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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 09:00

CROWDFUND INVESTING FOR DUMMIES by Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, Zak Cassady-Dorion, Wiley & Sons, NY, 2013

EQUITY CROWDFUNDING by Jonathan Frutkin, Cricca Funding, LLC, 2013

These two books, Crowdfund Investing for Dummies and Equity Crowdfunding, synthesize all the necessary concepts, models, information and strategies to understand and capitalize on the crowdfunding revolution now bypassing traditional financial circuits and markets. While bitcoin and the latest crop of crypto currencies help us understand alternative payment systems, electronic information-based exchanges and 21st century barter, crowdfunding has taken its place as the premier open-source network of platforms for alternative investing.

Authors Sherwood Neiss, Jason Best and Zak Cassady-Dorion of Crowdfund Investing for Dummies were prime movers in this new crowdfunding asset class. They campaigned tirelessly with bi-partisan support in the US Congress. This pushed the Obama White House to get the 2012 JOBS Act enacted. This law required the

Author: "Hazel Henderson" Tags: "Hazel Henderson"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 09:00

Some readers may remember the last time I was buying something hand over fist, I was buying Multiband. Within 24 hours, the company was acquired for a 40% premium. Shameless self promotion aside, my conviction level was high then, and it's high again now in regards to Aviat Networks (AVNW). With a strong cash position, large discount to tangible book, and projections for future profitability, I think this company presents a compelling asymmetric opportunity at current prices.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Aviat Networks is a leading provider of microwave networking solutions allowing communications networks to handle the exploding growth of IP-centric, multi-Gigabit data services. With more than 750,000 systems installed around the world, Aviat Networks provides LTE-proven microwave networking solutions to mobile operators, including some of the largest and most advanced 4G/LTE networks in the world. Public safety, utility, government and defense organizations

Author: "Inefficient Market" Tags: "ALU, ERIC, AVNW, Inefficient Market"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 09:00

Today's Top Ideas

Released at 5:00 am, April 17. PRO subscribers get an exclusive early look at these ideas for 24 hours. Top Ideas often move stocks during the initial 72 hours after publication.

  1. Aviat Networks (Long, Deep Value): Contributor Inefficient Market explains why he's buying AVNW shares hand over fist - the company's large cash balance, low valuation, and turnaround prospects could mean big upside.

Top Ideas Schedule Note

Please note that due to the market holiday on Friday, April 18, we will not be publishing Top Ideas or sending the PRO Top Ideas report Friday. We will resume normal publication Monday.

Best of PRO Research

A look at some of the best recent additions to our Research Library as chosen by our PRO editorial team:

  1. Equal Energy: New Capital says a seemingly failed acquisition of the company could lead to new bids and upside from current
Author: "SA PRO Top Ideas" Tags: "NHEGY, EGBN, EQU, CBB, HIIQ, LQ, CCK, AV..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:58

The last half of 2013 bubbled with talk about how much better the US economy was going to get in 2014. That is still the talk today, only Mother Nature has forced talking heads to hit the reset button and frame their economic acceleration views around the next three quarters because the first quarter certainly isn't going to live up to those escape velocity expectations.

Some dastardly winter weather in the first few months of the year, as well as signs of a slowdown in China, have forced just about every economist to lower their first quarter GDP growth expectations. Our read of economic commentary indicates first quarter GDP growth forecasts are now gravitating around 1.0% versus the 2.6% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter.

Briefing.com's first quarter GDP growth forecast isn't a growth forecast at all. We're projecting a 0.7% decline in first quarter GDP due primarily to

Author: "Patrick J. O'Hare" Tags: "DIA, SPY, QQQ, IWM, Patrick J. O'Hare"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:43

Sierra Wireless (SWIR) is a company that was last covered on Seeking Alpha in November 2012. As a brief background, Sierra provides cellular wireless solutions to the machine-to-machine (M2M) and connected device markets in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Now, when we think of M2M, the Internet of Things springs to our mind.

The Internet of Things, according to Cisco (CSCO), is a concept in which machines communicate with one another. Cisco believes that this market will be worth a whopping $19 trillion by 2020 with more than 50 billion connected devices. Hence, since Sierra provides solutions that address this market, I think it is in a solid position to benefit from the Internet of Things.

Recent financial performance

Sierra's recent financial performance has been strong. The company's revenue grew 11% year-over-year to a record $442 million in the fourth quarter as it executed upon

Author: "Anup Singh" Tags: "CSCO, SWIR, Anup Singh"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:42

In a down-market when many people are rushing to buy gold, I take comfort that I already have mine. No, not that kind, but something much better. A growing stream of dividend income from solid companies. While everyone else is panicked about their portfolio's decline, I see a downturn as an incredible buying opportunity. Lower prices, rising yields and growing dividends, it's hard to beat that combination.

Below are several select companies that recently announced dividend increases:

People's United Financial, Inc. (PBCT) operates as the bank holding company for People's United Bank that provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services to individual, corporate, and municipal customers. April 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 1.5% to $0.165 per share. The dividend is payable May 15, 2014 to stockholders of record on May 1, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 4.5%.

Sonoco Products

Author: "Dividends4Life" Tags: "PBCT, SON, CSX, TRGP, WHR, TLP, Dividend..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:17

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) is one of the hottest stocks in the market this year. Ballard shares have increased a whopping 145% in 2014 on the back of the expected growth in the fuel cell industry. Ballard focuses on the development and commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells worldwide, and this is a rapidly growing market. Fuel cell players such as Ballard and Plug Power (PLUG) have done exceedingly well this year and the trend looks set to continue.

Rapid growth expected

According to Reportlinker, the fuel cell industry is in its initial stages of growth and has huge potential going forward. Reportlinker expects the market to grow at an annual rate of 22% till 2020, which means that Ballard has got some really good prospects.

Earlier, Ballard was a fuel cell car research and development organization that was losing around $80 million a year. But now,

Author: "Mitu Anand" Tags: "PLUG, BLDP, Mitu Anand"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:10

Public electric utility company Southern Company (SO) has turned in a very impressive performance in 2013. The company's shares are up 10%, which is quite impressive considering that Southern also carries a strong dividend yield of 4.60%. Although Southern faced certain operational, regulatory, and financial challenges in 2013, it met them successfully, and looks set to get even better going forward.

Improvements all around

Southern's transmission and distribution reliability are improving, continuing a trend of improvement over the past decade. Looking ahead, things could get even better as in Georgia, the public service commission (PSC) has approved a constructive three-year agreement for Georgia Power. Meanwhile, Georgia Power has also completed an integrated resource plant in the third regulatory proceeding.

In Florida, the PSC approved the settlement agreement reached between Gulf Power and all of the interveners in the rate case. In Mississippi, Southern reached a settlement in January

Author: "Amal Singh" Tags: "SO, Amal Singh"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 08:03

Opower (OPWR) went public at the start of the month. The provider of cloud software for the utility industry enjoyed a successful public offering.

Despite this initial success I believe the company has a lot more to demonstrate before it can justify the current billion dollar valuation in this enormous growth market.

The Public Offering

Opower delivers customer-facing applications aimed to reduce energy demand. The company's software analyzes energy data and presents personalized insights in order to reduce energy consumption.

While this seems to be disadvantageous to utilities, note that in general these companies are under regulatory and political pressure to build fewer plants and use cleaner sources of fuel while keeping rates low and reduce peak energy demand. Initiatives to reduce demand at peak hours is therefore actually advantageous for utilities despite reducing overall demand.

Opower sold 6.1 million shares for $19 apiece, thereby raising $116 million

Author: "The Value Investor" Tags: "DUK, OPWR, The Value Investor"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:59

Sirius XM's (SIRI) share price has increased by 4.65% in one year. After the failed merger attempt with Liberty Media (LMCA) the share price of the company has dropped severely. Adding further sorrows, hearsay about Apple (AAPL) gaining a bigger position in the car entertainment market has contributed to the disposing of the company's stock by investors; but none of this means that Sirius is slow on growth. Last year its results beat expectations and the guidance given by the company.

In this article, we will be examining the company's performance. We will then see what prospects Sirius offers and whether it still remains a good buy.


(click to enlarge)

Source: 10K

During 2013, Sirius' total revenue reached $3.8 billion reflecting a 12% increase from 2012. Subscriber revenue was $3.3 billion and grew by 11%. This was a healthy sign since more than 85% of Sirius'

Author: "Balanced Investing" Tags: "SIRI, Balanced Investing"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:43

The Cash Conundrum

Apple (AAPL) by way of its success has accumulated a massive pile of cash (and cash equivalents for you nitpickers) which is largely held overseas. To bring this money abroad the company must either pay a hefty 35% in taxes or hope for a tax holiday. As it seems, Apple has decided to buckle down and wait. With more cash than is feasibly expendable on R&D or acquisitions, the company has elected (as is appropriate) to pay this money to loyal shareholders via dividends and share repurchases.

On April 23, 2013, Apple increased its annual dividend by 15% from $2.65 to $3.05 per share. That day, Apple shares closed at $406. Since then, the company has paid out nearly $8.4 billion in cash to shareholders. In the interim, share prices have risen by over 25% as the company continues to support the price by buying back its

Author: "Marc Gilbert" Tags: "AAPL, Marc Gilbert"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:27

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about Rite Aid (RAD). For starters, shares of the retail pharmacy are up 217% since my piece one year ago this week. The surge in Rite Aid's shares has been led by a return to profitability, lower debt, and an overall boom in the pharmacy market. Despite the sharp one-year move, I see more upside for Rite Aid as it continues to enhance the guest experience and capitalize on growing trends in the industry.

Rite Aid announced the acquisition of RediClinic, a Houston-based retail clinic chain. The brand has 30 locations found in grocery stores in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. From the press release, RediClinic has provided health care help to over 1.5 million people. The acquisition was done by Rite Aid "to expand the current footprint in Texas and, in the near future, begin to bring

Author: "Chris Katje" Tags: "CVS, WAG, RAD, Chris Katje"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:27

The recently developed "Buy The Dips Portfolio," or BTDP was geared for the active portfolio manager who clearly wants to be the captain of its own ship. One of the major issues that active managers face is when NOT to be active and just sit back and watch the parade.

Keep in mind, a portfolio comprised of the largest blue chip, dividend winning stocks will continue to pay an investor while they do nothing. Unfortunately, many investors want to take action too often and get antsy when the market dips.

The correct course of action when we simply are confused by the markets is to do absolutely nothing!

Dividend Income Stocks Keep Paying Us While We Are Couch Potatoes

The BTDP consists of the following stocks: AT&T (T), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), General Electric (GE), McDonald's (MCD), Chevron (CVX), Apple (AAPL),

Author: "Regarded Solutions" Tags: "AAPL, CVX, F, GE, JNJ, KO, MCD, MO, MSFT..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:07

I thought I'd have a look at stocks operating in the credit services industry since American Express reported results on Wednesday. The credit services industry has several high growth companies which have been beaten up as investors shifted bias from growth to value. Now might be a good time to look at the industry to see how quality growth stocks are valued versus quality value stocks. Do keep in mind that I am looking for opportunities in the credit services industry: and the components of the industry can be quite different. This difference between industry components might seem like an apples to oranges comparison, but sometimes we cannot eat an apple and an orange. And at such times we have to compare an apple with an orange to decide which one we'd like to eat just now.

American Express is a large-cap stock with a market cap of $91.2 billion.

Author: "Shiv Kapoor" Tags: "AXP, SLM, MA, Shiv Kapoor"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:00

Analysts at Barclays recently lifted their price target on shares of Phillips 66 (PSX), the largest U.S. refining company, from $90.00 to $95.00 as reported by Analyst Ratings Network. The company's shares are currently trading at $76.75 and Barclays' price target on Phillips 66's stock indicates a handsome upside potential for investors.

On the other hand, Phillips 66 was downgraded to hold by Zacks Investment Research at the start of April 2014. The major reason behind the downgrade by the firm was the expectations of decline in the company's profitability due to the increase in oil prices as the company is a buyer of crude. The price of crude oil is soaring to around $100 per barrel indicating the fact that Phillips 66's margins will be adversely affected due to a rise in the cost of crude.

Additionally, due to these factors the company experienced a negative

Author: "Gemstone Equity Research" Tags: "DPM, PSXP, PSX, Gemstone Equity Research"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 05:58

Baxter International Inc. (BAX) is a U.S.-based health care company particularly specialized in treatments for various severe medical conditions including hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, and kidney diseases.

Baxter trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BAX.” BAX is part of the S&P500 index. BAX is an American corporation and therefore pays its quarterly dividends in U.S. dollars. All the following figures are thus in U.S. dollars. Notably, foreign investors will likely be subjected to withholding tax.


BAX pays a quarterly dividend. The dividends are generally declared in November, February, May, and July, and are generally paid in January, April, July, and October.

BAX generally increases its quarterly dividend once a year. However, in recent years, there has been no regular pattern for the dividend increases. The last increase in May 2013 was of 8.9% (from $0.45 per quarter to $0.49 per quarter).


Author: "The Dividend Engineer" Tags: "BAX, The Dividend Engineer"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 05:49

Here’s Jordan Weissmann:

The blue line traces the consumer-spending trend in states where home prices fell the least, while the red line traces it in states where they fell the most. Each group contains about 20 percent of the U.S. population. And as you can see, the crash states are still well behind. . . .

Sufi and Mian have made the academic case that spending before the recession really was driven by the “wealth effect” of rising home prices. People saw their housing values rocket up, and felt richer. Often, they took out second mortgages to spend. When the market crashed, so too did their finances. It may sound like an intuitive point to some, but it’s a key part of understanding why the recovery has been so underwhelming. The difference between states that got the full brunt of the housing collapse and states that didn’t, as

Author: "Scott Sumner" Tags: "Scott Sumner"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 05:46

Everyone was buzzing Thursday about the trading debut of Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), following a performance by the Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) microblogging unit that was filled with mixed signals. Potential investors in the company will inevitably have many questions about Weibo’s future, as it seeks to carve out a secure and profitable place for itself in China’s competitive social networking (SNS) space. But from the bigger perspective, this mixed performance is the latest sign that the window of positive sentiment towards Chinese Internet IPOs is closing fast in New York, though it could remain open for perhaps another few weeks.

The exact amount of remaining time in that window is quickly becoming a key focus point, as a number of companies line up to make major offerings before sentiment falls into squarely negative territory. Major e-commerce companies JD.com and Jumei.com have both filed for offerings to raise up to $1.5 billion

Author: "Doug Young" Tags: "WB, Doug Young"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 05:44

The stock of Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) has gone up 25.2% since mid-2012 and is currently trading at $55.64 per share while in comparison the S&P 500 went up 27.2% over the same period. Mid-2013 Kraft Foods' stock greatly outperformed the S&P 500 as the company's stock increased 26.7% whereas the S&P 500 went up 17%. After that Kraft Foods' stock growth slowed down in comparison to the S&P 500. However Kraft Foods entered 2014 with a good start as its year to date stock price increased 4% while in comparison the S&P 500 increased by 0%. (click to enlarge)

Source: NASDAQ

Kraft Foods' brand portfolio consists of many of the most popular food brands in North America including two brands with annual net revenues exceeding $1 billion each. The company's brand portfolio includes Kraft cheeses, dinners, and dressings and Oscar Mayer meats, plus over 25 brands with annual net

Author: "Gemstone Equity Research" Tags: "K, MDLZ, KRFT, Gemstone Equity Research"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 05:39

By Patricia Oey

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility (EEMV) is suitable for use as a small core holding in a diversified portfolio and is a solid alternative to a cap-weighted emerging-markets index fund. This fund tracks an index that selects about 200 stocks from its parent index (the MSCI Emerging Markets Index) to form a low-volatility portfolio. Low-volatility strategies seek to exploit the observed phenomenon that portfolios with smaller price fluctuations tend to outperform portfolios with larger price fluctuations over the long term.

Thanks in part to the heterogeneity of the emerging-markets equity asset class, low-volatility strategies in emerging markets have historically resulted in a greater reduction in portfolio volatility relative to a cap-weighted index than what has been observed in U.S. equities. In other words, there is more diversity (lower correlations) among emerging-markets equities, which allows for greater reduction in overall volatility in an emerging-markets low-volatility portfolio.

Author: "Morningstar" Tags: "EELV, EEMV, Morningstar"
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