated circuits, and application-specific standard processors to systems companies for incorporation into various end products, as well as licenses and sells development tools directly to systems companies and provides support services to licensees, systems companies, and other systems designers. It operates in Europe, the United States, and the Asia Pacific. The company was formerly known as Advanced RISC Machines Holdings Limited and changed its name to ARM Holdings plc in March 1998. ARM Holdings plc was founded in 1990 and is based in Cambridge, the United Kingdom.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) surged 12 percent after the designer of chips for Apple Inc.�� iPhone said April 23 that first-quarter revenue rose 29 percent to 170.3 million pounds. That beat the 160 million-pound average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), whose chip designs power Apple Inc.�� iPhone and iPad, plunged 5.2 percent to 995 pence. Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the shares to neutral from outperform, saying that Intel Corp.�� new platform may enable it to outperform ARM�� designs.

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014: Flamel Technologies S.A.(FLML)

Flamel Technologies S.A., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of controlled-release therapeutic products based on its proprietary polymer based technology in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, France, and Europe. The company develops nanogel Medusa technology, which is intended to provide controlled release following injection of therapeutic proteins, peptides, and other molecules; a microparticle adaptation of the Medusa platform that is intended for use in the delivery of smaller proteins and peptides; and Micropump technology, a microparticle technology for oral administration of small molecule drugs with applications in controlled-release, taste-masking, and bioavailability enhancement; and Trigger-Lock technology, an adaptation based on Micropump technology, which is intended to minimize the misuse and abuse of medications subject to abuse. Its principal product based on Micropump technology is Coreg CR, which is intended for the treatment of moderate to severe heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction. The company?s products under development based upon Medusa technology include Interferon-alpha, a naturally occurring protein that the body uses for the treatment of Hepatitis C virus and as a immune response; and FT-105, an injectable insulin formulation for diabetic patients. Its products based on its Micropump technology comprise LiquiTime for the elderly and pediatric patient patients, or others who have difficulty swallowing. The company has strategic alliance with Baxter International, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Merck Serono; and Pfizer Inc, as well as has a joint development agreement with Digna Biotech, S.L. Flamel Technologies S.A. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Venissieux, France.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Healthcare shares gained 0.81 percent in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG), StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM), and Flamel Technologies SA (NASDAQ: FLML).

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Flamel Technologies SA(FLML) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the company’s new drug application for Vazculep, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of clinically important hypotension resulting primarily from vasodilation in the setting of anesthesia. American depositary shares rose 5.1% to $14.78 in premarket trading.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Healthcare shares gained 0.81 percent in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG), StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM), and Flamel Technologies SA (NASDAQ: FLML).

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014: Ashland Inc. (ASH)

Ashland Inc. operates as a specialty chemicals company in the United States and internationally. Its Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients segment produces cellulose ethers; and specialty additives and functional ingredients. Its products offer functionality, such as thickening and rheology control; water retention; adhesive strength; binding power; film formation; protective colloid, suspending, and emulsifying action; foam control; and pH stability. The company?s Ashland Hercules Water Technologies segment manufactures papermaking chemicals and supplies specialty chemicals. It offers sizing agents, wet/dry strength additives, and crepe and release additives for tissue manufacturing; and deposit control agents, defoamers, biocides, and other process additives. This segment also provides specialized chemicals and consulting services for the utility water treatment; and performance-based feed and control systems; and monitoring devices and remote system surveillance. Its A shland Performance Materials segment manufactures and supplies specialty chemicals and customized services to the building and construction, transportation, metal casting, packaging and converting, and marine markets. It also offers unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, and gelcoats; adhesives and specialty resins; and metal casting consumables and design services. The company?s Ashland Consumer Markets segment produces and markets packaged automotive lubricants, chemicals, appearance products, antifreeze, and filters to the private passenger car, light truck, and heavy duty markets. It also operates a quick-lube franchise under the name of Valvoline Instant Oil Change. The company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in Covington, Kentucky.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Ashland (NYSE: ASH  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Shauna O'Brien]

    Jefferies reported on Thursday that it has cut its rating on chemical company Ashland Inc. (ASH).

    The firm has downgraded ASH from “Buy” to “Hold,” and has lowered the company’s price target from $104 to $97. This price target suggests a 9% upside from the stock’s current price of $88.47.

    Analyst Laurence Alexander commented: “Investor confidence in the asset shuffling thesis may not withstand 2-3 more rounds of downward revisions to EPS and FCF forecasts for 2014E-2016E.”

    “Pension headwinds, incentive comp, Valvoline marketing expenses, sluggish end markets: in our view, it all adds up, and makes further multiple expansion more difficult.”

    Looking ahead, the firm has reduced estimates for the fourth quarter from $1.70 to $1.59 per share. For FY2013, earnings estimates have been lowered from $6.25 to $6.15 per share. FY2014 estimates have been cut from $7.45 to $6.75 per share.

    Ashland shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Thursday. The stock is up 10% YTD

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014: 3M Company(MMM)

3M Company, together with subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company?s Industrial and Transportation segment offers tapes, coated and non-woven abrasives, adhesives, specialty materials, filtration products, energy control products, closure systems for personal hygiene products, acoustic systems products, and components and products that are used in the manufacture, repair, and maintenance of automotive, marine, aircraft, and specialty vehicles. Its Health Care segment provides medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, inhalation and transdermal drug delivery systems, dental and orthodontic products, health information systems, and food safety products. The company?s Display and Graphics offers optical film solutions for LCD electronic displays; computer screen filters; reflective sheeting for transportation safety; commercial graphics sheeting and systems; and mobile interactive solutions, includin g mobile display technology, visual systems products, and computer privacy filters. The company?s Consumer and Office segment provides office supply products, stationery products, construction and home improvement products, home care products, protective material products, certain consumer retail personal safety products, and consumer health care products. Its Safety, Security and Protection Services segment offers personal protection products, safety and security products, cleaning and protection products for commercial establishments, track and trace solutions, and roofing granules for asphalt shingles. The company?s Electro and Communications segment provides packaging and interconnection devices; fluids that are used in the manufacture of computer chips, and for cooling electronics and lubricating computer hard disk drives; high-temperature and display tapes; insulating materials, including tapes and resins; and related items. The company was founded in 1902 and is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    On Thursday, 3M (NYSE: MMM  ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever surprises inevitbaly arise. That way, you'll be less likely to have an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

  • [By Lee Samaha]

    It's no secret that 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM  ) is one of the best run companies in North America, and it's also no secret that the company's stock valuation of 20 times current earnings is hardly cheap. The company is best understood as a play on global industrial growth, and in this sense it's useful to compare it to other industrial stalwarts, such as�Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW  ) and Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR  ) . With�this in mind, investors need to ask themselves what 3M needs to do to make it a good value.

Hot Consumer Service Companies To Watch For 2014: CalAmp Corp (CAMP)

CalAmp Corp. (CalAmp) develops and markets wireless technology solutions that deliver data, voice and video for critical networked communications and other applications. The Company has two business segments: Wireless DataCom, which serves commercial, industrial and government customers, and Satellite, which focuses on the North American Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) market. In May 2012, CalAmp Corp announced that it has entered into a five-year supply agreement to provide fleet tracking products to Navman Wireless. As part of the transaction, CalAmp has acquired certain products and technologies from Navman Wireless and established a research and development center in Auckland, New Zealand. The assets acquired by CalAmp include technology for Mobile Display Terminals (MDT) and an MDT product line marketed to telematics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally. In March 2013, it completed the acquisition of the operations of Wireless Matrix Corporation.

Wireless DataCom

The Wireless DataCom segment provides wireless technology, products and services for industrial Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Mobile Resource Management (MRM) market segments for a range of applications, including optimizing and automating electricity distribution and ancillary utility functions; facilitating communication and coordination among emergency first-responders; increasing productivity and optimizing activities of mobile workforces; improving management control over valuable remote and mobile assets, and enabling emerging applications in a wirelessly connected world.

The Company's Wireless DataCom segment is comprised of a Wireless Networks business and an MRM business. CalAmp's Wireless Networks business provides products, systems and services to industrial, utility, energy and transportation enterprises and state and local governmental entities for deployment where the ability to communicate with mobile personnel or to command and control remote assets is crucial. Utilities! , oil and gas, mining, railroad and security companies rely on CalAmp products for wireless data communications to and from outlying locations, permitting real-time monitoring, activation and control of remote equipment. Applications include remotely measuring freshwater and wastewater flows, pipeline flow monitoring for oil and gas transport, automated utility meter reading, remote Internet access and perimeter monitoring. CalAmp is among the leaders in the application of wireless communications technology to Smart Grid power distribution automation for electric utilities.

MRM wireless solutions include global positioning system (GPS) location, cellular data modems and programmable events-based notification firmware as key components, allowing customers to know where and how their assets are performing, no matter where those mobile assets are located. Commercial organizations, vehicle finance providers, city and county governments, and a range of other enterprises rely on CalAmp products and systems to optimize delivery of services and protect valuable assets. Applications include fleet management, asset tracking, student and school bus tracking and route optimization, stolen vehicle recovery, remote asset security, remote vehicle start, and machine-to-machine communications. In addition to functioning as an OEM supplier of location and communications hardware for MRM applications, CalAmp is a total solutions provider of turn-key systems incorporating location and communications hardware, cellular airtime and Web-based remote asset management tools and interfaces.

The Company competes with Motorola Solutions, GE-MDS, Freewave, Sierra Wireless, GenX, Spireon, Novatel Wireless-Enfora and Xirgo.


The Satellite segment develops, manufactures and sells DBS outdoor customer premise equipment and whole home video networking devices for digital and high definition satellite television (TV) reception. CalAmp's satellite products are sold primarily to ! EchoStar,! an affiliate of Dish Network.

The Company's DBS reception products are installed at subscriber premises to receive television programming signals transmitted from orbiting satellites. These DBS reception products consist principally of outdoor electronics that receive, process, amplify and switch satellite television signals for distribution over coaxial cable to multiple set-top boxes inside the home that can acquire, recognize and process the signal to create a picture.

The Company competes with Sharp, Wistron NeWeb Corporation, Microelectronics Technology, Pro Brand and Global Invacom.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Nathan Hamilton]

    With that in mind, Fool analysts Nathan Hamilton and Sean O'Reilly provide a primer on IoT. Nathan discusses its history while also touching upon both the IoT's potential and some of the technologies that companies such as Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) , Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR  ) , Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) , and Calamp (NASDAQ: CAMP  ) are developing.

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