The surge in U.S. oil production since 2008 has created tremendous opportunities for the midstream companies involved in oil storage and transportation. Many continue to invest record amounts of cash into new projects to help alleviate regional supply bottlenecks and get the crude oil to those who demand it.
But despite midstream companies' best efforts, they've lost a great deal of market share to railroads, which have rapidly emerged as their biggest competitors over the past couple of years. Let's take a look at how railroads have turned the logistics of crude oil transport on its head and what the future may hold for crude-by-rail.
The staggering growth of crude by rail
Today, the rail industry is transporting more oil than it has since the days of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. In the first quarter of 2013, railways shipped a record 97,135 carloads of crude oil, according to the Association of American Railroads. That represents a 166% increase over the first quarter of 2012 and a 922% gain over crude rail shipments during the entirety of 2008.
5 Best Clean Energy Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (REFG.PK)
Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions, incorporated on December 1, 2005, is a provider of integrated supply and distribution technology. The Company�� Seed-to-Sale (S2S) integrated solution is a management and compliance technology for growers, caregivers and dispensaries in the market. The Company also works with public officials and government agencies to expand the acceptance of medicinal cannabis, and the adoption of a legal framework where maximum market expansion is possible. The Company solves the fragmentation problem by identifying tools that are important to dispensaries, and customizing those tools specifically catered to the industry. The Company's solutions include Spark, Ghost and S2S.
The Company�� SPARK Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provides customers with enterprise-class hosted phone systems customized to fit customers��needs. SPARK's service is a fully-managed, cloud-based system. The Company offers the convenience of an online Internet Protocol (IP)-based telecommunications system while still delivering substantial savings to customers bottom line.
By offering customers a customized, tailored mobile solution, the Company's Ghost Mobile Apps give a marketing tool with a texting and e-mail solution, keeping customers in constant contact with patients and clients. The Company creates an optimized experience in context to each device or screen size.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alan Brochstein]
Not too surprisingly, supply is starting to increase. We have seen some companies enter the space by expanding their own businesses, but there have been some reverse mergers lately too. I had mentioned Refill Energy (REFG.PK) recently (soon to be Medical Cannabis Financial Group), but earlier this month Promap (PMAP.OB) acquired 94% of Advanced Cannabis Solutions (link to 8-K). As an aside, I think that this company is worth considering given the management team and the business model. Investors should keep in the back of their mind that there are many companies that are quietly developing their business models and could become public over time, especially as the regulatory and legal landscapes improve.
Top Railroad Stocks To Own Right Now: Sun Hydraulics Corp (SNHY)
Sun Hydraulics Corporation (Sun) designs, manufactures, and sells screw-in cartridge valves and manifolds used in hydraulic systems. The Company has facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, France, and China. Sun Hydraulik Holdings Limited (Sun Holdings), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun was formed to provide a holding company for the European market operations; its wholly owned subsidiaries are Sun Hydraulics Limited (Sun Ltd.) and Sun Hydraulik GmbH (Sun GmbH). Sun Ltd. operates a manufacturing and distribution facility located in Coventry, England, and Sun GmbH operates a manufacturing and distribution facility located in Erkelenz, Germany. Sun Hydraulics Korea Corporation (Sun Korea), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun, operates a manufacturing and distribution facility. Sun Hydraulics, SARL (Sun France), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun was dissolved in November 2011. Sun Hydraulics (India) a liaison office in Bangalore, India is used to develop new business opportunities in the Indian market. WhiteOak Controls, Inc. (WhiteOak), a 40% equity method investment, located in Mediapolis, Iowa, designs and produces complementary electronic control products. On September 27, 2011, Sun acquired High Country Tek, Inc. (HCT), which designs and manufactures a range of standard and customizable electronic control modules used to interpret electronic signals.
Screw-in Hydraulic Cartridge Valves
The Company�� screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves are offered in five size ranges and include both electrically actuated and non-electrically actuated products. The floating construction introduced by the Company results in a self alignment characteristic.
A manifold is a solid block of metal, usually aluminum or ductile iron, which is machined to create threaded cavities and channels into which screw-in cartridge valves can be installed and through which the hydraulic fluid flows. The Company�� range of standard mani! folds enables the customers to integrate its screw-in cartridge valves into their machinery and equipment.
An integrated package consists of multiple cartridges assembled into a custom designed manifold for a specific customer to provide the specific operating characteristics of a customer�� circuit. The Company�� screw-in cartridge valves translate to integrated packages designed by the Company and result in products that are smaller in size. Due to the self-alignment characteristic, the Company�� integrated packages do not require testing once assembled.
HCT designs and manufactures electronic controllers, which manage the function of electrically actuated valves. HCT�� products range from one valve, manually adjusted controllers to fully integrated hydraulic control systems managing multiple hydraulic valves, as well as other input and output products, such as joysticks and displays.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sally Jones]
Sun Hydraulics Corp. (SNHY): Reduced
Up 25% over 12 months, Sun Hydraulics Corp. has a market cap of $787.4 million; its shares were traded at around $30.00 with a P/E ratio of 21.20.
Top Railroad Stocks To Own Right Now: Electro Rent Corporation(ELRC)
Electro Rent Corporation engages in the rental, lease, and sale of new and used electronic test and measurement equipment. Its equipment portfolio consists of general purpose test and measurement instruments; personal computers, workstations, and servers; and electrical test equipment and inspection equipment. The company rents or leases its equipment primarily to companies operating in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications, electronics, and semiconductor industries. Electro Rent Corporation serves its customers through sales offices, and calibration and service centers in the United States, Canada, China, and Europe. The company was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Van Nuys, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
Electro Rent (NASDAQ: ELRC) shares fell 0.77% to reach a new 52-week low of $15.39. Electro Rent's trailing-twelve-month profit margin is 9.24%.
Posted-In: 52-Week LowsNews Movers & Shakers Intraday Update Markets
- [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 Electro Rent (Nasdaq: ELRC ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top Railroad Stocks To Own Right Now: FedEx Corporation(FDX)
FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally. It operates in four segments: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. The FedEx Express segment offers various shipping services for the delivery of packages and freight. This segment also provides international trade services specializing in customs brokerage, and ocean and air freight forwarding services; customs clearance services, as well as global trade data, an information tool that allows customers to track and manage imports; and international trade advisory services, including assistance with the customs-trade partnership against terrorism program, as well as publishes customs duty and tax information in various customs areas. In addition, it offers supply chain solutions, including critical inventory logistics, transportation management, fulfillment, and fleet services. The FedEx Ground segment provides business and reside ntial ground package delivery services. It primarily serves customers in the small-package market in North America. The FedEx Freight segment offers less-than-truckload freight services, as well as freight-shipping services. As of May 31, 2010, this segment operated approximately 60,000 vehicles and trailers from a network of 492 service centers. The FedEx Services segment provides sales, marketing, information technology support, and customer service support services; and access to copying and digital printing through retail and Web-based platforms, signs and graphics, professional finishing, computer rentals, and a range of ground shipping and time-definite express shipping services. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Brian Stoffel]
FedEx (NYSE: FDX ) , Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) , and Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) are just a few of the major U.S. employers that have started instituting the use of prepaid debit cards.�