When Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM)�U.S. sales collapsed four years ago, and did not make any recovery for three, most industry analysts blamed recalls and the effects of the 2011 Japan earthquake on production. In addition, and probably as important as the other two, there was the rise of the South Korean car industry, which offered Americans what Japanese models once did — low prices with good quality. The fortunes of manufacturers have turned sharply. Japan’s leader, Toyota, has gained back much of its share. Hyundai’s share has fallen.
New forecasts for August cars sales from KBB show that Toyota’s market share will stay at 14.7%, the same as August a year ago. That would put it virtually tied with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), which currently holds the second spot behind General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM). Toyota will sell 214,000 cars and trucks this month, up 13.5% . Hyundai and its sister brand Kia will show a sales improvement of only�7.1%. That figure seems impressive at first, but it is not compared to an expected improvement of 13.6%, to an August total of 1.46 million, for the entire industry.
Top 5 Gas Companies To Own In Right Now: Oxford Resource Partners LP(OXF)
Oxford Resource Partners, LP, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production of steam coal and surface mined coal in the United States. It holds interests in approximately 21 active surface mines that are managed as 8 mining complexes located in Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin to serve its primary market area of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The company sells its coal primarily to utilities with coal-fired, base-load scrubbed power plants under long-term coal sales contracts, as well as to municipalities, cooperatives, and industrial customers. Oxford Resource Partners, LP was founded in 1985 and is based in Columbus, Ohio.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Robert Rapier]
1. Oxford Resource PartnersThe coal industry in the US has been badly battered over the past few years. Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF) was a casualty, as the unit price fell 73 percent in 2013. The biggest problem for this producer of coal in the northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin was that it had to suspend cash distributions in January in response to continued weakness in the coal markets.
2. Rentech Nitrogen Partners
Best Japanese Companies To Watch For 2014: Celanese Corporation (CE)
Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, engages in manufacture and sale of value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products. It operates through four business segments: Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, and Acetyl Intermediates. The Advanced Engineered Materials segment offers specialty polymers for application in automotive, medical, and electronics products, as well as other consumer and industrial applications. The Consumer Specialties segment provides cellulose acetate flake, film, and tow that are primarily used in filter products applications; Sunett, a sweetener; and food protection ingredients, such as sorbates and sorbic acid for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The Industrial Specialties segment produces emulsions and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) performance polymers. Its emulsions products are used in applications, such as paints and coatings, adhesives, construction, glass fiber, textiles, and paper; and EVA performance polymers are used in flexible packaging films, lamination film products, hot melt adhesives, medical products, automotive, carpeting and photovoltaic cells. The Acetyl Intermediates segment offers acetyl products, including acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer, acetic anhydride, and acetate esters for use as starting materials for colorants, paints, adhesives, coatings, and medicines. It also provides organic solvents and intermediates for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and chemical products. The company offers its products directly, as well as through distributors and electronic marketplaces in North America, Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific, and South America. Celanese Corporation was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
Celanese (NYSE: CE) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.04 per share on revenue of $1.59 billion.
Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of chemical maker Celanese (NYSE: CE ) jumped as much as 16% today after the company released earnings.
So what: Revenue fell slightly in the first quarter, to $1.61 billion, but adjusted earnings per share jumped 44%, to $1.14. Revenue was in line with expectations, and earnings crushed the $0.79 that analysts expected.�
- [By Eric Volkman]
Celanese (NYSE: CE ) will have to pony up a significantly higher amount of money for its shareholder payouts. The company has declared a common stock dividend of $0.18 per share, to be paid on August 15 to shareholders of record as of August 5. That amount is exactly double the company's previous distribution of $0.09.
- [By Magic Diligence]
Given this fact, and the fact that consumer electronics (CE) is a cyclical industry, flash supply and demand balance is very tenuous. Frantic production to catch up to demand often leads to dramatic over-supply when the CE market cools off. One needs only to look at SanDisk's financials to see this. The company swung from a $917 dollar operations loss in 2008 to a $1.5 billion dollar profit in 2011, and which was then cut in half to just a $700 million profit the following year!
Best Japanese Companies To Watch For 2014: 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.
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 David Sterman]
This reinsurer (which insures the insurance companies against catastrophic payouts) is a perfect example. At the end of the second quarter, tangible book value stood at $82.97 a share. That's roughly 24% above the current stock price. And RGA is doing what any "below book" stock should do: buying back shares. The current buyback will be fueled by a $400 investment that should shrink shares outstanding by more than 5%.
Best Japanese Companies To Watch For 2014: Volcano Corporation(VOLC)
Volcano Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and commercializes intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) products used in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular and structural heart disease. It offers multi-modality consoles, which are marketed as stand-alone units that can be integrated into hospital-based interventional surgical suites, such as catheterization laboratories. The company provides IVUS products, including single-procedure disposable phased array and rotational IVUS imaging catheters; and additional functionality options comprising virtual histology tissue characterization, and ChromaFlo stent apposition analysis. It also offers FFR products, such as pressure and flow consoles, and single-procedure disposable pressure and flow guide wires used to measure the pressure and flow characteristics of blood around plaque enabling physicians to gauge the plaque?s physiological impact on blood flow and pressure. In addition, the com pany develops and manufactures optical monitors for the telecommunication industry; laser and non-laser light sources; optical engines used in the medical OCT imaging systems and advanced photonic components; and sub-systems used in spectroscopy and other industrial applications. Its products under development include image-guided therapy device and micro and thrombectomy catheters. The company?s ongoing clinical studies comprise assessment of dual anti-platelet therapy with drug-eluting stents; vascular evaluation for revascularization; fractional flow reserve and intravascular ultrasound relationship study; adensonine vasodilation independent stenosis evaluation; and evaluation of XIENCE PRIME. It sells its products through direct sales force and distributors, as well as through third parties supply and distribution agreements primarily in the United States, Japan, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and internationally. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered i n San Diego, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
Volcano (NASDAQ: VOLC) shares dropped 15.89% to $20.49 in pre-market trading after the company reported Q3 revenue. JP Morgan downgraded the stock from Overweight to Neutral and lowered the price target from $29.00 to $24.00.
Best Japanese Companies To Watch For 2014: Ur Energy Inc(URG)
Ur-Energy Inc., an exploration stage junior mining company, engages in the identification, acquisition, evaluation, exploration, and development of uranium mineral properties. The company has 13 projects located in Wyoming and Nebraska, the United States; and 3 exploration projects located in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada. Its landholdings cover approximately 90,000 acres in the United States and approximately 140,000 acres in Canada. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By James E. Brumley]
Well, I'll give myself an A for effort, but a C- for timing. But, I can bump that C- up to a B+ if my intuition is right as we head into the last few days of 2013 and the first few of 2014. What I'm talking about is a bullish commentary I penned back on November 26th regarding Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG). All three stocks were perking up, and more than that, the buzz surrounding URG, URRE, and URZ was getting louder. More often than not, when the fervor and bullish action and chatter reaches the levels they had reached a month ago, an explosion is right around the corner.
- [By The Energy Report]
DS: Two of our top picks are Cameco Corp. (CCJ) and Ur-Energy Inc. (URG). For Cameco, we've got a $25/share target and an outperform rating. This company is the industry's go-to, the blue chip uranium company. It's organically growing very low-cost operations, which are for the most part in very safe jurisdictions. It has a lower-risk approach to contracts, with a targeted pricing mix of about 40% fixed-pricing and 60% market-related pricing in the contract book. The company's got a solid balance sheet. We think it's going to end Q3/13 with about $800M in working capital and another $2 billion [$2B] in undrawn lines of credit. It's also diversified across the nuclear fuel chain, with exposure not only to its core uranium mining business but also with nuclear fuel services, like conversion and fuel fabrication. It's got a stake in the Bruce nuclear power plant as well as a newly bolted-on uranium trading business, so it's quite diversified. On top of that, Cameco pays a 2% dividend. We think it offers a very attractive risk/reward proposition at these levels.