Against the current economic and fiscal backdrop, the most prudent course of action is to focus on large-cap consumer and information technology stocks that are less vulnerable to unexpected political shocks and the market�� ups-and-downs.
However, investors worried about the contractionary effects of ��equestration��don�� have to sit on the sidelines. They can take a defensive stance and still enjoy growth.
Accordingly, our latest ��est Buy��is Home Depot (HD), from the Growth Portfolio�� consumer discretionary sleeve. The stock is a timely play on rising home prices and the pick-up in construction activity.
Top Quality Stocks To Buy Right Now: Center Bancorp Inc.(CNBC)
Center Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Union Center National Bank that provides various banking services to individual and corporate customers in Union and Morris counties, New Jersey. The company offers interest bearing and non-interest bearing checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and IRA accounts, as well as Christmas club accounts and vacation club accounts. It also provides secured and unsecured loans, mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, short and medium term loans, letters of credit, working capital loans, and real estate construction loans. In addition, the company offers safe deposit boxes, money orders, and travelers? checks, as well as automated teller machine services, collection services, wire transfers, night depository, and lock box services. Further, the company, through its subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides financial services, including brokerage services, insurance an d annuities, mutual funds, and financial planning services. Additionally, it offers various money market services; and deals in the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Governmental agency securities, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, and repurchase agreements. As of December 31, 2010, the company had operations in 10 sites in Union County, New Jersey, consisting of 6 sites in Union Township, 1 in Springfield Township, 1 in Berkeley Heights, 1 in Vauxhall, and 1 in Summit; and 1 site in Madison, 1 site in Boonton/Mountain Lakes, and 1 site in Morristown located in Morris County, New Jersey. Center Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is based in Union, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
Becky Quick (CNBC): ��f you could keep one company that Berkshire owns, either a wholly-owned subsidiary, or that Berkshire owns a common equity in, which one would you keep and why?��
Hot Information Technology Companies To Buy Right Now: Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW)
Palo Alto Networks, Inc., incorporated in March 2005, offers a network security platform that allows enterprises, service providers, and government entities to secure their networks. The core of its platform is the Company�� firewall that delivers natively integrated application, user, and content visibility and control through its operating system, hardware, and software architecture. The Company primarily sells its products and services to end-customers through distributors, resellers, and partners, and directly to end-customers (collectively partners), who are supported by its sales and marketing organization, in the Americas, in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and in Asia Pacific and Japan (APAC). Its products and services can address a range of its end-customers��network security requirements, from the data center to the network perimeter, as well as the distributed enterprise, which includes branch offices and a number of mobile devices. It introduced PA-5000 Series and GlobalProtect subscription service in March 2011 and the PA-200 and WildFire subscription service in November 2011.
The Company�� platform is delivered in an appliance form factor and includes a suite of subscription services, as well as support and maintenance. Its subscription services can be activated on any of its appliances. All of the Company�� appliances incorporate its PAN-OS operating system and are based on its identification technologies, App-ID, User-ID, and Content-ID, which allow security policies to be defined within the context of applications, users, and content. It delivers these capabilities through a single-pass parallel processing architecture that simultaneously performs multiple identification, security and networking functions. The Company serves the enterprise network security market, which consists of Firewall/ Virtual Private Network (VPN), Unified Threat Management (UTM), Web Gateway, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP/IPS), and VPN technologies. The Company deriv! ed 62% of its total revenue from the Americas, 27% from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and 11% from Asia Pacific and Japan (APAC) as of January 31, 2012.
The Company derives revenue from sales of its products and services, which together comprise its platform. Product revenue is primarily generated from sales of its Firewall. The Company�� Threat Prevention, universal resource locator (URL) Filtering, and GlobalProtect subscriptions provide its end-customers with real-time access to the antivirus, intrusion prevention, Web filtering, and malware protection capabilities across fixed and mobile devices. The Company�� application classification engine, called App-ID, uses multiple identification techniques to determine the exact identity of applications traversing the network. App-ID is the foundational classification engine that provides the core traffic classification to all other functions in its platform. The App-ID classification is used to invoke other security functions.
App-ID uses a series of classification techniques to identify an application. App-ID classifies all network traffic, including business applications, consumer applications, and network protocols, across all ports. User-ID integrates its platform with a range of enterprise user directories and technologies, including Active Directory, eDirectory, Open LDAP, Citrix Terminal Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Terminal Server, and ZENworks. Content-ID is a collection of technologies that enables its subscription services. Content-ID combines a real-time threat prevention engine, cloud-based analysis service, and a URL categorization database to limit unauthorized data and file transfers, detect and block a range of threats, and control non-work related Web surfing. Its WildFire, cloud-based analysis service provides a real-time analysis engine for detecting previously unseen malware. Its URL filtering database consists of millions of URLs across many categories and is designed to monitor a! nd contro! l employee Web surfing activities. Single-Pass Parallel Processing Architecture (SP3) has two elements: single-pass software and parallel processing hardware.
The PAN-OS Operating System operating system provides the foundation for its network security platform and contains App-ID, User-ID, and Content-ID. PAN-OS performs the core functions of its platform, while also providing the networking, security, and management functions needed for implementation. The PAN-OS networking functions include dynamic routing, switching, high availability, and VPN support, which enables deployment into a range of networking environments. PAN-OS also includes attack protection capabilities, such as blocking invalid or malformed packets, IP defragmentation, TCP reassembly, and network traffic normalization. The Company also offers, such as application traffic management, solution design and planning, configuration, and firewall migration. Its education services provide classroom-style training and are primarily delivered through its partners.
The Company competes with Cisco, Juniper, Intel, IBM, HP, Check Point Software, Fortinet and Sourcefire.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Palo Alto Networks Inc.'s(PANW) fiscal first-quarter loss widened as the Internet security company spent more on sales and marketing and other expenses, more than offsetting a jump in revenue. But shares climbed 9.9% to $50.65 premarket as results for the latest period exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.
Hot Information Technology Companies To Buy Right Now: Forestar Group Inc (FOR)
Forestar Group Inc. (Forestar) is a real estate and natural resources company. The Company owns directly or through ventures almost 147,000 acres of real estate located in nine states and 12 markets and about 595,000 net acres of mineral interests. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately 131,000 acres of timber on its 147,000 real estate acres and about 17,000 acres of timber under lease. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company generated revenues of $136 million. It operates in three segments: Real estate, Mineral resources and Fiber resources. Its real estate segment generated 78% of its 2011 consolidated revenues. The Company sells wood fiber from portions of its land, primarily in Georgia, and lease land for recreational uses. It leases its mineral interests to third parties for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, principally in Texas and Louisiana. On January 20, 2012, it sold its 25% interest in Palisades West LLC to Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P. In September 2012, the Company acquired CREDO Petroleum Corp.
In the Company�� real estate segment, it conducts an array of project planning and management activities related to the acquisition, entitlement, development and sale of real estate, primarily residential and mixed-use communities. It owns and manages its projects either directly or through ventures. Its development projects are principally located in the markets of Texas. The Company has over 16,000 acres entitled, developed and under development, consisted of land planned for over 27,000 residential lots and about 2,500 commercial acres. In 2011, it sold over 17,000 acres of undeveloped land through its retail land sales program. In addition, it sold 112 entitled acres from two residential projects. The majority of its projects are single-family residential and mixed-use communities. During 2011, the Company acquired 180 substantially completed residential lots in Houston, Texas; three multifamily develo! pment sites located in Austin, Denver, and Dallas.
The Company develops lots for single-family homes and develops multifamily properties on its commercial tracts or other developed sites it may purchase. In addition, the Company sells commercial tracts that are ready for construction of buildings for retail, office, industrial or other commercial uses. It sells residential lots primarily to national and regional homebuilders and, to a lesser extent, local homebuilders. The Company has 75 entitled, developed or under development projects in seven states and 11 markets, principally in the markets of Texas, encompassing over 16,000 remaining acres, consisted of land planned for over 27,000 residential lots and about 2,500 commercial acres. It also markets and sells undeveloped land through its retail sales program.
Commercial tracts are developed internally or sold to or ventured with commercial developers that specialize in the construction and operation of income producing properties, such as apartments, retail centers, or office buildings. The Company also sells land designated for commercial use to regional and local commercial developers. It has about 2,500 acres of entitled land designated for commercial use. Cibolo Canyons is a mixed-use project in the San Antonio market area.
The Company owns mineral interests beneath approximately 595,000 net acres located in the United States, principally in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama. It is engaged in leasing certain portions of these mineral interests to third parties for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Of the Company�� 595,000 net acres of mineral interests, about 515,000 net acres are available for lease. It has about 80,000 net acres leased for oil and natural gas exploration activities, of which about 32,000 net acres are held by production from over 530 oil and natural gas wells that are operated by others. During 2011, the Company acquired unproved le! asehold p! roperties associated with 13,000 net mineral acres in Alabama and Georgia.
The Company has about 251,000 net mineral acres in East Texas and about 144,000 net mineral acres in Louisiana located within the East Texas and Gulf Coast Basins. It has mineral interests in and around production trends in the Wilcox, Frio, Cockfield, James Lime, Pettet, Travis Peak, Cotton Valley, Austin Chalk, Haynesville Shale and Bossier formations. The Company has about 1,000 net mineral acres in the Fort Worth Basin. It also has mineral interests in and around the Barnett Shale. The Company has about 40,000 net mineral acres in Alabama and about 157,000 net mineral acres in Georgia. The Company did not drill any wells in 2011.
The Company has about 131,000 acres of timber it owns directly or through ventures and about 17,000 acres of timber under lease. In 2011, it sold to Temple-Inland, over 323,000 tons of timber from its lands. During 2011, about 131,000 acres of its land, primarily in Georgia, were leased for recreational purposes. During 2011, the Company sold 57,000 acres of timberland in Georgia, Alabama, and Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Forestar Group (NYSE: FOR ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Andy Batts]
The shares of Forestar Group (FOR) are trading at ~30% discount to the company's NAV. The company operates in three business segments: real estate, oil and gas, and other natural resources. Forestar has a rich portfolio of assets and businesses, including 133,000 acres of real estate; 752,000 acres of oil and gas properties; 1.5 million acres of water rights; and 275,000 acres of timberland.
Hot Information Technology Companies To Buy Right Now: Hertz Global Holdings Inc(HTZ)
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the car and equipment rental businesses worldwide. It operates in two segments, Car Rental and Equipment Rental. The Car Rental segment engages in the ownership and lease of cars. This segment operates car rental locations at or near airports, as well as in central business districts and suburban areas of cities in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Brazil. It also operates retail used car sales locations in the United States and France. The Equipment Rental segment rents earthmoving equipment, material handling equipment, aerial and electrical equipment, air compressors, generators, pumps, small tools, compaction equipment, and construction-related trucks. In addition, this segment sells new equipment, and consumables, such as gloves and ha rdhats. The company also offers claim administration services, such as investigating, evaluating, negotiating, and disposing of various claims, including third-party, first-party, bodily injury, property damage, general liability, and product liability. Hertz Global serves various industries, such as construction, petrochemical, automobile manufacturing, railroad, power generation, and shipbuilding. The company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in Park Ridge, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Hertz Global (HTZ) have jumped in after-hours trading after the rental-car company said that it had reached an agreement with Carl Icahn to add three new members to its board.AP
From the Hertz press release:
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) (��ertz��or ��he Company�� today announced that it has reached an agreement-in-principle with Carl C. Icahn and affiliated entities (collectively, ��cahn�� to appoint Vincent J. Intrieri, Samuel Merksamer and Daniel A. Ninivaggi to the Company�� Board of Directors as new independent directors. In connection with the anticipated director appointments, three existing directors will retire from the Board, effective upon the appointments of the new directors to the Board. In this connection, Icahn has agreed not to run a proxy contest at the Company�� 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and to vote in favor of the Company�� nominees at the Annual Meeting. Two of the new directors will be part of the five-person search committee leading the process to find a permanent Chief Executive Officer of Hertz. Following the contemplated appointments and retirements, Hertz will have a nine-person Board, with the Board expanded to 10 directors upon the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer. Under the agreement-in-principle, the Company�� shareholder rights plan will be amended to increase the triggering percentage to 20% and to implement other changes. The agreement-in-principle remains subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation.
Shares of Hertz have gained 1.8% to $28.24 at 4:21 p.m. in after-hours trading. It rose 0.2% to $27.75 during market hours today.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Breaking newsKratos Defense & Security Solutions (NASDAQ: KTOS) announced today that its Public Safety & Security (PSS) Division recently received an initial $4.5 million contract award for the deployment of specialized security and surveillance related products, equipment, and system integration services across a large public school district located in the eastern United States. To read the full news, click here. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) upcoming unconventional stock split will enable Co-founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page to maintain close control over the company. The stock split will diminish shareholders voices and modify how the company is represented in the S&P 500 index. To read the full news, click here. Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed public offering of shares of its Class A common stock. To read the full news, click here. The Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) today announced that its board of directors has approved plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. To read the full news, click here.
Posted-In: Credit Suisse US Stock FuturesNews Eurozone Futures Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets
- [By Chris Hill]
Hertz (NYSE: HTZ ) dips on good-not-great earnings. Candian retailer Hudson's Bay buys Saks (NYSE: SKS ) for $2.4 billion. Wynn Resorts' (NASDAQ: WYNN ) second-quarter profit gets hit with one-time charges. Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC ) merges with Publicis Group to form the world's largest advertising and marketing firm. In this segment from Investor Beat, Motley Fool analysts Bill Barker and Andy Cross discuss four stocks making moves on Tuesday.
Hot Information Technology Companies To Buy Right Now: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc (KKD)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (Krispy Kreme), December 02, 1999, is a retailer and wholesaler of doughnuts complementary beverages and treats and packaged sweets. The Company�� principal business is owning and franchising Krispy Kreme stores, at which a variety of doughnuts, including the Company�� Original Glazed doughnut, are sold and distributed together with complementary products, and where a broad array of coffees and other beverages are offered. As of February 3, 2013, there were 239 Krispy Kreme stores operated domestically in 38 states and in the District of Columbia, and there were 509 shops in 21 other countries around the world. Of the 748 total stores, 295 were factory stores and 453 were satellites. The Company operates in four segments: Company Stores, domestic franchise stores, international franchise stores, and the KK Supply Chain.
Its Company Stores segment consists of the operating activities of its Company-owned stores. These stores sell doughnuts and complementary products through the on-premises and wholesale channels. Many of the doughnut varieties the Company offers in its doughnut shops also are distributed, through off-premises sales channels. In addition, it offers a number of products through off-premises channels, including honeybuns, fruit pies, mini-crullers, cupcakes and various chocolate enrobed products, generally packaged as individually wrapped snacks or packaged in snack bags. Krispy Kreme has a beverage program, which includes drip coffees, both coffee-based and noncoffee-based frozen drinks, juices, sodas, milks, water and packaged and fountain beverages. In addition, the Company also develops beverages such as espresso, cappuccino and hot chocolate.
The Domestic Franchise segment consists of the Company�� domestic store franchise operations. This segment derives revenue principally from initial development and franchise fees related to new stores and from royalties on sa! les by franchise stores. As of February 3, 2013, there were 142 domestic franchise stores in 29 states, consisting of 99 factory and 43 satellite stores.
The International Franchise segment consists of the Company�� international store franchise operations. International franchise stores sell doughnuts and complementary products almost exclusively through the on-premises sales channel using shop formats similar to those used in the United States, and also using a kiosk format. A portion of sales by the franchisees in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are made to wholesale customers. As of February 3, 2013, there were 509 international franchise shops in 21 countries, consisting of 120 factory stores and 389 satellite shops.
KK Supply Chain Business Segment
The Company operates an integrated supply chain. The KK Supply Chain segment buys and processes ingredients it uses to produce doughnut mixes and manufactures doughnut-making equipment that all factory stores are required to purchase. The Company manufactures doughnut mixes at its facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In addition to traditional doughnut mixes and mixes made from mix concentrate, the Company produces or manages the production of doughnut premix, which is used to produce doughnut mixes in certain international locations. The KK Supply Chain segment also purchases and sells supplies, including icings and fillings, other food ingredients, juices, signage, display cases, uniforms and other items to both Company and franchisee-owned stores.
The Company competes with Dolly Madison, Entenmann��, Hostess, Little Debbie, and Sara Lee.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Erin McBride]
America's two favorite doughnut brands are without question�Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN ) and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD ) . But which brand does America love more? Let's take a look at three tasty stocks -- Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Brands, and their kissing cousin�Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) �-- to decide.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday include:Williams-Sonoma, Inc (NYSE: WSM) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.36 on revenue of $1.43 billion, compared to last year�� EPS of $1.34 on revenue of $1.41 billion. Express, Inc (NYSE: EXPR) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.59 on revenue of $722.02 million, compared to last year�� EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $728.71 million. Vail Resorts, Inc.�(NYSE: MTN) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.87 on revenue of $471.16 million, compared to last year�� EPS of $1.65 on revenue of $422.45 million. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.�(NYSE: KKD) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.13 on revenue of $119.59 million, compared to last year�� EPS of $0.09 on revenue of $118.14 million.
- [By Alexis Xydias]
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KKD) plunged 14 percent in early U.S. trading after quarterly revenue missed estimates. Yum (YUM)! Brands Inc., the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, fell 2.8 percent in Germany after releasing a financial update that showed volatile Chinese sales. Apple Inc. (AAPL) rose 0.9 percent in New York after UBS AG advised buying the shares.
Hot Information Technology Companies To Buy Right Now: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC)
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. provides professional, technical, and construction services. Its services include engineering, design, and architectural services; construction and construction management services; operations and maintenance services; and process, scientific, and systems consulting services. The company serves a range of companies and organizations comprising industrial, commercial, and government clients across multiple markets and geographies. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. provides its services to various industries and markets consisting of oil and gas exploration, production, and refining; environmental programs; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; chemicals and polymers; buildings; infrastructure; power; technology and manufacturing; consumer products; and pulp and paper. The company provides its services through its offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. was founded in 1947 and is based in Pa sadena, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan]
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) �shares shed 6.2%. The company late Monday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of 84 cents a share, below the 87 cents a share forecast to analysts. Jacobs provides technical services to markets like defense, infrastructure, mining, energy and pharmaceuticals.
- [By John Udovich]
Mid cap infrastructure construction stock Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE: CBI) fell 7.23% after being trashed in an article by an apparent�short seller posted on Seeking Alpha, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of potential benchmarks like Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (NYSE: JEC), KBR, Inc (NYSE: KBR) and First Trust ISE Global Engineering and Construction Index Fund ETF (NYSEARCA: FLM).
- [By GuruFocus]
According to GuruFocus list of 52-week lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-week lows.Deutsche Bank AG (DB) Reached the 52-Week Low of $36.04The prices of Deutsche Bank AG (DB) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $36.04, which is 36.1% off the 52-week high of $54.49. Deutsche Bank AG is owned by 3 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 2 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 1 reduced their position.Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft is a stock corporation organized under the laws of Germany. Deutsche Bank Ag has a market cap of $36.74 billion; its shares were traded at around $36.04 with a P/E ratio of 413.90 and P/S ratio of 0.90. The dividend yield of Deutsche Bank Ag stocks is 2.10%.David Dreman (Trades, Portfolio) owns 58,725 shares as of 03/31/2014, an increase of 404.64% from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 0.2% of the $1.29 billion portfolio of Dreman Value Management. Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio) owns 6,250 shares as of 03/31/2014, which accounts for 0.0015% of the $18.53 billion portfolio of GAMCO Investors.Ross Stores Inc (ROST) Reached the 52-Week Low of $67.16The prices of Ross Stores Inc (ROST) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $67.16, which is 21.2% off the 52-week high of $81.99. Ross Stores Inc is owned by 14 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 7 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 5 reduced their positions.Ross Stores, Inc., is a Delaware Corporation. It turned public with its IPO in August 1985. Ross Stores Inc has a market cap of $14.21 billion; its shares were traded at around $67.16 with a P/E ratio of 17.00 and P/S ratio of 1.39. The dividend yield of Ross Stores Inc stocks is 1.10%. Ross Stores Inc had an annual average earnings growth of 23.20% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Ross Stores Inc the business predictability rank of 4.5-star.ROST recently reported earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended May 3, 2014 of $1.15, up from $1.07 fo
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Top losers in the sector included Chart Industries (NASDAQ: GTLS), Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE: JEC), and ABB (NYSE: ABB).
Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) reported a 7% rise in its first-quarter profit. Merck's quarterly profit surged to $1.71 billion, or $0.57 per share, compared to a year-ago profit of $1.59 billion, or $0.52 per share. Excluding certain items, Merck earned $0.88 per share, up from $0.85 per share Its revenue dropped 4% to $10.26 billion versus $10.67 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.79 per share on revenue of $10.43 billion. Merck reiterated its full-year earnings forecast of $2.15 to $2.47 per share.