Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Best Building Product Stocks To Watch For 2016

Best Building Product Stocks To Watch For 2016: Vanguard Consumer Staples Etf (VDC)

Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (the Fund), formerly known as Vanguard Consumer Staples VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class of Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund. The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Investable Market Consumer Staples Index (the Index). The Index is an index of stocks of large, medium and small United States companies in the consumer staples sector, as classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). This GICS sector is made up of companies whose businesses are less sensitive to economic cycles. It includes manufacturers and distributors of food, beverages and tobacco, as well as producers of non-durable household goods and personal products. It also includes food and drug retailing companies, as well as hypermarkets and consumer supercenters.

The Fund attempts to replicate the Index by investing a ll, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index. The Fund also may sample its target Index by holding stocks that, in the aggregate, are intended to approximate the Index in terms of key characteristics, such as price/earnings ratio, earnings growth and dividend yield.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Chris Versace, Editor, PowerTrend Brief and PowerTrend Profits]

    That, to me, says they're going to favor inelastic goods over elastic ones, so when you think of the things that we need each and every day, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, household cleansers, that sort of thing, that's what brings me into (XLP) and (VDC).

  • source from Top ! Stocks For 2015:http://www.topstocksblog.com/best-building-product-stocks-to-watch-for-2016.html

Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015

After searching for investments throughout the UK insurance sector, Rupert Hargreaves of The Motley Fool UK, has found one that, not only has had success over the past five years, but one he thinks is poised for even more success in the years to come.

Prudential (LSS:PUK) (NY:PUK) is one of the UK's most successful insurance companies, having been around since 1848, and nearly doubling its earnings during the past five years.

Targets for growth

What's more, Prudential is driving ahead with growth, and recently announced another four-year roadmap, aiming to expand the company's global footprint and increase cash generation. In particular, during the next four years, Prudential is planning to expand its Asian business, targeting profit growth of 15% per annum and 拢900m to 拢1.1bn in cash generation by 2017.

In addition, the company is expanding into new markets, most recently acquiring an insurer within Ghana, taking Prudential into sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. Prudential is also growing its footprint within Saudi Arabia. Alongside this growth, Prudential aims to generate 拢10bn in cash from operations during the next four years, that's one third of the company's current market capitalization.

Top 10 Healthcare Technology Companies To Invest In 2016: Indus Motor Company Ltd (INDU)

Indus Motor Company Limited is a Pakistan-based company mainly engaged in the manufacture of automobiles and trucks. The Company is a joint-venture between the House of Habib, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation for assembling, progressive manufacturing and marketing of Toyota-branded vehicles in Pakistan. It also acts as the sole distributor of Toyota-branded vehicles in Pakistan. In addition, the Company also acts as the sole distributor of Daihatsu-branded vehicles in Pakistan and has a license for assembling, progressive manufacturing and marketing of these vehicles in Pakistan. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    The average company in the Russell 2000 gets 84 percent of its sales from the U.S. and is valued at $972 million, compared with 55 percent and $152 billion for the Dow (INDU), data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015: Orix Corp Ads (IX)

ORIX Corporation provides financial solutions to corporate and retail clients. Its Corporate Financial Services segment engages in lending, leasing, and commission business for the sale of financial products. The company�s Maintenance Leasing segment is involved in automobile leasing, rental, and car sharing; lease and rental of precision measuring and information technology related equipment; and technical support, sale of software packages, calibration, and asset management. Its Real Estate segment develops and leases office buildings, commercial properties, logistics centers, and residential condominiums; and develops and operates hotels, Japanese inns, aquariums, golf courses, training and nursing care facilities, baseball stadiums, and theaters, as well as provides asset management and real estate finance, REIT asset management, and real estate investment advisory services. The company�s Investment and Operation segment engages in loan servicing, principal investmen t, merger and acquisition advisory, venture capital, and securities brokerage activities. Its Investment and Operation segment is involved in the collection and disposal of waste from end-of-lease assets; and renewable energy source operations, such as megasolar projects and roof top power generation, as well as invests in non-performing loans and private equity; and collects and manages commercial mortgage-backed securities. The company�s Retail segment engages in life insurance, banking, and card loan businesses. Its Overseas Business segment is involved in leasing, lending, investment in bonds, investment banking, and ship- and aircraft-related operations in the United States, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. ORIX Corporation has a strategic alliance with GT Capital Holdings Inc. and First Metro Investment Corporation. The company was formerly known as Orient Leasing Co., Ltd. and changed its name to ORIX Corporation in 1989. ORIX Corporation was founded in 1964 and is headqua rtered in Tokyo, Japan.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Robert Abbott]

    For OTEX, this includes five distinct groups of services:

    Enterprise Content Management (ECM), which includes records management, archiving, and email services Business Process Management (BPM), including software for analyzing and optimizing business processes Customer Experience Management (CEM), includes software that integrates internal and external content to enhance the ��ustomer experience�� Information Exchange (iX), "...a set of offerings that facilitate efficient, secure, and compliant exchange of information inside and outside the enterprise." Discovery, which includes the indexing, navigation, and retrieval of information in databases (for a fuller description of these segments, see the 10-K Report for 2014).

    As of June 30, 2014 it employed about 8,000, including 2,000 in cloud services, 1,900 in product development and 1,400 in sales and marketing.

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015: Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT)

Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on September 4, 2002, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat chronic liver diseases utilizing its bile acid chemistry.The Company�� product candidates treat orphan and more prevalent liver diseases for which there are limited therapeutic solutions. The Company�� product candidate, obeticholic acid, or OCA, is a bile acid analog, a chemical substance that has a structure based on a naturally occurring human bile acid. It is developing OCA initially for primary biliary cirrhosis, or PBC, as a second line treatment for patients who have an inadequate response to or who are unable to tolerate standard of care therapy and therefore need additional treatment. The Company is conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial of OCA in PBC, which it calls the POISE trial, that serves as the basis for seeking regulatory approval in the United States and Europe. As of December 19, 2012, the Company completed enrollment of the POISE trial with 217 patients.

The Company�� clinical focus is on the development of OCA, orally administered, first-in-class FXR agonist that has broad liver-protective properties and may a variety of chronic insults to the liver that cause fibrosis, which can eventually lead to cirrhosis, liver transplant and death. The Company owns worldwide rights to OCA outside of Japan and China, where it has licensed the compound to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, or DSP, and granted it an option to license OCA in certain other Asian countries.The Company is sponsoring an independent study involving more than ten leading PBC centers in North America and Europe, or collectively the Global PBC Study Group, that are pooling their long-term patient data to evaluate the relationship between biochemical and clinical endpoints.

The Company competes with Eli Lilly, Exelixis, Inc., Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG, , Johnson & Johnson, NovImmune SA, Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH, Galmed Medical Researc! h Ltd., Immuron Ltd., Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., NasVax Ltd. , Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., AstraZeneca, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Tioga Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) got a boost, shooting up 282.85 percent to $276.21 after the company reported that the FLINT trial of obeticholic acid has been stopped early and the NASH primary endpoint has been met.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) dropped 1.81% to $291.00 in pre-market trading after falling 3.66% on Thursday.

    Posted-In: PreMarket LosersNews Movers & Shakers Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015: Citigroup Inc.(C)

Citigroup, Inc., a global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a range of financial products and services. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The Citicorp segment operates as a global bank for businesses and consumers with two primary businesses, Regional Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. The Regional Consumer Banking business provides traditional banking services, including retail banking, and branded cards in North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Institutional Clients Group business provides securities and banking services comprising investment banking and advisory services, lending, debt and equity sales and trading, institutional brokerage, foreign exchange, structured products, cash instruments and related derivatives, and private banking; and transaction services consisting of treasury and trade solutions, and securiti es and fund services. The Citi Holdings segment operates Brokerage and Asset Management, Local Consumer Lending, and Special Asset Pool businesses. The Brokerage and Asset Management Business, through its 49% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture and Nikko Cordial Securities, offers retail brokerage and asset management services. The Local Consumer Lending business provides residential mortgage loans, retail partner card loans, personal loans, commercial real estate, and other consumer loans, as well as western European cards and retail banking services. The Special Asset Pool business is a portfolio of securities, loans, and other assets. Citigroup Inc. has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company was founded in 1812 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Grgurich]

    Really, you shouldn't have
    On Wednesday, the Financial Stability Oversight Council designated AIG a SIFI, or "systemically important financial institution." Other American financial giants currently designated SIFIs include Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) .�

  • [By John Grgurich]

    Three hours into trading, Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) is up by 2.1%, easily beating the market and its financial sector peers -- no surprise considering the strong second-quarter earnings the superbank reported this morning.

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015: Exterran Holdings Inc. (EXH)

Exterran Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides operations, maintenance, service, and equipment for oil and natural gas production, processing, and transportation applications. The company�s Contract Operations segment offers natural gas compression and production, and processing services, as well as engages in the engineering, procurement, and on site construction of natural gas compression stations and/or crude oil or natural gas production and processing facilities. As of December 31, 2011, this segment provided contract operations services primarily using a fleet of 8,485 natural gas compression units with an aggregate capacity of approximately 3,632,000 horsepower in North America; and a fleet of 1,063 units with an aggregate capacity of approximately 1,260,000 horsepower internationally. Its Aftermarket Services segment sells parts and components; and provides operation, maintenance, overhaul, and reconfiguration services for compression, productio n, treating, and oilfield power generation equipment. The company�s Fabrication segment engages in the design, engineering, installation, fabrication, and sale of natural gas compression units, and accessories and equipment used in the production, treatment, and processing of crude oil and natural gas; provision of engineering, procurement, and fabrication services primarily related to the manufacturing of critical process equipment for refinery and petrochemical facilities; and fabrication of tank farms, and evaporators and brine heaters for desalination plants. Its products include line heaters, oil and natural gas separators, glycol dehydration units, condensate stabilizers, dewpoint control plants, water treatment, mechanical refrigeration and cryogenic plants, and skid-mounted production packages designed for onshore and offshore production facilities. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    Although oil prices are at multi year lows, now�might be the time to start taking a closer look at�small cap gas compression or enhanced oil recovery (EOR) stocks like TETRA Technologies, Inc (NYSE: TTI), Exterran Holdings, Inc (NYSE: EXH) and Propell Technologies Group Inc (OTCBB: PROP)�as oil and natural gas prices will�inevitably rise once again. To start with, natural gas compression services are�needed to transport natural gas from low-pressure wells into gathering systems, storage and processing facilities�as well as to maintain production as reservoir pressure declines. In addition, compression services�are used to extract gas from�unconventional natural gas sources like shale plays. As for so-called enhanced oil recovery or EOR, its�a generic term for the techniques used for increasing the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from an oil field with these potential methods including steam flood and water flood injection�or hydraulic fracturing�(so-called fracking). Naturally,�demand for compression services and EOR technologies are impacted by (the temporary)�low oil and gas commodity prices and so are the share prices for publicly traded stocks in the space.

Top Asian Stocks To Invest In 2015: Chalmers Ltd (CHR)

Chalmers Limited is an Australia-based company engaged in transport, logistic services, warehousing and container storage, repairs and sales. The Company operated in three segments: Transport, Containers and Property. Transport consists of road transport, predominantly import/export FCL containers and the interface with logistics/ warehousing/hubbing services. Containers represent the empty container park operations concerned with handling, storage, repairs, upgrades, pretrips and so on of empty containers on behalf of shipping and leasing company customers. Property represents the capital investment Chalmers has in freeholds located in Melbourne. The Company�� subsidiaries include Chalmers Industries Pty Ltd, Chalmers (Australia) Pty Ltd and Chalmers Industries (Brisbane) Pty Ltd. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Chr. Hansen A/S (CHR) slid 1.7 percent to 186 kroner after Credit Suisse Group AG cut the stock to neutral, the equivalent of hold, from outperform. The brokerage said that profit from its natural-color business remains under pressure. The world�� biggest maker of dairy enzymes cut its full-year sales forecast on July 3 because of lower prices for the red pigment carmine.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hot Rising Companies To Watch In Right Now

Hot Rising Companies To Watch In Right Now: Spartan Stores Inc.(SPTN)

Spartan Stores, Inc. operates as a grocery distributor and retailer principally in Michigan and Indiana. The company operates in two segments, Distribution and Retail. The Distribution segment provides approximately 43,000 stock-keeping units, including dry groceries, produce, dairy products, meat, deli, bakery, frozen food, seafood, floral products, general merchandise, pharmacy, and health and beauty care items to approximately 375 independent grocery stores and 96 corporate-owned stores, as well as offers approximately 3,600 private brand grocery and general merchandise items. It also provides value-added services, including site identification and market analyses; store planning and development; marketing, promotion, advertising; technology and information; accounting and tax preparation; human resource; coupon redemption; product reclamation; printing; category management; real estate; and construction management services. The Retail segment operates 97 retail superma rkets in Michigan under the Glen?s Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Markets, VG?s Food and Pharmacy, and Valu Land names; and 25 fuel centers/convenience stores that offers refueling facilities, as well as immediately consumable products under the Glen?s Quick Stop, Family Fare Quick Stop, D&W Fresh Markets Quick Stop, and VG?s Quick Stop names. Its retail supermarkets offer dry groceries, produce, dairy products, meat, frozen food, seafood, floral products, general merchandise, beverages, tobacco products, health and beauty care products, delicatessen items, and bakery goods, as well as pharmacy services. This segment also provides private brand items, including its Spartan brand; Fresh Selections; Top Care, a health and beauty care brand; Valu Time, a value brand; Full Circle, a natural and organic brand; and Paws, a pet supplies brand. The company was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Advisors' Op! inion:
  • [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 Spartan Stores (Nasdaq: SPTN  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:http://www.seekpennystocks.com/hot-rising-companies-to-watch-in-right-now-2.html

Thursday, June 18, 2015

U.S. Stocks Rise Amid Plunge in Home Sales, Fed Gathering

U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index posting its first two-day rally in three weeks, as investors watched Federal Reserve officials for signals on stimulus cuts after data showed home sales plunged.

Microsoft Inc. rallied 7.3 percent after Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said he would retire within 12 months. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. added 1.2 percent after the shares slid the most in more than four months following a trading disruption yesterday. D.R. Horton Inc. sank 2.9 percent to pace declines in an index of homebuilder stocks. Pandora Media Inc. slumped 13 percent as its sales forecast missed estimates.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.4 percent to 1,663.47 at 4 p.m. in New York. The gauge added 1.3 percent in the past two sessions in the first back-to-back advance since Aug. 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.62 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,010.36. About 4.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, 21 percent below the three-month average.

"The macro picture is very important," Jim Russell, the senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said in an interview from Cincinnati. His firm oversees $110 billion. "Investors are trying to figure out how markets will respond to rising rates and what it will mean for the consumers and the business climate. This weekend's meeting in Jackson Hole is a focus although we don't expect big announcements."

The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent this week, snapping a run of two losing weeks, as investors weighed whether the economy is strong enough to prompt the Fed to curb its monthly bond purchases. Minutes from the central bank's July meeting released Aug. 21 showed almost all policy makers agreed with plans to slow the pace if the economy continues to improve in line with forecasts.

Fed Debate

Three Fed regional bank presidents, who spoke today from a monetary policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, differed over the timing for reducing the bond buy! ing, with one backing a tapering next month if the economy remains strong and two others saying policy makers should take time to assess economic data.

"We can take our time" on slowing purchases, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said. San Francisco's John Williams told CNBC he wants to "taper our purchases later this year" if the economy doesn't flag, while Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart said he "would be supportive" of slowing purchases next month if the expansion holds up.

Best Energy Stocks To Watch Right Now

Data today from the Commerce Department showed purchases of new U.S. homes plunged in July by the most in more than three years and previous months were revised down, a sign that growth in the industry may be taking a pause as mortgage rates rise. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes have risen toward a two-year high.

'Little Softer'

"Home sales are a big part of this recovery story in the U.S.," Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation for ING Investment Management, which oversees $180 billion, said in an interview. "The fact that there are rising interest rates looks like it may be starting to bite into new home sales. That's probably going to cause the economy be a little softer in the second half."

The monetary support helped push the S&P 500 (SPX) up as much as 153 percent from its March 2009 low. Speculation about the stimulus has whipsawed stocks since May, when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who is not at the conference, first indicated cuts could start this year.

The S&P 500 tumbled 5.8 percent from a record high on May 21 through June 24. It then rebounded as much as 8.7 percent to close at its latest record of 1,709.67 on Aug. 2. The index closed today 2.7 percent below the all-time high.

Volatility Gauge

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped 5.3 percent to 13.98! . The equ! ity volatility gauge fell 2.7 percent in the past five days to halt two consecutive weeks of advances.

Nasdaq halted trading of its listed stocks for three hours yesterday because a computer problem left some investors without quotes and the company did not want to have "information asymmetry," Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld said in interviews today.

Nasdaq shares rose 1.2 percent to $30.83 after retreating 3.4 percent yesterday. The exchange operator will probably not have to spend large sums on damages, Wells Fargo & Co. analysts led by Christopher Harris wrote in a note. Nasdaq suspended trading in the stocks, so investors probably didn't lose money as a result of mismanaged orders.

Greifeld told CNBC that Nasdaq has "no liability" from the outage and said yesterday's share decline was a buying opportunity.

Ballmer Exit

Microsoft rallied 7.3 percent to $34.75 for the biggest gain in the Dow. Ballmer, who has struggled to adapt to an era of declining personal-computer sales, will retire after more than a decade leading the world's largest software maker.

Autodesk Inc. jumped 7.7 percent, the most since October 2011, to $38.91. The software maker was upgraded to buy from neutral by B Riley & Co. after its sales and profit topped estimates in the second quarter.

The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index sank 3.1 percent, with all 11 members declining. PulteGroup Inc. retreated 1.6 percent to $16.06 and D.R. Horton slid 2.9 percent to $18.73.

Pandora Media slumped 13 percent to $18.91, its steepest slide this year. The biggest online radio service forecast third-quarter profit that will miss analysts' estimates as the company invests to expand its sales staff.

Top 10 Retail Stocks To Own Right Now

Top 10 Retail Stocks To Own Right Now: Burberry Group PLC (BURBY)

Burberry Group plc (Burberry) is a holding company. The Company designs and sources luxury apparel and accessories, selling through a diversified network of retail (including digital), wholesale and licensing channels worldwide. The Companys Retail/wholesale channel is engaged in the sale of luxury goods through Burberry mainline stores, concessions, outlets and digital commerce, as well as Burberry franchisees, prestige department stores globally and multi-brand specialty accounts. The Companys retail channel includes approximately 206 mainline stores, 214 concessions within department stores, digital commerce and 49 outlets. The Companys wholesale channel includes sales to department stores, multi-brand specialty accounts, Travel Retail and franchisees who operates approximately 65 Burberry stores. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Reuters]

    Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBurberry Group CEO Angela Ahrendts. LONDON -- Christopher Bailey, the designer credited with restoring the cachet to fashion brand Burberry, is to become chief executive next year when long-standing boss Angela Ahrendts will move to Apple. The 157-year-old British fashion house, famous for its camel, red and black check pattern, said Tuesday that Ahrendts would step down by mid-2014 after which Bailey would combine his role as chief creative officer with chief executive. News the 42-year-old Yorkshireman would hold both positions sparked concern among some analysts that he might be taking on too much, and sent shares in the group down 6 percent in early trading, valuing the business at 6.6 billion pounds. "There will undoubtedly be relief that Mr. Bailey, the driving force behind the brand for the last 12 years, is staying," Morgan Stanley (MS) said in a note to clients. "But we anticipate some investor concern about combining the chief creative officer and CEO roles, which are both time consuming and require very different skill se! ts." Ahrendts, who has been Burberry (BURBY) boss for eight years, during which time its share price has soared about 250 percent, will take up a newly created position at Apple as a senior vice president with oversight of retail and online stores. She will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Ahrendts will be looking to do better than the last chief executive of a British company who left London to join Apple (AAPL) -- John Browett who quit Dixons to lead the iPad and iPhone maker's global retail expansion in 2012. He left six months later. Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 and has held the major creative role for six years, helping to rebuild the group after it became a victim of its own success in the 1990s when its trademark pattern was embraced by the mass market, losing its appeal to its core wealthy clientele. Under Ahrendts and Bailey, the group has refocused on the luxury market, inc

  • [By Charles Riley]

    2. Shop some more: While most sellers on Taobao are small businesses, big brands are found on Tmall, a marketplace Alibaba launched in 2008. Retailers including Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Gap (GPS), Marks & Spencer, Esprit (ESHDF) and Burberry (BURBY) all operate storefronts on the website.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:http://www.seekpennystocks.com/top-10-retail-stocks-to-own-right-now-3.html

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hot Cheapest Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Hot Cheapest Stocks To Invest In Right Now: EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM)

EQT Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream assets in the Appalachian Basin. The Company provides substantially all of its natural gas transmission, storage and gathering services under contracts with fixed reservation and/or usage fees. The Company focuses its operations in the Marcellus Shale fairway in southern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. It provides midstream services to EQT Corporation in the Appalachian Basin across 22 counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through its two primary assets: its transmission and storage system, which serves as a header system transmission pipeline, and its gathering system, which delivers natural gas from wells and other receipt points to transmission pipelines.

Equitrans Transmission and Storage System

As of December 31, 2011, the Companys transmission and storage system included an approximately 700 mile FERC-regulated interstate pipeline system that connects to five interstate pipelines and multiple distribution companies, and it is supported by 14 associated natural gas storage reservoirs with approximately 400 million cubic feet per day of peak withdrawal capability and 32 billion cubic feet of working gas capacity. As of December 31, 2011, its transmission assets had total throughput capacity of approximately 1.0 trillion British thermal units per day.

Equitrans Gathering System

The Companys gathering system consists of approximately 2,100 miles of FERC-regulated low-pressure gathering lines that have multiple delivery interconnects with its transmission and storage system and a gathering and interstate pipeline system owned and operated by Dominion Transmission, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Rounding out the top five wereHi-Crush Partners(NYSE: HCLP), another supplier of fracking sand (+71 percent),EQT Midstream Partners(NYSE: EQ! M), a midstream provider in the Appalachian Basin (+66.5 percent), andValero Energy Partners(NYSE:VLP) (+61.5 percent), which consists of midstream assets dropped down from the refinerValero Energy(NYSE:VLO).

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    EQT Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: EQM) has everything the Oppenheimer team is looking for: low-risk, fee-based contracts in an attractive region, low financial leverage, high distribution growth and coverage and a supportive parent with assets to sell. Oppenheimer has a $55 price target for the stock. The Thomson/First Call estimate is at $54. Investors are paid a 3.4% distribution which Oppenheimer thinks may grow to 4.3% in 2014. Remember, MLP distributions may include return of principal.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:http://www.seekpennystocks.com/hot-cheapest-stocks-to-invest-in-right-now.html

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Real Crisis in Employer-Provided Health Insurance

One of objections that opponents of Obamacare give against the landmark health care legislation is that employers will have an incentive to drop the health insurance coverage that millions of workers currently receive as employee benefits. Yet even before Obamacare became law, the trend among employers was to offer health insurance to fewer employees, leading to increased stress on families seeking to protect themselves against potentially catastrophic health care costs.

In particular, a recent study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute looked at the question of workplace-provided health insurance coverage. With its examination of trends in recent years, the EBRI confirmed what has long been a known fact: that the cost of health insurance is the key determining factor in whether employees choose coverage. Let's take a closer look at the study and its implications for your insurance coverage going forward.

2 key trends in health insurance
The EBRI study focused on two different measures of health insurance coverage. First, the study looked at the percentage of workers with employer-provided health benefits. Then, it turned to the reasons that those who weren't covered cited in explaining why they went without insurance coverage.

On the first topic, trends toward a smaller percentage of workers having employer-based health benefits have been in place for well over a decade. After peaking above 80% in 1999 and 2000, the percentage of people having any employer-based source of insurance coverage -- whether in their own name or by being a qualifying dependent on another person's policy -- has fallen steadily ever since, with levels declining to the low 70% range as of early last year. In particular, coverage in workers' own names has fallen dramatically in recent years, with the 60.4% in December 2007 falling to just 54.7% as of October 2011.

Those figures suggest that more employers have been pulling back on offering health insurance benefits to their workers. Yet in the second part of the survey, the experience of uninsured workers strongly contradicts that hypothesis, pointing instead to cost considerations as being paramount in the decision to go uncovered.

In particular, the EBRI found that as recently as 2001, roughly 40% of uninsured workers claimed that their employers didn't offer them health benefits. Yet by the end of 2011, that figure had declined almost in half, to 22%.

Access therefore might not be the issue. But what nearly 90% of uninsured workers say is that even if they're eligible for employer-provided health insurance, its cost is too high for them to accept it. Cost has always been a major consideration for those who go uninsured, with figures since 1995 routinely falling within the 70% to 90% range, but cost has been particularly important in the years since the 2008 recession.

Why the uninsured are so important
One big question that Obamacare proponents and opponents are wrestling with right now is the extent to which these uninsured workers will get coverage under new health care laws. On one hand, the individual mandate requires most people to obtain coverage. Yet if cost truly is the problem, Obamacare provides an exception to the mandate that exempts those for whom the cost of care is prohibitive.

That in turn could create a problem for hospital companies. Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC  ) , Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH  ) , and Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA  ) have all seen their share prices jump sharply as investors grow increasingly excited about the prospects of uninsured Americans getting mandated coverage under Obamacare. The hope is that by having more people insured, these hospital companies will lose less in uncovered health care expenses they incur when they treat uninsured patients.

As a result, much will depend on government subsidies to help low-income workers bridge the gap between available coverage and affordable coverage. If subsidies don't succeed, then the real crisis in employer-provided health insurance could well continue -- and hospital stocks could give back much of their gains.

Top 10 Recreation Stocks To Own For 2016

Still confused about how Obamacare might affect you and your portfolio? The Motley Fool's special report "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare" takes a 360-degree look at how the law may impact your taxes, health insurance, and investments. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Tune in every Monday and Wednesday for Dan's columns on retirement, investing, and personal finance. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger.

Hot Healthcare Technology Stocks To Own For 2016

Hot Healthcare Technology Stocks To Own For 2016: CSP Inc.(CSPI)

CSP Inc. engages in the development and marketing of information technology (IT) integration solutions and high-performance cluster computer systems to industrial, commercial, and defense customers worldwide. The company operates in two segments: Systems, and Service and System Integration. The Systems segment designs and manufactures specialty, high-performance computer signal processing systems for the aerospace and defense markets. These systems are used on land, and in airborne and shipboard platforms for high-speed digital signal processing in radar, sonar, and surveillance applications. The Service and System Integration segment consists of the computer maintenance and integration services, and third-party computer hardware and software value added reseller businesses. It also provides professional IT consulting services, including maintenance and technical support; implementation, integration, configuration, and installation services; enterprise security intrusion p revention, network access control, and unified threat management services; IT security compliance services; custom software applications and solutions development and support; and monitoring, reporting, and management of alerts for the resolution and preventive general IT and IT security support tasks. This segment offers its solutions and services for IT environments, including storage and servers, unified communications solutions, IT security solutions, and consulting services. The company markets its products and services through direct sales force, distributors, and resellers. CSP Inc. was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Laura Brodbeck]


    Earnings Expected From: Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSPI), Verifone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) Economic Releases! Expected: Japanese trade balance, New Zealand current account, US current account, US CPI


  • source from Top Stocks For 2015:http://www.topstocksblog.com/hot-healthcare-technology-stocks-to-own-for-2016.html

Friday, June 12, 2015

Top 10 Oil Service Stocks To Own Right Now

Top 10 Oil Service Stocks To Own Right Now: Dolby Laboratories Inc (DLB)

Dolby Laboratories, Inc., incorporated in 1967, develops and delivers products and technologies that are used in the entertainment industry. Its audio technologies are used throughout the global entertainment industry. It is developing and marketing video technologies to improve the quality of video presentation. Its offerings include video products aimed at the cinema market, such as its digital cinema server, its Dolby three-dimensional (3D) Digital Cinema products, and its Dolby PRM-4200 Professional Reference Monitor. It offers products and services to content creators, such as studios, broadcasters, and downloadable content service providers to encode content using Dolby's technologies. As of September 24, 2010, the Company sold its products and provide services in over 85 countries. In addition, it has licensed its technologies to CE manufacturers and to software vendors in 40 countries, which in turn distribute their products incorporating its technologies through out the world.

The Company designs and manufactures video and audio products for the film production, cinema, and television broadcast industries. Distributed in over 60 countries, these products are used in content creation, distribution and playback to improve image and sound quality, provide surround sound, and increase the efficiency of sound storage and distribution. Its product sales are derived from sales of its digital 3D products, which provide 3D capabilities, as well as sales of digital cinema servers that load, store, decrypt, and decode encrypted digital film files for presentation on digital projectors in theaters. Revenue is also derived from sales of its traditional cinema processors, which movie theaters use to process film soundtracks, and from sales of broadcast products used to encode and distribute content to viewers. It also ! offers related digital cinema processors and media adapters to decode digital cinema soundtracks, and digital cinema accessories that allow exhibitors to integrate its digital ! cinema servers with their existing automation systems.

The Company offers a variety of services to support film production, television broadcast and music production. The Company enters into service agreements with motion picture studios or filmmakers to provide them with production services related to the preparation of a Dolby soundtrack, such as equipment calibration, mixing room alignment and equalization. Dolby provides other services, such as print quality control, professional film mastering services to prepare movies for digital release, and theatre system calibration for important screenings, such as premieres, film festivals, and press screenings. Its engineers also provide training, system design consultation and onsite technical expertise to cinema operators throughout the world to help them configure their screening rooms and equipment to ensure that movies are replayed with consistent high quality.

The Company's technologies include dolby digital, dolby digital plus, dolby digital surround EX, dolby digital EX, advanced audio coding (AAC), HE AAC, dolby pulse, dolby trueHD, dolby E, dolby digital live, dolby pro logic II, dolby pro logic II(x), dolby pro logic IIz, dolby virtual speaker, dolby headphone, dolby mobile, dolby axon, PC entertainment experience (PCEE), dolby digital stereo creator, dolby digital 5.1 creator, dolby volume, dolby contrast, dolby vision and analog signal processing technologies. Its products include traditional cinema processors, digital cinema products, digital 3D products, digital media adapters, broadcast products and professional reference monitor.

Traditional cinema processors are used to read, decode and play back a film's soundtrack and calibrate the sound system in a movie theater. Digital cinema products are used for digital cinem! a encodin! g, distribution and playback. Our digital cinema server is used to load, store, decrypt, decode and re-encrypt dig ital film files for presentation on a digital cinema project! or. We al! so provide products that encrypt, encode and package digital films, and digital cinema processors to decode digital cinema soundtracks. Digital 3D products deliver a 3D image with an existing digital cinema server and white screen, providing exhibitors a flexible 3D solution. Its Dolby 3D glasses feature high-quality multicoated lenses with a special curvature that delivers 3D images.

Digital media adapters are used to adapt existing analog cinema audio systems to the latest digital audio technologies. Broadcast products are used to encode, transmit and decode multiple channels of high-quality audio for Digital Television (DTV) and high-definition television (HDTV) program production and broadcast distribution and to measure the subjective loudness of audio content within broadcast programming. Professional reference monitor is a video monitor used during the production and post-production of cinematic and video content in situations, where grade one reference performance is required.

The Company competes with Audyssey Laboratories, DTS, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Microsoft, Philips, RealNetworks, Sonic Solutions, Sony, SRS Labs, Thomson, Barco, Doremi, GDC, IMAX, MasterImage 3D, NEC, Panavision, QSC Audio Products, Qube Cinema, REAL D, Technicolor, Texas Instruments, USL, XpanD and DTS.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sue Chang]

    Dolby Laboratories (DLB) : "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is presented in Dolby Surround 7.1. The stock is up 28% so far in 2013.

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Price's new buys in the quarter were Oenok (OKE), Dolby Labs (DLB) and T-Mobile (TMUS). I don't find any of those particularly excit! ing at cu! rrent levels, but I'm willing to acknowledge that Michael Price is a lot smarter than I am and probably sees value I am missing in these stocks. What I find much more interesting was that Price was doing a lot more selling than buying in the third quarter.

  • source from Top Stocks For 2015:http://www.topstocksblog.com/top-10-oil-service-stocks-to-own-right-now-3.html

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is publicly traded on an exchange called Fantex. Will his holdout hurt his value? NEW YORK (CNNMoney) If a famous CEO suddenly decided to not show up for work until he or she got a new contract, wouldn't you seriously consider dumping that company's shares?

That may be the dilemma facing owners of a stock tied to the value of star football player Vernon Davis, who missed his team's mandatory minicamp this week.

Davis, the Pro Bowl tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, is listed on Fantex, a relatively new exchange that lets investors (and presumably lots of sports fans) track the financial performance of athletes.

There are SEC filings and everything. This is not fantasy football.

Fantex paid Davis $4 million upfront in exchange for 10% of what Fantex calls "future brand income." That includes what he earns on the gridiron as well as other off-field activities such as endorsements ... and potentially broadcasting after his career is over. So what an investor is getting from buying the stock is an investment that tracks the Fantex financial cut of its relationship with Davis.

Top 5 Penny Companies To Invest In 2016: PGT Inc.(PGTI)

PGT, Inc. engages in the manufacture and supply of residential impact-resistant windows and doors. The company offers impact-resistant products, including heavy-duty aluminum or vinyl frames with laminated glass to provide protection from hurricane-force winds and wind-borne debris. It also provides a range of non-impact-resistant aluminum and vinyl frame windows and doors; Architectural Systems line of products, which offer protection from hurricane-force winds and wind-borne debris for mid-and high-rise buildings; and non-glass vertical and horizontal sliding panels for porch enclosures, such as vinyl-glazed and aluminum-framed products used for enclosing screened-in porches that provide protection from inclement weather. The company markets its products under the WinGuard, PremierVue, PGT Architectural Systems, Eze-Breeze, and SpectraGuard brand names. PGT, Inc. offers its products to residential new construction, and home repair and remodeling end markets through windo w distributors, building supply distributors, window replacement dealers, and enclosure contractors. It operates in the southeastern United States, the Gulf Coast, Coastal mid-Atlantic, the Caribbean, Central America, and Canada. The company was formerly known as JLL Window Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to PGT, Inc. in January 2004. PGT, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is based in North Venice, Florida.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    A larger-than-previously announced block of PGT's (NASDAQ: PGTI  ) shares is up for grabs. Major stockholder JLL Partners Fund has increased the size of its sale; it is now offering an even 10 million shares in an underwritten secondary public offering priced at $7.75 per share. Also, the issue's underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.65 million shares from the seller.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    There's no foolproof way to know the future for PGT (Nasdaq: PGTI  ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: Fluidigm Corporation(FLDM)

Fluidigm Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of microfluidic systems for growth markets in the life science and agricultural biotechnology (Ag-Bio) industries. The company?s proprietary microfluidic systems consist of instruments and consumables, including chips (integrated fluidic circuits) and reagents. Its technology enables customers to perform and measure various biochemical reactions on samples smaller than the content of a single cell by utilizing minute volumes of reagents and samples; and rapid preparation of multiple samples in parallel for next generation DNA sequencing. The company?s products include the BioMark HD system, which performs high-throughput gene expression analysis using real-time and end point PCR, SNP genotyping, single-cell analysis, and digital PCR using TaqMan, EvaGreen dye, and other chemistries; The EP1 System that performs end point PCR and is commonly used in production settings for Ag-Bio, digital PCR, and copy number variation experiments using TaqMan, EvaGreen dye, and other chemistries; and the Access Array system that enables automated sample preparation and tagging for next generation DNA sequencers. The company serves pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, diagnostic laboratories, and Ag-Bio companies. Fluidigm Corporation distributes its instruments and supplies through direct field sales and support organizations in North America, Europe, and Japan; and through distributors or sales agents in parts of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. The company was formerly known as Mycometrix Corporation and changed its name to Fluidigm Corporation in April 2001. Fluidigm Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

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 Fluidigm (Nasdaq: FLDM  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Fluidigm doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 24.0%, and inventory increased 14.4%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue expanded 32.8%, and inventory increased 14.4%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks worrisome. Revenue dropped 7.2%, and inventory grew 2.8%.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Fluidigm (NASDAQ: FLDM  ) , a manufacturer of microfluidic systems for the biotech, pharmaceutical, and academic research sectors, shot higher by as much as 14% after reporting its first-quarter-earnings results.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: Grupo Aeromexico SAB de CV (AEROMEX*)

Grupo Aeromexico SAB de CV is a Mexican holding company primarily engaged in the provision of passenger and cargo air transport services. It offers destinations in Mexico, the United States, Europe, Central and South America, Asia and Canada. It operates a fleet of over 110 aircrafts. The Company is primarily engaged in the passenger transportation segment, comprising regional, domestic and international routes, and package holidays; as well as in cargo transportation segment, handled mainly by its subsidiary Aeromexico Cargo. By its subsidiaries the Company is also engaged in real estate sector and in providing services to the aviation companies, including personnel training, management, and aircraft maintenance and modification. Its subsidiaries include Aerovias de Mexico SA de CV, Premier Loyalty & Marketing SAPI de CV, and Inmobiliaria Avenida Fuerza Aerea Mexicana 416 SA de CV, among others. In addition, it is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jonathan Levin]

    Volaris became Mexico�� second publicly traded carrier, after larger competitor Grupo Aeromexico SAB (AEROMEX*) sold stock in 2011. Airlines in Mexico have expanded into a void left when Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion, then largest based on passenger traffic, sought protection from creditors and ceased operations in 2010.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: Coronado Biosciences Inc (CNDO)

Coronado Biosciences, Inc., incorporated on June 28, 2006, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel immunotherapy biologic agents for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. The Company�� two principal pharmaceutical product candidates in clinical development include Trichuris suis ova or CNDO-201 (TSO) a biologic comprising of the microscopic eggs of the porcine whipworm, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn�� disease (Crohn��), ulcerative colitis (UC) and multiple sclerosis (MS), and CNDO-109, a compound that activates natural killer (NK) cells of the immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells, for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In January 2011, the Company acquired the OvaMed GmbH License.


TSO is the microscopic eggs of a parasitic helminth, or worm, that is found in pigs. In September 2011, the Company filed an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it initiated a single dose, dose escalation study in patients with Crohn�� in February 2012. The Phase 1 clinical trial was a multi-center, sequential dose-escalation, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the primary objective of which was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of TSO. The trial enrolled 36 patients with Crohn�� ranging in age from 20 to 54 with an equal distribution of male and female patients in three single dose cohorts of orally administered 500, 2500 and 7500 ova. Each cohort had 12 patients, with nine patients receiving TSO and three receiving placebo.


CNDO-109 is a lysate (disrupted CTV-1 cells, cell membrane fragments, cell proteins and other cellular components) that activates donor NK cells. CTV-1 is a leukemic cell line recently re-classified as a T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The Company has worldwide rights to develop and commercialize CNDO-109 activated NK cells for the treatment of cancer fro! m UCLB. In February 2012, the Company submitted an IND for the CNDO-109 activated NK cell product in the United States. The treatment of patients with CNDO-109 activated NK cells involves several steps. The activated NK cells are infused into the patient after resting NK cells are incubated with CNDO-109 for at least eight hours. Preparation of CNDO-109 activated NK cells takes about 24 hours from start to finish.

The Company competes with Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.�� Remicade , UCB S.A.�� Cimzia, Abbott Laboratories��Humira, Biogen Idec�� Avonex, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals��Betaseron, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Ltd.�� Copaxone and Novartis AG�� Gilenya.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    Honorable mentions go out to Coronado Biosciences (CNDO), after its CEO Harlan Weisman and Jay Lobell, a longtime director, joined forces and bought 20,000 shares for $152,100; and to Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) after CFO Geoffrey Parker bought 33,000 shares for $224,300. InsiderScore noted that Parker�� purchase was his largest to date and called it a ��ompelling positive event.��/p>

  • [By Ben Fox Rubin]

    Biopharmaceutical firm Coronado Biosciences Inc.(CNDO) said a recent pilot study found that the first five patients using its potential autism treatment showed statistically significant separation from placebo, in favor of the drug. The treatment was also well-tolerated. The study is still ongoing. Shares jumped 26% to $2.25 premarket.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: Reinsurance Group of America Inc (RGA)

Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) is an insurance holding company. RGA is engaged in the reinsurance of individual and group coverages for traditional life and health, longevity, disability income, annuity and critical illness products, and financial reinsurance. During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 65.8% of the Company�� net premiums were from its operations in North America, represented by its United States and Canada segments. Its subsidiaries include RGA Reinsurance Company (RGA Reinsurance), Reinsurance Company of Missouri, Incorporated (RCM), RGA Reinsurance Company (Barbados) Ltd. (RGA Barbados), RGA Americas Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (RGA Americas), RGA Atlantic Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (RGA Atlantic), RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada (RGA Canada), RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia, Limited (RGA Australia) and RGA International Reinsurance Company (RGA International). The Company has five geographic-based operational segments: United States, Canada, Europe & South Africa, Asia Pacific and Corporate and Other. On January 1, 2012, it dissolved its United Kingdom reinsurance subsidiary and transferred its business to RGA International, the Company�� Ireland-based subsidiary, to better manage capital resources.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company has operation in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, People�� Republic of China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The Company provides reinsurance products to the life insurance companies worldwide. The Company obtains its revenues through reinsurance agreements, which cover a portfolio of life and health insurance products, including term life, credit life, universal life, whole life, group life and health, joint and last survivor insurance, critical illness, disability income, as well as annuities and financial reinsurance.


United States Operations

During 2011, the United States operations represented 54.4% of the Company�� net premiums. The United States operations market traditional life and health reinsurance, reinsurance of asset-intensive products, and financial reinsurance, primarily to the United States life insurance companies. The United States Traditional sub-segment provides life and health reinsurance to domestic clients for a range of products through yearly renewable term agreements, coinsurance, and modified coinsurance. Premiums vary for smokers and non-smokers, males and females, and may include a preferred underwriting class discount. Reinsurance premiums are paid in accordance with the treaty. Automatic reinsurance treaty provides that the ceding company will cede risks to a reinsurer on specified blocks of policies where the underlying policies meet the ceding company�� underwriting criteria. The United States facultative reinsurance operation involves the assessment of the risks inherent in multiple impairments, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes; cases involving policy face amounts, and financial risk cases, which include cases involving policies disproportionately in relation to the financial characteristics of the proposed insured. During 2011, approximately 20.4% of the United States gross premiums were written on a facultative basis.

Canada Operations

During 2011, the Canada operations represented 11.4% of the Company�� net premiums. During 2011, approximately 85.2% of the recurring new business was written on an automatic basis. The Company operates in Canada through RGA Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary. RGA Canada is a life reinsurer in Canada, based on new individual life insurance production. It assists clients with capital management and mortality and morbidity risk management and is primarily engaged in traditional individual life reinsurance, as well as creditor, group life and health, critical illness, and longev! ity reins! urance. Creditor insurance covers the outstanding balance on personal, mortgage or commercial loans in the event of death, disability or critical illness and is shorter in duration than traditional life insurance. Clients include the life insurers in Canada.

Europe & South Africa Operations

During 2011, the Europe & South Africa operations represented 16.3% of the Company�� net premiums. This segment serves clients from subsidiaries, licensed branch offices and/or representative offices located in France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. These offices operate primarily through the Company�� subsidiaries RGA International and RGA South Africa. The principal types of reinsurance for this segment include life and health products through yearly renewable term and coinsurance agreements, the reinsurance of critical illness coverage, which provides a benefit in the event of the diagnosis of a pre-defined critical illness and the reinsurance of longevity risk related to payout annuities. The reinsurance agreements of critical illness coverage may be either facultative or automatic agreements. Premiums earned from critical illness coverage represented 20.5% of the total net premiums for this segment during 2011. During 2011, the United Kingdom operations generated approximately 62.9% of the segment�� gross premiums.

Asia Pacific Operations

During 2011, the Asia Pacific operations represented 17.8% of the Company�� net premiums. The Company has a presence in the Asia Pacific region with licensed branch offices and/or representative offices in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Labuan (Malaysia) and the People�� Republic of China. The principal types of reinsurance for this segment include life, critical illness, health, disability income, superannuation, and financial reinsurance. Superannuation is the Australian government mandated c! ompulsory! retirement savings program. Superannuation funds accumulate retirement funds for employees, and in addition, offer life and disability insurance coverage. Reinsurance agreements may be either facultative or automatic agreements covering primarily individual risks and, in some markets, group risks. During 2011, the Australian operations generated approximately 52.3% of the total gross premiums for the Asia Pacific operations. The Hong Kong, Labuan, Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea offices provide full reinsurance services and are supported by the Company�� United States and International Division Sydney office.

Corporate and Other

Corporate and Other operations include investment income from invested assets not allocated to support segment operations and undeployed proceeds from the Company�� capital raising efforts, in addition to unallocated investment related gains or losses. Corporate expenses consist of the offset to capital charges allocated to the operating segments within the policy acquisition costs and other insurance expenses line item, unallocated overhead and executive costs, and interest expense related to debt. In additionally, Corporate and Other includes results from, among others, RGA Technology Partners, Inc. (RTP), a wholly owned subsidiary that develops and markets technology solutions for the insurance industry and the investment income and expense associated with the Company�� collateral finance facilities.

The Company competes with Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, SCOR Global Re, Berkshire Hathaway and Generali.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, life and health reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN)

Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (the Bank) is a Turkey-based financial services company. The Bank provides retail, commercial, corporate and small and medium size enterprises (SME) banking, leasing, insurance, asset management and factoring services. Other operation heading under the banking segment include mainly treasury and investment banking activities as well as unallocated income and expense items. It has a network of 822 domestic branches, seven foreign branches, three representative offices abroad and 104 offices. In addition to its branches, the Bank has 100% ownership in three banks each of which is located in Amsterdam, Bucharest and Moscow. The Bank and its affiliates operate principally in Turkey, but also have operations in the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Malta, Luxembourg and Germany. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Halia Pavliva]

    Turkiye Garanti (GARAN) Bankasi AS, the largest Turkish lender by market value, led gains on the Borsa Istanbul National 100 Index, which rose 1.5 percent. Garanti climbed 1.3 percent after slumping 4.1 percent to the lowest level since Sept. 13 yesterday. The government is selling $1.25 billion of five-year Islamic bonds today, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

  • [By Ian Sayson]

    Russia�� Micex Index declined, trimming its weekly gain to 2.5 percent. OAO Mechel, the nation�� biggest producer of coal for steelmakers, slumped 1.7 percent. The Borsa Istanbul National 100 Index sank 2 percent as Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN) led losses in lenders. Benchmark gauges in the Czech Republic and Hungary declined at least 1.2 percent.

  • [By Julia Leite]

    The Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange National 100 Index climbed from a six-month low. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was ready to listen to the demands of anti-government protesters. The lira strengthened for the first time in three days and bonds gained. Lenders Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN) and Akbank T.A.S. added at least 3.2 percent.

10 Best Income Stocks For 2015: LSB Industries Inc (LXU)

LSB Industries, Inc., incorporated on January 21, 1977, is a diversified holding company involved in manufacturing and marketing operations through its subsidiaries. The Company together with its wholly owned subsidiaries owns Chemical Business and Climate Control Business. Chemical Business manufactures and sells nitrogen-based chemical products produced from four facilities located in El Dorado, Arkansas; Cherokee, Alabama; Pryor, Oklahoma, and Baytown, Texas for the agricultural, industrial, and mining markets. Climate Control Business manufactures and sells a range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) products in the niche markets the Company serves consisting of geothermal and water source heat pumps, hydronic fan coils, large custom air handlers, modular geothermal and other chillers and other related products used to control the environment in commercial/institutional and residential new building construction, renovation of existing buildings and replacement of existing systems. On October 31, 2012, Zena Energy LLC acquired working interests in certain natural gas properties located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, within the Marcellus Shale.

Chemical Business

The Company�� products in the Chemical Business include high purity and commercial grade anhydrous ammonia for industrial and agricultural applications, industrial and fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (AN), urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), sulfuric acids, nitric acids in various concentrations, nitrogen solutions, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and various other products. The Company�� Chemical Business is a supplier to chemical and industrial companies. Its other products include anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate ammonia solution for agricultural applications, blended and regular nitric acid, mixed nitrating acids, and industrial grade AN and solutions for the mining industry. The Company sells hese agricultural products to farmers, ranchers, fertilizer dealers and distributors primarily in the ran! ch land and grain production markets in the United States. The Company�� Chemical Business establishes long-term relationships with wholesale agricultural distributors and retailers and also sells directly to agricultural end-users through its network of wholesale and retail distribution centers. The Company�� Chemical Business manufactures and sells industrial acids and other chemical products primarily to the polyurethane, paper, fibers, fuel additives, emission control, and electronics industries. Its Chemical Business is also a niche market supplier of industrial and high purity ammonia for many specialty applications, including the reduction of air emissions from power plants.

Climate Control Business

The Company�� Climate Control Business manufactures and sells a range of standard and custom designed geothermal and water source heat pumps and hydronic fan coils, as well as custom air handlers and modular chiller systems, including modular geothermal chillers and simultaneous heating and cooling modules. These products are for use in commercial/institutional and residential HVAC systems. Its products are installed in some of the commercial/institutional developments in the United States, including the Prudential Tower, Rockefeller Plaza, Trump Tower, Time Warner Center and many others. In addition, it has presence in the lodging sector with installations in numerous Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons, Starwood, Ritz Carlton and Hilton hotels, among others. Its Climate Control Business manufactures and distributes its products from seven facilities located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Company also provides geothermal heat pumps in residential and commercial/institutional applications. Its products are sold to the commercial/institutional markets, as well as single and multi-family residential new construction, renovation and replacements. The Company is a provider of hydronic fan coils targeting commercial and institutional markets. It manufactures its products in many! sizes an! d configurations, as required by the purchaser, to fit the space and capacity requirements of hotels, motels, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, office buildings and other commercial/institutional or residential structures. The Climate Control Business sells its products primarily to mechanical contractors, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors. Its Climate Control Business market includes commercial/institutional and residential new building construction, renovation of existing buildings and replacement of existing systems.

The Company competes with Agrium, CF Industries, Coffeyville Resources, Dyno Nobel, Koch, Potash Corporation, Yara International, Carrier, Trane, Nortek, McQuay, and Bosch.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    LSB Industries (LXU) manufactures and sells geothermal and water source heat pumps and air handling products and chemical products. This stock closed up 4.6% at $33.72 in Friday's trading session.

    Friday's Volume: 543,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 147,784

    Volume % Change: 252%

    From a technical perspective, LXU ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $31.45 and back above its 50-day moving average of $32.51 with heavy upside volume. This stock also flirted with its 200-day moving average at $35.22, before closing just below that level at $33.72.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LXU as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 200-day at $35.22 to Friday's high of $36 with volume that's near or above 147,784 shares. If we get that move soon, then LXU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $40.37 to $42.79.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    With a market cap of only $893 million, it's not like LSB Industries, Inc. (NYSE:LXU) is the kind of company that garners a ton of attention. On the other hand, over the past several months, LXU has garnered far more attention than it likely wanted. The turbulence seems to be mostly behind it, however, and though the stock is now overbought thanks to the proverbial clearing of the dust, for long-haul investors, LSB Industries may be worth a closer look.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hot Media Companies To Own In Right Now

Hot Media Companies To Own In Right Now: Time Warner Cable Inc(TWC)

Time Warner Cable Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a cable operator in the United States. It offers video, high-speed data, and voice services over its broadband cable systems to residential and commercial customers. The company provides a range of video services, including on-demand, high-definition (HD), and digital video recorder (DVR) services; residential high-speed data services with connection to the Internet; wireless mobile broadband Internet services; and digital phone services to residential customers. It offers video programming tiers and music services; high-speed data, networking, and transport services; and commercial digital phone service to small and medium-sized businesses under the Time Warner Cable Business Class brand. Further, Time Warner Cable Inc. sells advertising to various national, regional, and local customers. As of June 30, 2011, the company served approximately 14.5 million residential and commercial customers in the New Yor k State, the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California, and Texas. Time Warner Cable Inc. is based in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:

    Time Warner Cable is a provider of video, high-speed data, and voice services to a large customer base across the nation. The company is planning strategic acquisitions in order to grow its network. The stock has been on a bullish run and is now trading at all-time high prices. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenue figures have been on the rise, however, investors in the company have had mixed feelings about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Time Warner Cable has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for Time Warner Cable to OUTPERFORM.

  • [By Brian Stelter]

    Theoretical distributors include theater chains like AMC and Regal, if they're willing to reverse their prior decision; cable video-on-de! mand operators like Comcast (CCV) and Time Warner Cable (TWC); subscription streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon (AMZN, Tech30); and movie rental services like iTunes by Apple (AAPL, Tech30).

  • [By Tim Brugger]

    Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) , Comcast, and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR  ) , have all been on the other side of the Internet subscriber fence. Phone companies such as AT&Tand Verizon began losing customers to these and other cable Internet providers some time ago, largely because of speed and connectivity issues. And now along comes Google Fiber with an alternative that blows the doors off anything Comcast, Time Warner, or Charter can offer, and often for the same or less money. If the cable industry isn't worried, it should be.

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, Comcast (CMCSA), consider yourself flattered, because Time Warner Cable (TWC) is copying off your homework. A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Comcast's "Great New Secret Cable Plan" to try to halt the exodus of subscribers from its services. The Comcast plan allows subscribers to sign up for: A menu of 45 or so of the most-watched, most useful cable channels The premium pay-TV channel HBO -- plus included HBO GO service for mobile devices High-speed Internet access at speeds up to 25 Mbps A subscription to XFINITY Streampix, Comcast's service for streaming video of complete seasons of popular television shows from recent years past... ... all for the low, low price of just $40 or $50 a month (depending on location). The plan was "secret" because Comcast didn't make much of an effort -- or really effort -- to publicize it. There's hardly even a mention of the plan on the company's website. In other words, it seems like Comcast would prefer to keep the new plan hush-hush so you continue paying for one of their more expensive bundles. However, word of Comc! ast's und! er-the-radar new plan get out -- nearly 5,500 DailyFinance readers printed, emailed, commented on, Tweeted, or Facebooked our story on Comcast's "Internet Plus" bundle last month. So Comcast competitor Time Warner did what any good competitor does: It copied the model and, this week, began offering a similar plan of its own: Dubbed "Starter TV with HBO," Time Warner's plan is an even more slimmed-down version of Comcast's idea. It features: "20+" cable channels, including the five biggies -- ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS HBO and HBO GO and... well, actually, that's about it. At $30 a month, Time Warner handily undercuts Comcast's Internet Plus offer on price. And yet, it's hard not to wonder if customers aren't still overpaying. For one thing, Time Warner's Starter TV with HBO offer

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:http://www.seekpennystocks.com/hot-media-companies-to-own-in-right-now.html

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Disney Is Staying on Its Toes

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) recently announced layoffs and the closure of LucasArts, a strange move for a company reaching 52-week highs and recording solid profits. But this shows that CEO Bob Iger isn't allowing the company to rest on its laurels and that he's thinking strategically about what Disney will look like a decade from now. Erin Miller sat down with Fool contributor Travis Hoium to see just why this focus on execution makes Disney a buy today. 

It's easy to forget that Walt Disney is more than just the House of Mouse. True, Disney amusement parks around the world hosted more than 121 million guests in 2011. But from its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, much of Disney's allure for investors lies in its diversity, and The Motley Fool's premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. So don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Phase 1 Data is Worth $550 Million!?

Arena Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ: ARNA  )  stock jumped 76% Wednesday after the company released clinical trial data on its autoimmune drug APD334. And it's up a little more today.

On one hand, the jump is a reflection of how little confidence investors have in the biotech's obesity drug, Belviq. Before Wednesday's spike, shares were down 66% since Belviq was approved in 2012.

ARNA Chart

While good news certainly deserves some kind of boost to the stock price, that 76% gain is equal to a $550 million increase in Area's market cap. That would be fine if this was phase 3 data, giving investors confidence the Food and Drug Administration would approve the drug. You could maybe even justify that kind of increase in value from phase 2 proof-of-concept data.

But this was data from a phase 1b trial. Sure, there was some efficacy data -- thus the "b" added to the phase 1 nomenclature -- but this trial still only involved 50 healthy volunteers who received APD334.

APD334 is designed to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and other autoimmune diseases, but we don't have any direct information on how well the drug might help them. All we can say is that APD334 decreased the lymphocyte (white blood cells) count by up to 69% in the healthy volunteers.

APD334 is a modulator of sphingosine 1-phosphate subtype 1, or S1P1. Drugs such as Novartis' (NYSE: NVS  ) Gilenya, which is in this class, are thought to work by retaining lymphocytes in the lymph nodes so they don't attack other tissue. Lowering patients' lymphocyte counts in the blood is clearly a sign APD334 is doing what it's supposed to.

In fact, the company thinks the data in healthy volunteers are a solid proof of concept.

"Lymphocyte lowering at the level demonstrated in this trial has been shown to correlate with clinical efficacy in phase 2 and phase 3 trials of other S1P1 modulators in multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis," said William R. Shanahan, Arena's senior vice president and chief medical officer, in a press release announcing the trial results.

While the phase 1b trial data lower the risk of the drug failing later in the clinic, investors should keep in mind that safety issues can still crop up in later, larger trials. Arena did not see any serious adverse events in the 50 healthy volunteers, but Gilenya has warnings on its label about the potential for heart problems, infections, and liver damage.

Valuing a pipeline
While I'm not convinced the phase 1b data were worthy of a $550-million increase in Arena's value, the biotech doesn't look all that overvalued at about $1.3 billion, either. Call Wednesday's increase more of a return to the ballpark of proper value than an outlandish increase.

Unlike the other two obesity drug makers -- VIVUS and Orexigen -- Arena has a decent pipeline of drugs in development. In addition to APD334, Arena Pharmaceuticals has three other drug candidates, including ralinepag for pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is also ready to go into phase 2 trials.

There's also the potential to increase sales of Belviq by either having it approved for use with a generic obesity medication called phentermine or as a drug to help people stop smoking. It has shown promise in both indications, although more trials will need to be completed before it can be approved for either.

1 great healthcare stock to buy for 2015 and beyond
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Faster Growth Looks to Stay for Awhile

At last, the plodding nag that has been the economy for the past five years has been coaxed into a trot. Second-quarter GDP is expected to be revised upward to close to 5% at an annual rate. In the second half of the year, the pace should reach an average of 3.3%.

See Also: Kiplinger's Economic Outlooks

What's more, the beast gives every appearance of keeping up a healthier pace—about 3% a year—for the next few years. That will allow businesses to finally shift their focus from controlling costs to growing revenue by expanding. Business and consumer confidence have been on a strong upward path this year. Job openings have surged. Employment is growing at a better rate, and hence incomes are as well. That will boost consumer spending, which will, in turn, drive more business investment and further employment and income growth. This virtuous cycle—the force that drives most economic expansions—is the most basic reason for the upshift now. But there are other factors as well.

The worst of government austerity has probably passed, at least for several years. The federal deficit won't start to grow again, renewing pressure on the government budget, until 2019 and later. Tight fiscal policy has been a drag on the economy in the past few years. In addition, new initiatives to combat the growing threat of Islamist terrorism could increase defense spending a bit.

Housing has to perk up, probably in the not-too-distant future. There is a huge latent demand for new housing: The homeownership rate has fallen back to the level of the 1990s, as if the housing boom of the last decade had never happened. And there are 4.9 million 25- to 34-year-olds still living with their parents, about 1 million more than in 2007, before the recession. Moreover, building activity will pick up in response to the strong uptick in prospective buyer traffic and tight inventories. When that happens, it'll give the economy an additional shot in the arm. The housing sector typically generates significant job growth when it is doing well (an estimated 3½ to 4 jobs for every single-family home start).

Household balance sheets are strong—probably one of the reasons for the surprisingly strong spending on motor vehicles since late 2012. Debt service is down. During the past few years of extraordinarily low interest rates, many households refinanced their mortgages, locking in lower rates. Delinquency rates on auto loans and credit cards are very low. And the foreclosure crisis is nearly over in most states (the exceptions being states such as Florida and New Jersey with slow judicial systems). Household net worth is above pre-recession levels. That's important because although consumers spend much less out of their wealth than out of their income, wealth reduces the need to save more out of current income. Indeed, the average saving rate has declined from 7.2% in 2012 to 5.3% now, in large part because of the stock market surge that began in late 2012.

Finally, banks are well capitalized, and the financial system is in decent shape. Loan losses and new delinquencies are back to pre-recession levels, including those on new mortgages. Commercial and industrial lending is very strong. Lending of all types, except for home equity lines of credit, is growing again.

There are two main risks of a trip-up going forward. The first is that when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in the next few years it creates a headwind that impedes growth. The Fed, however, seems committed to not allowing higher interest rates to become too much of a drag. Fed chair Janet Yellen consistently emphasizes that the amount of slack that is left in the economy, not an artificial timetable, will determine Fed policy.

The second risk arises from the slowdown in growth around the rest of the world—Europe, Japan, China and other emerging economies—though there are signs that it may stabilize. A U.S. that is growing faster than the rest of the world will pull those economies along. But it will do so at the cost of a bigger trade deficit—slower growth in exports and more growth in imports that may substitute for some domestic production. This could diminish U.S. growth by half a percentage point or so. However, a small beneficial consequence of the relative strength of the U.S. economy would be that investors around the world will continue to see the U.S. as the world's safe haven and pour money into it, thus slowing the expected rise in U.S. interest rates a bit.

Neither risk is particularly great, and the current business expansion is likely to be a long one. Business expansions don't die of old age. They expire when overheating forces the Federal Reserve to throw cold water on the fire; when structural imbalances in an important sector, such as housing, develop; or when an outside force delivers a shock, such as a spike in oil prices. While any of these is possible, none is likely for the forseeable future.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Against the Tide: Why Some Family Offices are Deciding to Become Hedge Funds

In the past, hedge funds provided investors with a way to invest large amounts of money without much government regulation. In the past few years, government scrutiny into hedge funds has increased enormously. As a result, some of America's largest hedge funds have opted to shrink away from the powers that be by becoming "family offices." But, even in the face of increased federal oversight, there are some entities that are doing just the opposite. Indeed, some family offices are bucking the trend by becoming hedge funds that can seek out new clientele and invest with a wide range of investor capital.The more common move to shift from hedge fund to closed family office was popularized by large hedge funds and hedge fund managers like George Soros (Trades, Portfolio), Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), and Steve Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors (now Point72 Asset Management). Some estimates suggest that there are over 1,000 different family offices throughout the nation. The Dodd-Frank Act went into full effect in 2010, causing many hedge fund managers to rethink their positions.Going Against the TrendSeveral family offices are going against the trend by becoming hedge funds fully open to new investors. Although popular discourse has suggested that this is a negative move, many family-office-to-hedge-fund conversions are based on sound business planning.The legitimacy of switching from a hedge fund to a family office is generally only applicable in situations where the hedge fund manager controls extensive capital. For instance, George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) was able to start his family office with a hefty $24 billion to invest. Of course, as a family office, the Soros Fund Management LLC cannot solicit outside investors or manage any money that does not belong to the Soros family.For family offices that do not have $24 billion in capital to work with, remaining in business as a family office limits their investment options. Thus, the small undercurrent of family offices opening their doors isn'! t exactly a negative for most operations.Who Are These Hedge Funds?Although few in number, family offices turned hedge funds have been popping up over the last few years. Cube Global Opportunities Fund, for example, began operation in 2009 as a family office. During that time, they focused on event investments (like mergers or other big developments). Despite new legal regulations in the US, the Cayman Islands-registered fund decided to offer its services to outside investors in 2012. The legislation had already taken effect and notable hedge funds had already switched to family office operations.Yet, the Cube Global Opportunities Fund opted to shift gears and become a hedge fund. At the time of their founding, Cube managed over $100 million in assets—a considerable amount but still a far cry from George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) territory. They thought the best way to increase capital was by offering their services to a wider variety of investors.Another family office following in Cube's footsteps is the Lion Star Fund. It started in 2006 as the Lion Star Family Fund with a comparatively small $500,000 initial investment. The New York-based family office is making its shift to ahedge fund this year.Registered in the British Virgin Islands, the new Lion Star Fund is only accepting clients outside of the US. This is an effort to avoidregulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In their eight years of operation as a family office, the Lion Star Family Fund was able to earn over $10 million on the original $500,000 investment. Their main areas of investment include metals, currencies, and developed countries' indices.Numerous other funds have made the switch in recent years, including Cornwall Capital and Pacific Venture Investments. All of these former family offices made the switch as a way to operate a larger amount of investment capital.In many cases, the switch from family office to hedge fund produces positive results for most everyone involved. Of course, the relatively rece! nt introd! uction of the Dodd-Frank legislation and the fact that many of its regulations aren't being fully enforced may be factors that limit the effectiveness of some of these ventures. Most family offices have a leg up on start-up hedge funds, however. The fact that they maintain existing capital and have made successful business decisions prior to becoming open to outside investors gives them a better background with more experience. They also, of course, have a solid framework for managing and investing money.Also check out: George Soros Undervalued Stocks George Soros Top Growth Companies George Soros High Yield stocks, and Stocks that George Soros keeps buyingAbout the author:muhammadbazilMuhammad Bazil is a financial journalist and editor for a variety of websites, public policy organizations, and book publishers. He has written hundreds of published articles and blog posts on topics including budgeting, credit management, real estate and investing. His articles have been featured on the homepage of Yahoo!, MSN and numerous local news websites.

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