Until recently, I would have avoided regional banks. However, the green shoots of the U.S. recovery are now sturdy enough that select financial institutions are showing highly bullish charts backed by strong fundamentals. Both the technicals and fundamentals tell me there is a good trading opportunity at hand.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the number of bank failures has dropped dramatically since June 2011. At this time two years ago, 48 banks had entered receivership. By this time in 2012, the number dropped to 31. So far this year, only 16 banks have failed -- one-third the number of failures compared with 2011.
Moreover, revenue and earnings prospects for select regional banks should continue to improve. For starters, the Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates near record lows means low-cost loans for consumers, and that translates to strong loan demand at banks. According to Reuters, demand for commercial and industrial loans is on the rise. Continued economic growth should spur consumer spending and further increase demand for loans.
Top 10 US Stocks To Own For 2015: Donegal Group Inc.(DGICB)
Donegal Group Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers personal and commercial lines of property and casualty insurance to businesses and individuals in the United States. The company?s personal lines of insurance products include private passenger automobile insurance, which provides protection against liability for bodily injury and property damage arising from automobile accidents, and protection against loss from damage to automobiles owned by the insured; and homeowners insurance that offers coverage for damage to residences and their contents from a range of perils, including fire, lightning, windstorm, and theft, as well as covers liability of the insured arising from injury to other persons or their property. Its commercial lines of insurance products comprise commercial automobile policies that provide protection against liability for bodily injury and property damage arising from automobile accidents, and protection against loss from damage to automobiles owned by the insured; commercial multi-peril policies, which offer protection to businesses against various perils primarily combining liability and physical damage coverages; and workers? compensation policies that provide benefits to employees for injuries sustained during employment. Donegal Group Inc. markets its insurance products through a network of approximately 2,200 independent insurance agencies. As of December 31, 2010, it wrote business in 22 states of the United States. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Marietta, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Shares of Donegal Group (NASDAQ: DGICB) got a boost, shooting up 16.24 percent to $23.22 after Gregory Shepard offered $33-$37 per share for Donegal Group.
Hot Regional Bank Companies To Invest In 2014: Fresh Healthy Vending International Inc (VEND)
Fresh Healthy Vending International, Inc., formerly Green 4 Media, Inc., incorporated on June 8, 2011, is an eco-marketing and advertising company. The Company focuses on designing marketing and advertising campaigns utilizing natural media. The Company offers a range of natural advertising options, including Floor, Vertical, and Field media. The Company can contour grass, crops, sand, moss, or sea shells to produce designs and marketing messages.
Floor and field media involves the use of sand, chalk, snow, and specialized cleaning to create 100% environmentally sustainable messages and advertisements. Vertical media uses walls, buildings, or bridges to act as the canvas for its ad creations.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By James E. Brumley]
Given its 144% gain since the end of last year, with 7% of that move coming today, it wouldn't be tough to get excited about Fresh Healthy Vending International Inc. (OTCBB:VEND) ... excited enough to jump into a VEND position. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of tell-tale signs that today is a major (albeit short-term) top today, and we're very likely headed for a sizable correction beginning tomorrow.
Hot Regional Bank Companies To Invest In 2014: Groupon Inc (GRPN)
Groupon, Inc. (Groupon) is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. Each day the Company e-mails its subscribers discounted offers for goods and services that are targeted by location and personal preferences. Consumers also access its deals directly through its Websites and mobile applications. The Company operates in two segments: North America, which represents the United States and Canada; and International, which represents the rest of its global operations. Customers purchase Groupons from the Company and redeem them with its merchants. As of September 30, 2011, the Company featured deals from over 190,000 merchants worldwide across over 190 categories of goods and services. Groupon primarily addresses the worldwide local commerce markets in the leisure, recreation, foodservice and retail sectors. In February 2012, the Company announced the launch of Groupon Thailand. In September 2012, it acquired Savored.
In May 2010, the Company acquired CityDeal Europe GmbH (CityDeal). In August 2010, the Company acquired Qpod.inc (Qpod). In November 2010, the Company acquired Ludic Labs, Inc., a company that designs and develops local marketing services. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company acquired Mobly, Inc. In February 2011, the Company launched Deal Channels, which aggregates daily deals from the same category.
The Company distributes a featured daily deal by e-mail on behalf of local merchants to subscribers. It offers daily deals from more than 40 national merchants, including Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental Hotels, Lions Gate, Redbox, Shutterfly and Zipcar across subsets of the North American market. Daily deals that do not appear as a featured daily deal appear as Deals Nearby. Each Deal Nearby is summarized in fewer than 20 words next to the featured daily deal. Deals Nearby often extends beyond the subscriber's closest market or buying preferences.
National merchants also have used the Company�� marketplace as an alternative to traditional marketing and brand advertising. On August 19, 2010, the Company e-mailed and posted a Groupon daily deal offering $50 of apparel at Gap for $25 to 9.2 million subscribers across 85 markets in North America. It sold approximately 433,000 Groupons in 24 hours. Of the consumers who purchased Groupons, approximately 200,000 were new subscribers. As of September 30, 2011, it had 142.9 million subscribers to its daily e-mails.
Groupon NOW is a deal initiated by a merchant on demand and offered instantly to subscribers through mobile devices and its Website. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company launched Groupon NOW in 25 North American markets. Deal Channels aggregate daily deals from the same category and are accessible through its Website and through e-mail alerts that subscribers sign up to receive. It offers Deal Channels in home and garden and event tickets and travel. Merchants can register their deals to be included in a Deal Channel. Subscribers can use Deal Channels to focus on deals that are of interest to them.
Self-Service Deals allows the Company�� merchants to use a self-service platform to create and launch deals at their discretion. The use of the platform is free and allows merchants to establish a permanent e-commerce presence on Groupon that can be visited and followed by subscribers. The Company receives a portion of the purchase price from deals sold through Self-Service Deals based on the extent to which it marketed the deal. In December 2010, it launched Self-Service Deals in selected North American markets.
Groupon Goods enables consumers to purchase vouchers for products directly from its Website. The Company e-mails deals for Groupon Goods weekly to a targeted subscriber base. The Company offers deals for a variety of product categories, including electronics, home and garden and toys. In September 2011, the Compa! ny launch! ed Groupon Goods in select North American and International markets.
Groupon Rewards enables consumers to unlock special Groupon deals from local merchants through repeat visits. Consumers earn reward points at participating merchants by paying with the credit or debit card they have registered with the Company. Merchants set the amount the consumer must spend to unlock a reward deal, and once a consumer is eligible to unlock a deal, it automatically notifies them. The Company distributes its deals directly through several platforms: a daily e-mail, its Websites, its mobile applications and social networks.
In December 2010, the Company partnered with Redbox to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 200,000 new customers through that offer and in March 2011, it partnered with eBay to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 290,000 new customers through that offer. The featured daily deal e-mail contains one headline deal with a full-description of the deal and often contains links to More Great Deals Nearby, all of which are available within a subscriber's market.
Visitors are prompted to register as a subscriber when they first visit its Website and thereafter use the Website as a portal for featured daily deals, Deals Nearby, national deals, and where available, Deal Channels and Self-Service Deals. Consumers also access the Company�� deals through its mobile applications, which are available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems. It launched its first mobile application in March 2010. The Company publishes its daily deals through various social networks and its notifications are adapted to the particular format of each of these social networking platforms.
Groupon competes with Google, Microsoft, Eversave, BuyWithMe and LivingSocial.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jayson Derrick]
Analysts at ITG Research noted that Groupon's (NASDAQ: GRPN) U.S. trends have ��ebounded significantly��following ITG's October warning that third quarter billings will be short due to weakness in the North American markets. Shares gained 3.45 percent, closing at $11.66.
Hot Regional Bank Companies To Invest In 2014: Metals USA Holdings Corp. (MUSA)
Metals USA Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum and specialty metals, and manufactured metal components in the United States and Canada. It operates in three segments: Plates and Shapes, Flat Rolled and Non-Ferrous, and Building Products. The Plates and Shapes segment processes and sells steel plates and structural beams, bars, angles, and tubes. This segment provides processing services, such as cutting, cambering/leveling, punching, bending, shearing, cut-to-length, blast and paint, and tee-splitting. It serves customers in the the electrical and appliance manufacturing, fabrication, furniture, commercial construction, machinery and equipment, land and marine transportation, energy, and aerospace industries. The Flat Rolled and Non-Ferrous segment processes and sells flat rolled carbon and stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper in various alloy grades. This segment offers processing services, such as slitting, p recision blanking, leveling, cut-to-length, punching, and shearing. It serves customers in the electrical and appliance manufacturing, fabrication, furniture, machinery and equipment, transportation, and aerospace industries. The Building Products segment produces and distributes aluminum and steel building products consisting of covered canopies and walkways, awnings, sunrooms, solariums, and other products primarily for the commercial and residential building products industries. The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By David Tristan Liu]
Murphy USA (MUSA) first caught my attention after Southeastern Asset Management acquired a massive stake ($668mm) in its former parent company Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR) in Q1 2013. One thing about Murphy Oil Corporation I noticed after an initial glance through their 10-K and annual report was its ownership of a valuable fuel and convenience retailer segment with high ROIC, valuable real estate, low CAPEX requirements, and relatively decent growth prospects that was under-followed and whose underlying value was concealed by the parent company's core production and exploration business.