jesadaphorn When it comes to gifts from the Internet of Things department, there's no jolly guy in a white-trimmed red suit with a bag full of presents, no magic reindeer clip-clopping on the roof. In fact, it's far more likely that you'll never discern the pitter-pat of digital feet when you connect that IoT gift to your WiFi -- whether it belongs to members of a marketing team, cyber thieves or your garden-variety voyeur. You know what I mean here. I'm talking about the new smart everything: televisions, various household help such as thermostats and water heaters, garage door openers, alarms, lights, medical devices, fitness wearables and baby monitors with many more connected devices coming early and often to a store near you. You're Letting Spies Inside You've hopefully heard this before with regard to your Facebook (FB) account and other social media sites, but it bears repeating: Whenever you are offered something free of charge or for a negligible fee, assume that you are the product. Often you are unwittingly pitching the product to acquaintances who are likely to buy the same thing -- this goes for all those products that ask to share information about your new acquisition on social media upon registration -- or you are helping the service that you just subscribed to (by purchasing their device) to perfect itself. In a perfect world, this would be ... well, perfect. In the real world, IoT is still in the Wild West stage of its evolution. Indeed, smaller companies are rushing IoT products to market in a mad dash to beat bigger brands that have more at stake when it comes to security and therefore roll out new products and services with more deliberation and caution. As a result, you can't always be so sure that your data is going to be safe. Over the past few years, we've learned the hard way that there is no such thing as too safe or secure when it comes to cybercrime, and there are a whole host of organizations out there -- both big and small -- that are doing a miserable job of protecting you.
10 Best Canadian Stocks To Buy For 2015: Eagle Materials Inc (EXP)
Eagle Materials Inc., incorporated on January 27, 1994, manufactures and distributes gypsum wallboard and also manufactures and sells cement. Gypsum wallboard is distributed throughout the United States with particular emphasis in the geographic markets nearest to its production facilities. The Company sells cement in six regional markets, including northern Nevada and California, the greater Chicago area, the Rocky Mountain region, the Central Plains region and Texas. Its gypsum wallboard business is supported by its recycled paperboard business, while its cement business is supported by its concrete and aggregates business. The Company operates in Cement and Concrete and Aggregates, and Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Paperboard segments. As of March 31, 2013, the Company operated six cement plants (one of which belongs to its joint venture company), five gypsum wallboard plants, one recycled paperboard plant, seventeen concrete batching plants and four aggregates facilities. The Company�� products are used in the construction and renovation of houses, roads, bridges, commercial and industrial buildings and other, newer generation structures like wind farms.
Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Operations
The Company�� cement production facilities are located in or near Buda, Texas; LaSalle, Illinois; Laramie, Wyoming; Sugar Creek, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fernley, Nevada. The Company�� cement subsidiaries are wholly-owned except the Buda, Texas plant, which is owned by Texas Lehigh Cement Company LP, a limited partnership joint venture owned 50% by the Company and 50% by Lehigh Cement Company LLC, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement AG. Its LaSalle, Illinois plant operates under the name of Illinois Cement Company; the Laramie, Wyoming plant operates under the name of Mountain Cement Company; the Fernley, Nevada plant operates under the name of Nevada Cement Company and its Sugar Creek, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma plants operate under the name Central Plains Cement Com! pany. The Company produces and distributes ready-mix concrete from Company-owned sites north of Sacramento, California; Austin, Texas and the greater Kansas City area. The Company�� activities in its frac sand business are in the Utica, Illinois area and in south Texas. The Company sells aggregates to building contractors and other customers engaged in a variety of construction activities.
Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Paperboard Operations
The Company owns five gypsum wallboard manufacturing facilities. As of March 31, 2013, the Company�� gypsum wallboard production totaled 1,950 million square feet. Total gypsum wallboard sales were 1,909 million square feet during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 (fiscal 2013). The Company also manufactures alternative products, including containerboard grades (such as linerboard and medium) and lightweight packaging grades (such as bag liner). In addition, recycled industrial paperboard grades (tube/core stock and protective angle board stock) are produced to maximize manufacturing efficiencies. The Company�� manufactured recycled paperboard products are sold to gypsum wallboard manufacturers and other industrial users.
The Company competes with USG Corporation, National Gypsum Company and Koch Industries.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Top decliners in the sector included Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), off 6.3 percent, and Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP), down 4.3 percent.
Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) announced its plans to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: FURX) for up to $1.46 billion. Forest will pay around $95 per share, or around $1.1 billion in cash. Forest Labs will also pay up to $30 per share, or around $360 million in a contingent value right. The deal is projected to close in the second or third quarter of 2014.
5 Best Construction Material Stocks To Invest In 2014: Ply Gem Holdings Inc (PGEM)
Ply Gem Holdings, Inc. (Ply Gem Holdings), incorporated on January 23, 2004, is a manufacturer of residential exterior building products in North America. The Company operates in two segments: Siding, Fencing, and Stone and Windows and Doors. These two segments produce a product line of vinyl siding, designer accents, cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim, vinyl fencing, vinyl and composite railing, stone veneer and vinyl windows and doors used in both new construction and home repair and remodeling in the United States and Western Canada. It also manufactures vinyl and aluminum soffit and siding accessories, aluminum trim coil, wood windows, aluminum windows, vinyl and aluminum-clad windows and steel and fiberglass doors, enabling it to bundle complementary and color-matched products and accessories with its core products. The Company�� subsidiaries includes including Ply Gem Industries, MWM Holding, AWC Holding Company, MHE, and Pacific Windows. On July 30, 2012, Ply Gem acquired substantially all of the assets of Greendeck Products, LLC.
Siding, Fencing, and Stone Segment
In the Siding, Fencing, and Stone segment, its principal products include vinyl siding and skirting, vinyl and aluminum soffit, aluminum trim coil, J-channels, wide crown molding, window and door trim, F-channels, H-molds, fascia, undersill trims, outside/inside corner posts, rain removal systems, injection molded designer accents, such as shakes, shingles, scallops, shutters, vents and mounts, vinyl fence, vinyl and composite railing, and stone veneer. It sells its siding and accessories under its Variform, Napco, Mastic Home Exteriors, and Cellwood brand names and under the Georgia-Pacific brand name through a private label program. It also sells its Providence line of vinyl siding and accessories to Lowe�� under its Durabuilt private label brand name. Its vinyl and vinyl-composite fencing and railing products are sold under its Kroy and Kroy Express brand names. Ply Gem Holdings stone veneer produ! cts are sold under its United Stone Veneer brand name.
The Company sells the siding and accessories to specialty distributors (one-step distribution) and to wholesale distributors (two-step distribution). Its specialty distributors sell directly to remodeling contractors and builders. Its wholesale distributors sell to retail home centers and lumberyards who, in turn, sell to remodeling contractors, builders and consumers. In the specialty channel, it has developed a network of approximately 800 independent distributors, serving over 22,000 contractors and builders nationwide.
Windows and Doors Segment
In the Windows and Doors segment, its principal products include vinyl, aluminum, wood and clad-wood windows and patio doors, and steel, wood, and fiberglass entry doors that serve both the new home construction and the repair and remodeling sectors in the United States and Western Canada. Its products in its Windows and Doors segment are sold under the Ply Gem Windows, Great Lakes Mastic by Ply Gem, and Ply Gem Canada brands.
The Company competes with Alsco, Gentek, U.S. Fence, Homeland, Westech, Bufftech, Royal, Azek., Eldorado Stone, Coronado Stone, Jeld-Wen, Simonton, Pella and Andersen, MI Home Products, Atrium, Weathershield, Milgard, Jeld-Wen, Gienow, All Weather and Loewen.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Traders Reserve]
There hasn�� been a January effect rally in shares of Ply Gem (PGEM). In fact, it has been quite the opposite. Shares are down a whopping 25% during the month. For a stock I rated as on of the Top 10 Sizzling Stocks, such a move is painful, but not disastrous. Sizzling Stocks are meant to be held for the duration of the year and we have 11 months to go. Small-cap stocks like Ply Gem can move sharply one direction or the other.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE: PGEM) shares reached a new 52-week low of $11.48 after the company reported wider-than-expected Q4 loss and issued a weak Q1 revenue forecast.
5 Best Construction Material Stocks To Invest In 2014: Holcim Ltd (HOLN)Holcim Ltd (Holcim) is a Switzerland-based holding company that specializes in the manufacture, distribution and marketing of building materials. The Company operates four business segments, including Cement, Aggregates, Other construction materials and services, and Corporate. The Cement segment is engaged in the development of cement and comprises clinker and other cementitious materials, among others. The Aggregates business segment includes crushed stone, gravel and sand. The Other construction materials and services business segment comprises ready-mix concrete, concrete products, asphalt, construction and paving, and trading, among others. Additionally, other construction materials and services segment provides environmental services, including waste management, among others. The Corporate segment is engaged in holding activities and general management. It operates through subsidiaries in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa and Middle East regions. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) lost 0.9 percent to 68.15 francs in Zurich. Bank of America Corp.�� Merrill Lynch unit cut its rating on the world�� largest cement maker to underperform, similar to a sell recommendation, from neutral. Merrill Lynch cited the company�� exposure to emerging markets.
5 Best Construction Material Stocks To Invest In 2014: CEMEX SAB de CV (CX)
CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (CEMEX), incorporated on January 20, 1931, is a global cement manufacturer with operations in North America, Europe, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Company is a holding company engaged through the operating subsidiaries in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and clinker. As of December 31, 2009, the Company�� cement production facilities were located in Mexico, the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Latvia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Egypt, the Philippines and Thailand.
The Company manufactures cement through a closely controlled chemical process, which begins with the mining and crushing of limestone and clay, and, in some instances, other raw materials. The clay and limestone are then pre-homogenized, a process which consists of combining different types of clay and limestone. The mix is typically dried, then fed into a grinder, which grinds the various materials in preparation for the kiln. The raw materials are calcined, or processed, at a very high temperature in a kiln, to produce clinker. Clinker is the intermediate product used in the manufacture of cement.
Ready-mix concrete is a combination of cement, fine and coarse aggregates, admixtures (which control properties of the concrete including plasticity, pumpability, freeze-thaw resistance, strength and setting time), and water. The Company is a supplier of aggregates primarily the crushed stone, sand and gravel, used in virtually all forms of construction.
During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Mexican operations represented approximately 21% of the Company�� net sales. CEMEX Mexico is a direct subsidiary of CEMEX and is both a holding company for some of the operating companies in Mexico and an operating company involved in the manufacturing and ma! rketing of cement, plaster, gypsum, groundstone and other construction materials and cement by-products in Mexico. CEMEX Mexico, indirectly, is also the holding company for the international operations. The Company owns Tolteca, Monterrey, Maya, Anahuac, Campana, Gallo, and Centenario brands in Mexico. As of December 31, 2009, the Company owned 100% of CEMEX Mexico.
The Company competes with Holcim Ltd., Sociedad Cooperativa Cruz Azul, Cementos Moctezuma, Grupo Cementos Chihuahua and Lafarge Cementos in Mexico.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company�� operations in the United States represented approximately 19% of the Company�� net sales. As of December 31, 2009, the Company held 100% of CEMEX, Inc. As of December 31, 2009, CEMEX had a cement manufacturing capacity of approximately 17.9 million tons per year in the United States operations. As of December 31, 2009, the Company operated 14 cement plants located in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. As of December 31, 2009, it also had 48 rails or water served active cement distribution terminals in the United States. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had 336 ready-mix concrete plants located in the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington and aggregates facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
As of December 31, 2009, the operations in Spain represented approximately 5% of the Company�� net sales. As of December 31, 2009, the Company held approximately 99.8% of CEMEX Espana, the main operating subsidiary in Spain. The cement activities in Spain are conducted by CEMEX Espana. The ready-mix concrete activities in Spain are conducted by Hormicemex, S.A., a subsidiary of CEMEX Espana, and the aggregates activities in Spain ar! e conduct! ed by Aricemex S.A., also a subsidiary of CEMEX Espana.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company�� operations in the United Kingdom represented approximately 8% of the Company�� net sales. As of December 31, 2009, it held 100% of CEMEX Investments Limited, the holding subsidiary in the United Kingdom. The Company is a provider of building materials in the United Kingdom with vertically integrated cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and asphalt operations. It is also a provider of concrete and precast materials solutions, such as concrete blocks, concrete block paving, roof tiles, flooring systems and sleepers for rail infrastructure.
The Company competes with Lafarge, Heidelberg, Tarmac, and Aggregate Industries in the United Kingdom.
As of December 31, 2009, the operations in the Rest of Europe consisted of the operations in Germany, France, Ireland, Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Austria and Hungary, as well as the other European assets. The Company is a provider of building materials in Germany, with vertically integrated cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and concrete products operations (consisting mainly of prefabricated concrete ceilings and walls). It maintains a network for ready-mix concrete and aggregates in Germany. As of December 31, 2009, the Company held 100% of CEMEX Deutschland AG, the holding subsidiary in Germany.
The Company competes with Heidelberg, Dyckerhoff, Lafarge, Holcim and Schwenk in Germany.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company held 100% of CEMEX France Gestion (S.A.S.), the holding subsidiary in France. It is a ready-mix concrete producer and aggregate producer in France. As of December 31, 2009, the Company operated 239 ready-mix concrete plants in France, one maritime cement terminal located in LeHavre, on the northern coast of France, 20 land distribution centers and 42 aggregates quarries.
The Company competes with Lafarge, Holcim, Italcementi, Vicat, Lafarge, Italcementi, Colas (Bouygues) and Eurovia (Vinci) in France.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company held approximately 61.2% of Readymix Plc, the operating subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland. The operations in Ireland produce and supply sand, stone and gravel, as well as ready-mix concrete, mortar and concrete blocks. As of December 31, 2009, we operated 43 ready-mix concrete plants, 27 aggregates quarries and 15 block plants located in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. The Company imports and distributes cement in the Isle of Man.
The Company competes with CRH, the Lagan Group and Kilsaran in the Republic of Ireland.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company held 100% of CEMEX Polska Sp. z.o.o. (CEMEX Polska), the holding subsidiary in Poland. It is a provider of building materials in Poland serving the cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates markets. As of December 31, 2009, CEMEX operated two cement plants and one grinding mill in Poland, with a total installed cement capacity of three million tons per year. As of December 31, 2009, the Company also operated 39 ready-mix concrete plants and nine aggregates quarries in Poland. As of December 31, 2009, the Company also operated 10 land distribution centers and two maritime terminals in Poland.
The Company competes with Heidelberg, Lafarge, CRH and Dyckerhoff in Poland.
Southeast European Operations
As of December 31, 2009, the Company held 100% of CEMEX Hrvatska d.d. (Hrvatska), the operating subsidiary in Croatia. As of December 31, 2009, it operated three cement plants in Croatia, with an installed capacity of 2.4 million tons per year. As of December 31, 2009, the Company also operated ten land distribution centers, three maritime cement terminals, eight ready-mix concrete facilities and one aggregates quarry! in Croat! ia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By GuruFocus]
George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) just reported his first quarter portfolio. He buys Citrix Systems Inc, Baker Hughes Inc, Comcast Corp, Spansion Inc, etc during the 3-months ended 03/31/2014, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Soros Fund Management LLC. As of 03/31/2014, Soros Fund Management LLC owns 305 stocks with a total value of $10.1 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.New Purchases: BHI, CODE, CTRP, CLI, AVB, COMM, CNQ, AGO, AUY, ATML, ASH, BXMT, CSTM, AEM, CMA, ARE, CHKP, AUQ, BEAV, CX, ADSK, AALCP, BLK, AIG, BIIB, ADEP, AMRI, ARWR, ATHX, BALT, BCRX, BEAT, CFX, CLFD, CUR, CODE,Added Positions: CTXS, CMCSA, CNP, ALTR, BRCD, CBS, CRM, CHTR, CCJ, CIEN, BIDU, ALLE, ABT, CDNS, ACT,Reduced Positions: AAPL, CCI, AMT, ABBV, AAL, BITA, AL, ANGI, ARIA, CBST, BA, BIRT, EXAR,Sold Out: C, BAC, CRI, AMZN, AGN, CF, BRCM, COTY, BMY, AMCX, CAR, A, ADBE, AFL,For the details of George Soros (Trades, Portfolio)'s stock buys and sells, go to http://www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=George+SorosThis is the sector weightings of his portfolio:Technology18.9%Energy14%Healthcare8.3%Consumer Defensive8.2%Communication Services8.1%Consumer Cyclical5.4%Industrials5.1%Basic Materials4.9%Financial Services2.5%Real Estate1.9%Utilities0.5%These are the top 5 holdings of George Soros (Trades, Portfolio)1. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA) - 10,310,041 shares, 5.4% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 10.67%2. Herbalife Ltd (HLF) - 4,901,337 shares, 2.8% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 52.9%3. EQT Corp (EQT) - 2,573,814 shares, 2.5% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 3.27%4. Adecoagro SA (AGRO) - 25,915,076 shares, 2.1% of the total portfolio.5. Halliburton Co (HAL) - 3,596,353 shares, 2.1% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 20.73%New Purchase: Baker Hughes Inc (BHI)George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) initiated holdings in Baker Hughes Inc. His purchase prices were between $51.82 and $65.27, with an estimated
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Even now, though, it's far from clear whether the recent rebound has staying power. Earlier this month, peer Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC ) reported 5% lower shipments of aggregates, although rising prices helped offset the impact, and the company noted double-digit-percentage increases in shipments to hot housing areas including Arizona, California, and Florida. Similarly, Cemex (NYSE: CX ) posted a substantial loss for its March quarter on with 5% lower revenue, but the Mexican company pointed to strength in the U.S. and Asian markets as offsetting weakness in Mexico, Europe, and Latin America.