Monday, March 31, 2014

Should You Put Your Money In Hewlett-Packard?

When it comes to Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) there are two types of sentiments that can be seen. On one hand several analysts and industry experts are getting excited about all the turnaround that is going on under the leadership of Meg Whitman. According to them the computer giant has been increasingly gaining in the previous few months as the company stabilized its business and started venturing into new areas. On the other hand there are several analysts who are unable to understand all the excitement and fuss about HP. To them the company is hardly making any improvement.

Let's take a quick look at both the sides and then decide whether things are actually improving for the company or not.

The bear case HP's recent earnings have brought to light a few points for which many can't consider that any kind of turnaround is going on in the company. The top-line of the company has plunged in the past two years in a row, and even the projection for the coming year is lower than the current year's figure.

PC sales, the primary business driver, was also down by 10% in both 2013 and 2012 and though the figure is expected to surge by only 2% in the current fiscal year, the surge is not significant enough o pull HP out of trouble. Next, coming to services and enterprise revenues, both the segments were down in the last fiscal and the overall trend is expected to remain the same going forward.

One analyst also pointed out the Meg Whitman's $15 billion worth of software-related acquisitions is not paying off accordingly. Such an investment is roughly expected to boost the top-line by at least $1 billion, but in reality the surge in the revenue was just $300 million. Because of all these analysts doubt if at all any turnaround is happening.

The bull case All the above points are true no doubt. But the fact remains that Meg Whitman is in her second year of the five year turnaround plan and we must give her the time before writing off HP from our books. The turnaround signs need not necessarily be in the historic figure. They can also be hidden in the company's actions and future plans.

The computer giant is shifting its focus from just manufacturing devices to services such as cloud, big data, security as well as 3D printing which many analysts believe might single handedly support the company's turnaround. HP also introduced its latest converged system portfolio – a host of interlinked services from HP using its own server, storage and networking capabilities. The components of the offering come together to provide a 360 degree solution to make information technology requirements even simpler.

HP is also paying adequate attention to the growing needs of the consumer electronics space. Its two latest gadgets – Slate 6 and Slate 7 tablets - have already created some ripples in the highly crowded tablet space. In days to come the company intends to concentrate on expanding its product portfolio, reducing costs and maintaining healthy margins.

Departing thoughts Despite discouraging numbers in the recent past, HP seems to have a lot of upside potential. Taking into account all that's going on in the company and Meg Whitman's determined and well planned moves, it can be said that the turnaround is surely in the making. The company still has three years in its hands to improve its performance and prove the critics wrong. Huge growths are expected across verticals with special focus being on 3D printing. To drive home the discussion, I feel HP has a strong chance to become the top-dog.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jim Cramer's Top Stock Picks: KMX FINL INO BAC

Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are some of the hot stocks Jim Cramer talked about on Friday's Mad Money on CNBC:

KMX Chart
KMX data by YCharts

CarMax (KMX): Cramer said if auto sales are strong next week he'd be a buyer of CarMax ahead of its earnings.

Stock quotes in this article: KMX, FINL, INO, BAC 

FINL Chart
FINL data by YCharts

Finish Line (FINL): Athletic apparel continues to buck the retail trend and Cramer said this stock deserves to be higher.

Stock quotes in this article: KMX, FINL, INO, BAC 

INO Chart
INO data by YCharts

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO): Cramer said this speculative biotech can be bought, but only if investors understand the risks.

Stock quotes in this article: KMX, FINL, INO, BAC 

BAC Chart
BAC data by YCharts

Bank of America (BAC): Cramer said if next week's jobs number is better than expected, Bank of America is the financial stock investors should own.

To read a full recap of "Mad Money" on CNBC, click here.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC. To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here. -- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C. To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

Stock quotes in this article: KMX, FINL, INO, BAC  At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in BAC.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Candy Crush Saga Gets Shaken

Yesterday, shares of this Internet game maker's initial public offering (IPO) suffered a hit, on fears of being a one-trick pony, and MoneyShow's Jim Jubak considers the impact it may have on several US companies.

Yesterday's rout in the initial public offering (IPO) of King Digital Entertainment (KING), the maker of the Internet game hit Candy Crush Saga, has savaged Internet game stocks across Asia today.

Shares of US game makers such as Electronic Arts (EA) have fallen slightly, but US Internet momentum favorites such as Facebook (FB) have been largely immune. (Maybe because they've been punished previously in what looks like a top in momentum favorites.)

Yesterday, shares of King Digital, initially priced at $22.50, closed at $19 on fears that the company is a one-trick pony and that this pony, Candy Crush Saga, has already peaked. Gross bookings, a measure of how much players of the game pay for items for sale in the game, fell in the fourth quarter of 2013. King Digital gets 78% of its gross bookings from Candy Crush.

In Asia today, Tencent Holdings ((HK:700) in Hong Kong and (TCTZF) in New York) closed down 5.9% in Hong Kong. The company, know for its WeChat mobile messaging platform (with 355 million average monthly users), made $100 million in revenue in the fourth quarter from games, such as Cross Fire and League of Legends on the WeChat platform. Naver (KS:035420), a Korean company that, like Tencent, combines mobile messaging with games, dropped 3% in Seoul.

Back in the United States, shares of Electronic Arts, the second largest US game maker, were off 0.58% at the close in New York. Shares of Facebook were up 0.72%.

The huge drop in King Digital, and in Asian players, such as Tencent, is at least partly attributable to growing fears that valuations in the sector have climbed too far too fast. The Bloomberg Asia Pacific Internet Index is up 53% in the last 12 months, even after dropping 3.3% today. In contrast, the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Index was up less than 1% in that period. The stocks in the Internet index trade at 28 times projected earnings for the current fiscal year. That's twice as expensive as the regional index and represents the biggest premium for Asian Internet stocks since 2006, Bloomberg calculates.

The Asian sell off also follows on the heels of similar worries in the US Internet sector. Facebook, for example, fell 6.9% yesterday, March 26, after announcing yet another acquisition, the $2 billion purchase of virtual-reality technology company Oculus VR.

I'd draw a big distinction between companies like King Digital, which are dependent on a constant stream of new hit games to replace current hits, and companies such as Tencent, which have built massive distribution platforms that they can use to sell everything from online games to financial products.

A sell off on valuation will hit both a King Digital and a Tencent—and I'd sure like to see Tencent's valuation come down before I buy more shares. But I also know what kind of company—Tencent and Alibaba (soon to go public), for example—that I'd like to buy after any correction.

Full disclosure: I don't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. When in 2010 I started the mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund, I liquidated all my individual stock holdings and put the money into the fund. The fund may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this post. The fund did own shares of Tencent Holdings as of the end of December. For a full list of the stocks in the fund see the fund's portfolio here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now

Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: MutualFirst Financial Inc.(MFSF)

MutualFirst Financial, Inc. operates as a holding company for MutualBank that provides financial products services to individuals and businesses. It accepts various savings deposit accounts, NOW and demand accounts, and certificates of deposit. The company also provides one- to four-family residential mortgage loans, multi-family and commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans, commercial business loans, and consumer loans, including home equity and lines of credit, home improvement, auto, boat, and recreational vehicle loans, as well as loans secured by savings deposits, and credit card and unsecured loans. In addition, it operates as an insurance agent and sells life insurance, and credit-life and health insurance products. Further, the company provides investment money management and trust services. It operates 33 full service financial centers located in Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph, and Wabash counties, Indiana. The co mpany was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tim Melvin]

    PL Capital has not filed any 13Ds in a couple of months, but earlier this year it disclosed a 5.99% position in shares of First Advantage Bancorp (FABK). The Clarksville, Tenn.-based bank has seven branches and trades at about 75% of book value. PL Capital also filed a 13D announcing 8% ownership of Mutual First Financial (MFSF) over the summer. The bank has 31 branches and is based in Muncie, Ind. — an area that has seen substantial consolidation in the past few years.

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    MutualFirst Financial (MFSF) makes the list, trading at 80% of book value and yielding 1.61%. The bank has total assets of about $1.4 billion and is located in Muncie, Ind. Like a lot of small banks today, the story here is! one of steady credit improvement and compressed net interest margins. It is one of many smaller institutions that I think will eventually be taken over; the current regulatory climate simply does not favor little banks. Insiders own about 10% of the stock, so they are invested in the idea of a much higher stock price.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fed-Induced Speculation Does Not Create Wealth - John Hussman

In recent years, by starving investors of all sources of safe return, the Federal Reserve has successfully engineered an enormous upward shift in the short-run tolerance of investors to accept risk. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that human nature has changed as a result, nor is there reason to believe that the long-run, full-cycle tolerance of investors to accept risk has changed. In the short run – the advancing half of the full cycle – the tolerance for financial risk can be effectively rewarded, regardless of valuation, so long as prices are advancing and valuations are becoming progressively more extreme. These episodes typically end when historically identifiablesyndromes of excessive speculation appear (the most extreme version we identify emerged as early as February 2013, and again in May, December, and today). Over the complete market cycle, the tolerance for risk can be rewarded only by the delivery of cash flows that are reasonable in comparison to price paid for the investment, coupled with the absence of significant downward adjustments in valuations over time.

The same speculative pressures that have rewarded short-run risk tolerance in recent years have done so only by removing the potential rewards available for maintaining investment positions and risk-tolerance over the longer-run. The arithmetic is simple – the higher the price one pays for a claim to some stream of future cash flows, the lower the long-run return that an investor will achieve. For a review of current valuations and prospective market returns, see the March 10 comment: It is Informed Optimism to Wait For the Rain.

Fed-induced speculation does not create wealth. It only changes the profile of returns over time. Itredistributes wealth away from investors who are enticed to buy at rich valuations and hold the bag, and redistributes wealth toward the handful of investors both fortunate and wise enough to sell at rich valuations and wait for better opportunities. There won't be many, because rising prices also encourage overconfidence in a permanent ascent. Few investors are capable of enduring the discomfort of being on the sidelines for very long if a speculative market proceeds further without them.

Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Buy For 2014

Only those who sell at extreme valuations have the potential to capture any benefit from them, and that benefit only comes by saddling some other investor with poor returns going forward. This is redistribution, not creation of wealth. For those that fail to exit, speculation only changes the profile of returns over time. Excessive reward for short-run risk tolerance goes hand-in-hand with punishment for maintaining that risk tolerance over the longer-run. Over the next few years, the contrast between these short-run rewards and their long-run punishment is likely to be epic. The median stock is more overvalued than at any point in history. Broad market valuations on the most historically reliable measures we identify now exceed the 2007 extreme, and are on parity with 1929. Only the 2000 peak went further.

For the vast multitude of investors, repeated bouts of Fed-induced speculation do nothing but to repeatedly create a false hope and then dash it, as investors should have learned from more than 15 years of alternating speculative episodes and subsequent collapses.

Despite years of excitement during the tech bubble, leading to the 2000 market peak, the completion of the market cycle left the total return of the S&P 500 no greater than the return from Treasury bills for the entire period from May 1996 to October 2002.

Despite years of excitement during the housing bubble, leading to the 2007 peak, the completion of the market cycle left the total return of the S&P 500 no greater than the return from Treasury bills for the entire period from June 1995 to March 2009.

Despite years of Fed-induced hope and speculation that has brought the S&P 500 to its recent heights, we easily expect the completion of the present market cycle to leave the total return of the S&P 500 no greater than the return from Treasury bills for the entire period since early 1998, with annual total returns averaging less than 2% over something like an 18-year span of time. It stands repeating that a run-of-the-mill cyclical bear market in a secular bear market period (which clearly began in 2000 and remains incomplete on the basis of nearly every historically reliable valuation measure) comprises a market loss of about 38%.

Continue reading here.

Also check out: John Hussman Undervalued Stocks John Hussman Top Growth Companies John Hussman High Yield stocks, and Stocks that John Hussman keeps buying
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ahead of Earnings, Lululemon Is Still Not Cheap

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) is due to report earnings this week, and the reality that investors need to face is that it is still not exactly a cheap stock. One report from Canaccord Genuity said that the sporting and yoga-themed apparel company’s 2014 guidance could be the last domino to fall.

The analyst lowered estimates to brace for another round of bad news, but it maintained its formal Buy rating while lowering its price target to $69 from $73 per share.

What 24/7 Wall St. wants to show is that Lululemon simply remains an expensive stock. The only good news is that it is not a wildly expensive one. Still, the damage done here seems severe enough that its chance to stage a snapback stock price rally and a snapback recovery in its image has likely come and gone.

What is interesting is that in the past 90 days, the earnings estimate for this quarter has only dropped by seven cents per share, or about 10%. Shares have fallen more than 16% in that time, but they are down 40% from the $82.50 peak of 2013.

Best Consumer Service Stocks To Buy For 2014

On top of that, the $7.1 billion market cap is roughly 4.5 times its sales. Again, the company has offended some of its customers directly and other customers have decided to spend their money elsewhere.

Now, let’s go out a year to see where Lululemon is still expensive. The Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate is $2.16 (growth of 14%). Sales growth is expected to remain 15%. With all the problems that Lululemon has had, its stock still trades at almost 23 times earnings, based on a $49 share price.

The question is whether Lululemon can grow this much in the year ahead after posting only about 2% growth in the past year or so. Unfortunately, the retailer may have to get that sales growth from opening more stores rather than milking out higher and higher sales from its comparable stores, open a year or more.

Our question is what sort of growth shareholders really will see at Lululemon. A $7 billion value sounds high, but it was valued at more than $10 billion in market cap before its problems knocked it down.

Lululemon reports earnings on Thursday. We will follow up with a more detailed earnings preview ahead of the report.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now

Delphi Automotive (DLPH) is one of the nation�� largest automotive suppliers and a leader in integrated audio, video and navigation systems that keep the nation's drivers both informed and entertained while driving.

Delphi also makes collision warning systems now required by law on all new automobiles. Here's why Delphi's stock has been in a steady uptrend and why I believe it will continue rising in the months ahead.

First, the advanced safety features on U.S. automobiles aren�� just high-end options any more. They are required by federal law.

Second, Delphi's prospects have improved along with the rebounding U.S. car market. This year, U.S. manufacturing industry sales of new cars and trucks will exceed 15.3 million, up from 14.4 million in 2012.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Nyxio Technologies Corp (NYXO)

Nyxio Technologies Corporation, incorporated on June 08, 2006, through its wholly owned subsidiary Nyxio Technologies Inc. (Nyxio), develop and provide technology for the entertainment and commercial markets within the consumer electronic industry. The Company�� product includes VioSphere Smart television (TV), a flat screen TV with a fully integrated personal computer.

The Realm is an all in one personal computer (PC)/ TV, combining the latest in PC technology with high definition (HD) TV. The Realm Pro, which is all in One PC/TV geared for commercial and digital signage markets. Venture MMV, which is a mobile media viewer is a new class of video eyewear offering designer styling in a sleek ergonomic design with features and performance. The Vuzion is a TV with Android operating system (OS) built in enabling 400,000 Android applications on a TV.

The Company competes with Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio, Apple, Dell, and HP.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Graham]

    Nyxio Technologies Corp (OTCMKTS: NYXO), COREwafer Industries Inc (OTCMKTS: WAFR) and NanoTech Entertainment, Inc (OTCMKTS: NTEK) are three small cap stocks in some very diverse industries. In fact, one of these stocks just bought a 3D ice sculpture business. So will investors see their investment melt with that small cap stock�along with the other two? Here is a closer look to help you decide for yourself:��

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Fusion-io Inc (FIO)

Fusion-io Inc (Fusion) is a provider of datacenter solutions that accelerate databases, virtualization, cloud computing, big data, and the applications that help drive business from the smallest e-tailers to some of the largest data centers, social media leaders, and Fortune Global 500 businesses. The Company's integrated hardware and software platform enables the decentralization of data from legacy architectures and specialized hardware. The Company sells its solutions through a global direct sales force, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, including Cisco, Dell, HP, and IBM, and other channel partners. In August 2011, the Company acquired IO Turbine, Inc.,. Effective March 18, 2013, the Company acquired ID7.

Fusion-io's ioMemory hardware is a sub-system connecting a large array of industry-standard NAND Flash memory through the Company's data-path controller and its virtual storage layer, or VSL, software to create a high capacity memory tier that natively attaches to a server's PCI-Express peripheral bus (PCIe).

The Company's portfolio of storage memory products incorporates the Company's ioMemory hardware combined with its virtual storage layer (VSL) and caching software into its family of ioDrive, ioFX, and ioCache enterprise grade products. The Company's ioDrive products work in conjunction with the Company's directCache data-tiering software, ioTurbine virtualization software, ioSphere management system, and ION Data Accelerator software. The Company's latest ioDrive, ioFX, and ioCache product families are a line of PCIe standard form-factor storage memory platforms that combine one or more ioMemory sub-systems with the Company's VSL software.

The Company's directCache software extends the Company's ioMemory based platforms and permits interoperability with traditional direct-attached, network-attached, storage area network attached, and appliance attached backend storage systems. The Company's ioTurbine virtualization software extends the Company! 's ioMemory platform and permits host-based data acceleration to specifically address the demand for high-density, high-performance server, and desktop virtualization.

ioSphere is a suite of management software purpose-built for the Company's storage memory infrastructure and designed around its application acceleration platform. ioSphere software is accessible through a graphical user interface that enables datacenter administrators to centrally configure, monitor, manage, and tune all distributed ioMemory devices throughout the datacenter. In addition, this software offers real-time, predictive, and historical reporting of ioMemory's performance and wear.

The Company's ION Data Accelerator software transforms server platforms into application acceleration appliances that share Fusion ioMemory across applications. ION Data Accelerator delivers Fusion-io performance on open server platforms with software-defined storage, or SDS, for applications such as Oracle RAC, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and SAP HANA, along with other applications where shared storage aids deployment. The Company's original equipment manufacturer�� (OEMs), including Cisco, Dell, HP, and IBM, sell branded storage memory solutions based on the Company's standard products as well as custom form-factor versions to fit specific applications.

The Company competes with EMC Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P, Texas Memory Systems, Oracle, Adaptec, Inc., LSI Corporation, Sandisk, Corp, IBM, CA, Inc, Nagios Enterprises, LLC., Hitachi Data, Huawei Technologies, Co., Intel Corp., LSI Corporation, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., OCZ Technology Group, Inc., Samsung Electronics, Inc., SanDisk, Corp., Seagate Technology, STEC, Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Western Digital Corp.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO  ) will release its quarterly report on Wednesday, and investors are nervous about the expected plunge in revenue that they expect to result in the data-storage specialist's year-ago profit turning into a loss. Yet even in the face of much larger competitors EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) and Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC  ) , many still hold out hope that Fusion-io earnings will eventually recover and help the share price gain back some of its long-term losses.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Knapp and Slover were also kind enough to provide a screen of stocks that could outperform. They started with the Russell 2000, removed the smallest 40% based on market cap (the aforementioned liquidity issues), then selected the 5% worst performers from among the 30% cheapest stocks based on book-to-price. The result is a bunch of names you never heard of, including Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI), Fusion-IO (FIO), Walter Energy (WLT), Hecla Mining (HL) and Molycorp�(MCP).

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Finally, Tocqueville's biggest closed positions included Gentex�and Ferro. Other closed positions of interest include Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO  ) , an enterprise storage company focused on technologies such as flash memory and solid-state drives. It already serves some rather major customers, such as Apple, but much of its revenue comes from just a few �key clients. The company recently posted strong earnings and an upbeat outlook, sending its shares up by double digits. Bulls also like its purchase of NexGen Storage, but bears worry about competitors looming�.

Top 5 Heal Care Stocks To Watch For 2014: Diebold Inc (DBD)

Diebold, Incorporated, incorporated in August 1876, is engaged in providing integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services to the financial, commercial, government and retail markets. Sales of systems and equipment are made directly to customers by the Company�� sales personnel, manufacturers��representatives and distributors globally. The sales and support organizations work closely with customers and their consultants to analyze and fulfill the customers��needs. The Company has two lines of business: Self-Service Solutions and Security Solutions. The Company�� segments are consisted of two sales channels: Diebold North America (DNA) and Diebold International (DI). In September 2012, it acquired GAS Tecnologia (GAS).

The DNA segment sells and services financial and retail systems in the United States and Canada. The DI segment sells and services financial and retail systems over the remainder of the globe through wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and independent distributors in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan and Korea.

Self-Service Solutions

The Company offers an integrated line of self-service technologies and services, including comprehensive automated teller machine (ATM) outsourcing, ATM security, deposit and payment terminals and software. The Company is a global supplier of ATMs and related services. The Company offers a range of self-service solutions. Self-service products include a range of ATMs and teller automation, including deposit automation technology, such as check-cashing machines, bulk cash recyclers and bulk check deposit. The Company offers software solutions consisting of multiple applications, which process events and transactions. These solutions are delivered on the appropriate platform. From analysis and consulting to monitoring and repair, the Company provides value and support to its customers every step of the way. ! Services include installation and ongoing maintenance of its products, OpteView remote services, branch transformation and distribution channel consulting. Outsourced and managed services include remote monitoring, troubleshooting for self-service customers, transaction processing, currency management, maintenance services and full support through person to person or online communication.

Security Solutions

The Company provides its customers with the technological advances to protect their assets. The Company provides physical and electronic security systems, as well as facility transaction products, which integrate security, software and assisted-service transactions, providing total security systems solutions to financial, retail, commercial and government markets. The Company provides security solutions and facility products, including in-store bank branches, pneumatic tube systems for drive-up lanes, vaults, safes, depositories, bullet-resistive items and undercounter equipment. The Company provides a range of electronic security products, including digital surveillance, access control systems, biometric technologies, alarms and remote monitoring and diagnostics. The Company provides security monitoring solutions, including fire, managed access control, energy management, remote video management and storage, as well as logical security.

Integrated Solutions

The Company provides end-to-end outsourcing solutions with a single point of contact for customer�� self-service channel. Its solution includes hardware, software, services or a combination of all three components. The Company provides value to its customers by offering a range of integrated services and support. The Company�� service organization provides analysis and planning of new systems, systems integration, architectural engineering, consulting and project management, which encompass all facets of a financial self-service implementation. The Company also provides design, products, ser! vice, ins! tallation, project management and monitoring of electronic security products to financial, government, retail and commercial customers.

Election Systems

The Company is a provider of voting equipment and related products and services in Brazil. The Company provides elections equipment, networking, tabulation and diagnostic software development, training, support and maintenance.

The Company competes with NCR Corporation, Wincor-Nixdorf, Grg Equipment Co., Nautilus Hyosung, Itautec and Perto.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By U.S. News]

    In at least one Texas bank and one Ohio credit union, 3D video banking is currently undergoing testing, according to, a website for bank and credit union marketing executives. Three-dimensional video banking is similar to a consumer video conference with a bank representative –- only in this case, the executive looks like a living, breathing person sitting across from you. Thanks to theater surround sound, the representative also sounds as if they're in the same room. And since the consumer is interacting with a real person and not an automated hologram, the experience apparently isn't much different than the real thing. Banking and managing money isn't what it used to be. The 1970s and 1980s brought us the rise of the ATM. Consumers became acquainted with online banking during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. The 2010s are shaping up as the era of mobile banking. That was underscored Sept. 10-11 in New York City when Mitek Systems Inc. (MITK), a San Diego-based technology company, debuted its Mobile Photo Account Opening product at Finovate, a trade show where banking tech products are often unveiled. The product allows consumers to open a bank account within 60 seconds. If you have your bank's app, you can use your smartphone's camera to take a photo of the front and back of your driver's license, and presto, your new checking, savings or credit card account is open. Here's a look at other financial products and services personal financial experts think we'll be using in the future. Within 10 years. "The economic payments system will begin to 'know us,' either through biometrics, optical sensor or facial recognition," says Joshua Siegel, managing principal of StoneCastle Partners, a New York-based asset management firm that invests in banks. That's already happening to some extent with smartphones –- the new Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5S, for example, uses fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone. Meanwhile, some fi

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of Diebold (NYSE: DBD  ) slipped 2% today after Compass Point downgraded the self-service delivery and security systems specialist from neutral to sell.

  • [By Insider Monkey]

    Security and services company Diebold (DBD) is simply a dividend beast. It has raised dividends in 60 consecutive years and currently offers a yield of 3.8%. Over the past three months, two insiders, CEO Andreas Mattes and VP John Kristoff, have bought Diebold stock. Mattes currently owns about $824K worth of the stock while Kristoff's position is a bit smaller, and in the entire year of 2013, Board members Rajesh Soin and Henry Wallace have also initiated purchases here.

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    Diebold (NYSE: DBD  ) , the transaction and security firm that most of us know for its ATM technology, owns a magnificent, shareholder-friendly streak, having increased its dividend annually for the last 60 years. That's a current record among U.S. equities. The company's dividend also yields an attractive 3.9%.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Imation Corp (IMN)

Imation Corp. (Imation) is a global scalable storage and data security company. The Company�� portfolio includes tiered storage and security offerings for business and products designed to manage audio and video information in the home. The Company�� global brand portfolio includes the Imation brand, the Memorex brand, the XtremeMac and MXI Security brands. Imation is also the exclusive licensee of the TDK Life on Record brand. Its three product categories include traditional storage, secure and scalable storage, and audio and video information. It operates in four geographic segments: Americas, Europe, North Asia and South Asia. On February 28, 2011, it acquired all of the assets of Encryptx Corporation. On June 4, 2011, it acquired the assets of MXI Security, from Memory Experts International Inc. On October 4, 2011 it acquired the secure data storage hardware assets of IronKey Systems Inc. In December 2011, it acquired the data deduplication technology from Nine Technology.

The Americas segment includes North America, Central America and South America. The Europe segment includes Europe and parts of Africa. North Asia segment includes Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. The South Asia segment includes Australia, Singapore, India, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Imation brand products include magnetic tape media, recordable compact discs (CDs), digital versatile Discs (DVDs) and Blu-ray discs, flash products and hard disk drives. The Imation brand includes the DataGuard Data Protection Appliances, InfiniVault Storage appliances and removable disk technology (RDX) removable hard disk storage systems. Imation Defender products include secure storage flash drives and external hard drives. Imation brand products are sold throughout the worldwide and target the commercial user and individual consumer. Imation Defender products include secure storage flash drives and external hard drives. TDK Life on Record brand products include recordable CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray d! iscs, flash drives, tape cartridges, headphones and computer speakers which are sold to commercial customers and individual consumers. TDK Life on Record brand products is sold throughout the world.

XtremeMac brand products include cases, chargers and audio solutions to protect, power and play Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone and other devices. XtremeMac products are developed for Apple enthusiasts and are available worldwide. Its MXI Security brand includes secure storage flash drives and external hard drives, as well as software solutions to help manage portable security devices on the network.

Traditional Storage

The Company�� optical media products consist of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray recordable media. It sells Blu-ray discs, which are used primarily for recording high-definition video content. Its recordable optical media products are sold through a variety of retail and commercial distribution channels and sourced from manufacturers primarily in Taiwan and India. Optical storage capacities range from 650 megabyte CD-R (recordable) and CD-RW (rewritable) optical discs to 9.4 gigabyte double-sided DVD optical discs and Blu-ray discs with 25 gigabyte to 100 gigabyte of capacity. Its optical media is sold throughout the world under brands it owns or controls, including Imation, Memorex and TDK Life on Record and under a distribution agreement for the Hewlett Packard brand.

The Company�� magnetic tape media products are used for back-up, business and operational continuity planning, disaster recovery, near-line data storage and retrieval and for mass and archival storage. Other traditional storage products include primarily optical drives and audio and video tape media.

Secure and Scalable Storage

Secure storage products and software include universal serial bus (USB) flash drives and external hard drives designed to meet the security standards to protect data at rest with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) validation, pa! ssword an! d biometric authentication, including biometric USB drives, encrypted and biometric hard disk drives, secure portable desktop solutions and software solutions. It also sells standard USB flash drives and external hard disk drives throughout the world under its Imation, Memorex and TDK Life on Record brands. It sources these products from manufacturers primarily in Asia and the United States and sell them through a variety of retail and commercial distribution channels around the world. Scalable storage products include data protection appliances, such as DataGuard network attached storage backup appliances and InfiniVault active archive appliances.

Audio and Video Information

The Company�� audio and video information products include Apple iPad, iPod and iPhone accessories, headphones, CD players, alarm clocks, portable boom boxes, moving picture experts group layer-3 audio (MP3) players, and speakers sold under the Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac brands. It designs products to meet user needs and source these products from manufacturers throughout Asia.

The Company competes with Maxell, JVC, Sony, Verbatim, Fuji, HP, SanDisk, Lexar, PNY and Kingston.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Geoff Gannon] g>4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
    5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
    6. Maxygen (MAXY)
    7. Westell (WSTL)
    8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
    9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)

    I don�� love that list. I like the 14 past picks in the Ben Graham Net-Net Newsletter�� model portfolio much better. The newsletter only owns 1 of those 9 net-nets. Remember, we have 9 net-nets out of the 14 picked for the newsletter that are trading below where we picked them. So, obviously I like those 9 net-nets a lot better than these 9 net-nets.

    Like I said, I wouldn�� encourage you to buy those nine net-nets shown here ��even if you��e looking to put a lot of money into net-nets. Instead you should look at your favorite net-nets ��or the net-nets in the Ben Graham: Net-Net Newsletter ��and use them as a buy list you are constantly placing orders from month after month.

    Building a diversified collection of net-net through many months of purchasing is a better way to invest a lot of money in net-nets than trying to focus on the biggest net-nets.

    Read Geoff�� Other Articles
    Ask Geoff a Question
    Check out the Buffe

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Onyx Service & Solutions Inc (ONYX)

Onyx Service & Solutions, Inc., incorporated on November 25, 2009, focuses on energy solutions. The Company is a solar products manufacturer and supplier. Utilizing Polycrystalline silicon, with 72 cells in series, it provides 240 watt, 245 watt, 250 watt, 255 watt, 260 watt, 265 watt, 270 watt, 275 watt and 280 watt configurations. Its 72 cell panel size is 1955 x 992 x 50 millimeters. It also provides panels, which utilize 54 cells in series for 200 watt, 205 watt, 210 watt and 215 watt configurations. The Company is also a provider of both privately-owned and company-owned automatic teller machines (ATM��), in Onondaga County in upstate New York. The Company receives revenues from the collection of the surcharge revenues and inter-exchange revenues. As of July 31, 2011, it owned three ATMs and manages 19 ATMS throughout upstate New York. On August 22, 2011, the Company acquired Southern Geo Power Corp. (SGPC).

The Company�� 54 cell panel size is 1482 x 992 x 50 millimeters. ONYX/Optimum Solar silicon ingots are provided in both Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline versions. Its ingots are P type with Boron dopant. ONYX/Optimum solar silicon wafers are Polycrystalline solar cell materials. Its wafers are provided in the 156 x 156 millimeter size with a thickness of 220 micrometer/ 220 micrometer +/- 40 micrometer. ONYX/Optimum Solar cells are crystalline materials. It offers two models of solar cells, its Mono five inches (R150) 125S and its Mono five inches (R165) 125SL. Its R150 125S delivers 10 different levels of efficiency and its R165 125SL delivers 11 different levels of efficiency. ONYX Solar Air Conditioning Units offer thermal solar, as well as photovoltaic alternate current (AC) technology solutions. ONYX Solar Street Lights employed for both surface road and elevated highway use, in single or multiple unit setups. Its solar street lights are replenished within the sunlit hours of the day, enabling sustained performance throughout the night.

ONYX Solar Desalin! ization Systems are driven by means of photovoltaic panels, making use of pressure pumps, which force sea water across a membrane filtration system. ONYX/Optimum Solar 300 watt grid-tied micro photovoltaic inverter model OSI-300 is designed for superior installation, functionality and field maintenance. ONYX Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Glass is able to supply power to any given location with access to sunlight. ONYX Solar Well-Water Pump Systems are available in four energy options for use in a range of functions. Its solar well water pump systems were developed for virtual maintenance-free operation, rendering these units as solution for usage throughout isolated regions, including those without an electricity infrastructure readily available. ONYX Solar�� Vertical Vane Wind Turbines thrive on their ability to deliver energy from the smallest of application sites with the most stringent requirements. Each unit is able to deliver six kilowatts of power and may be used in multi-unit configurations. Onyx Solar�� Attic Fans operate within attic room setup, delivering needed aid in overall temperature regulation of the entire home or industrial/commercial building. Each fan supplies a steady exchange rate of 1600 cubic feet per minute.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is a company doing the acquiring. The company recently completed a $10.4 billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONYX) to add its cancer drug Kyprolis to its already sprawling portfolio. UBS has a $124 price target on the stock. The consensus target is at $123. Investors are paid a 1.7% dividend.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Mitek Systems Inc (MITK)

Mitek Systems, Inc. (Mitek), incorporated in 1986, is engaged in the development, sale and service of software solutions related to mobile imaging applications and intelligent recognition software. Mitek is applying its technology and in image correction, optical character recognition and intelligent data extraction to mobile devices. Using Mitek Mobile Apps, camera-equipped smartphone users can deposit checks, pay bills, save receipts and fax documents. Users simply take a picture of the document and its products corrects image distortion, extracting relevant data, routing images to their desired location, and processing transactions through users��financial institutions. It has developed and deployed Mobile Deposit, a software application that allows users to deposit a check using their smartphone camera. It has developed and deployed Mobile Receipt, a receipt archival and expense report application, and Mobile Phax, a mobile document faxing application. Its Mobile Photo Bill Pay, a mobile bill paying application that allows users to pay their bills using their smartphone camera. During fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 (fiscal 2010), it had one operating segment based on its product and service offerings.

IMagePROVE Technology Products

Using IMagePROVE, the Company has a suite of business productivity applications for camera-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone and selected BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile handsets. It has four products that use its IMagePROVE technology Mobile Deposit, Mobile Receipt, Mobile Phax and Mobile Photo Bill Pay. Its products are used in the financial services industry. It has secured sales partnerships with system integrators for the financial services industry, including Fiserv, FIS, NCR, Jack Henry, Wausau, BankServ, RDM, J&B Software and Bluepoint Solutions.

The Company�� Mobile Deposit is the smartphone application allows banks to accept check deposits through photos of checks taken with camera-equipped smart! phones. Mobile Deposit allows users to make deposits by photographing the front and back of a check and submitting the item electronically to their bank from their smartphone. Its Mobile Receipt is designed to convert the photo of a receipt taken with a smartphone into an image and with a single touch, converts the data into a professional looking expense report. Mobile Phax allows user to take a photo of any letter sized document or page and send it as a portable document format (PDF) file to any e-mail address or fax machine.

The Company�� Mobile Photo Bill Pay allows users to take pictures of their bills with their smartphone cameras and its Mobile Photo Bill Pay product correct image distortion, reading relevant data and processing the transactions through the users��banks. The payment is made electronically by debiting the users checking account and using existing online bill pay systems. With Mobile Photo Bill Pay, users can submit electronic payments from their smartphones without having to write checks, lick stamps, visit a payment location or even use their personal computers.

ImageNet Intelligent Character Recognition Toolkits

The Company�� ImageNet products are designed to provide remittance processing, proof of deposit and lock box processing applications. Its products are used to reduce manual labor by automatically extracting amounts and routing information from checks and distinguishing between common document types, such as personal and business checks, substitute checks, pre-authorized drafts and other document types specified by customers. It sells ImageNet suite of products to its channel partners, who resell them as integrated components of their solutions and services. Its ImageNet suite of products includes ImageNet Prep & ID, ImageNet Payments, ImageNet Data Capture and ImageNet Signatures.

ImageNet Prep & ID is a software toolkit that is designed to provide automatic form information document (ID), form registration and fo! rm/templa! te removal. Image Net Prep & ID reduces the image size by removing information, such as pre-printed text, lines, and boxes; leaving only the filled-in data. ImageNet Payments allows for the automatic reading of machine and hand print information found on scanned documents and forms from any structured form, as well as bank documents, such as checks, deposit slips, and remittance coupons. ImageNet Payments integrates technology components from the CheckReader product that it licenses from a vendor that is designed to read rates of the currency and legal amounts of checks drawn on the United States and Canadian financial institutions.

ImageNet Data Capture is a software toolkit that captures data from types of unstructured business documents. ImageNet Data Capture is used in data capture applications where data must be found and extracted from documents that have no pre-determined format or layout, but share common data elements. ImageNet Data Capture is designed to locate this data on documents using contextual, positional, format and keyword specific information. It has supplied ImageNet Data Capture as a stand alone application programming interface (API) to several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the document processing field. ImageNet Signatures is a software toolkit that locates, extracts and verifies signatures in any document. It encodes each signature and compares it with encoded reference examples rather than comparing actual images. Its image analytics encode 60 characteristics of each signature, which allows for accurate signature fraud detection.

FraudProtect Systems

The Company�� FraudProtect System is an automated software application designed to allow banks to detect check fraud from forged signatures and counterfeit checks, as well as the detection of pre-authorized drafts and payee name alterations. Its FraudProtect suite of products includes FraudProtect SDK, PADsafe and PayeeFind. Its FraudProtect SDK is a toolkit designed to detect c! heck frau! d and forgery using image analytics to uncover inconsistencies and alterations in checks as they are processed by banks. These products are sold to OEMs and system integrators and can detect forged or illegally modified checks. Its PADsafe product detects fraudulent preauthorized drafts (PADs). PADsafe automatically identifies PADs from checks, and then notifies the user of fraudulent transactions, reducing and preventing the unauthorized withdrawal of funds. Its PayeeFind product is designed to prevent payee-altered checks from clearing.


ImageScore is the Company�� Check 21 readiness solution for any financial institution that truncates or uses check images in an accounts receivables conversion environment. Integrated solution providers for financial institutions can also buy ImageScore to enhance their products. ImageScore is designed to analyze check images to provide the usability and information needed to help financial institutions act in accordance with regulatory and industry mandates.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By U.S. News]

    In at least one Texas bank and one Ohio credit union, 3D video banking is currently undergoing testing, according to, a website for bank and credit union marketing executives. Three-dimensional video banking is similar to a consumer video conference with a bank representative –- only in this case, the executive looks like a living, breathing person sitting across from you. Thanks to theater surround sound, the representative also sounds as if they're in the same room. And since the consumer is interacting with a real person and not an automated hologram, the experience apparently isn't much different than the real thing. Banking and managing money isn't what it used to be. The 1970s and 1980s brought us the rise of the ATM. Consumers became acquainted with online banking during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. The 2010s are shaping up as the era of mobile banking. That was underscored Sept. 10-11 in New York City when Mitek Systems Inc. (MITK), a San Diego-based technology company, debuted its Mobile Photo Account Opening product at Finovate, a trade show where banking tech products are often unveiled. The product allows consumers to open a bank account within 60 seconds. If you have your bank's app, you can use your smartphone's camera to take a photo of the front and back of your driver's license, and presto, your new checking, savings or credit card account is open. Here's a look at other financial products and services personal financial experts think we'll be using in the future. Within 10 years. "The economic payments system will begin to 'know us,' either through biometrics, optical sensor or facial recognition," says Joshua Siegel, managing principal of StoneCastle Partners, a New York-based asset management firm that invests in banks. That's already happening to some extent with smartphones –- the new Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5S, for example, uses fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone. Meanwhile, some fi

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK  ) is hoping to widen its capital base. The company announced it is floating nearly 2.86 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public flotation, at a price of $5.25 per share. Additionally, the company's underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 428,571 shares to cover overallotments, if any.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Anybody who was lucky enough to get into a Recon Technology, Ltd. (NASDAQ:RCON) position before October 7th, then congratulations - you're up big-time. Now get out. Instead, a better use of that capital is Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK). While RCON is overbought and ripe for a pullback, MITK is itching to stage a breakout.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Altec Holdings SA (AXY)

Altec Holdings SA the parent company of Altec Group, is a Greece-based company engaged in the information technology and telecommunications fields. The Company's range of activities includes the manufacture, import, export, trade, distribution, leasing and support of computers and telecommunication materials, as well as the design, production, development, import, export, leasing and trading of software for computers and electronic cash registers. Its hardware products include a range of personal computers, servers and related equipment. Its software products include systems for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, accounting, human resource management, payroll and data warehousing, insurance brokerage software and equipment for call centers. It operates a retail network under the brand Microland. The Company has established subsidiaries in Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap geothermal stock U.S. Geothermal Inc (NYSEMKT: HTM) produced a geyser of a return when it surged 26.79%, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock verses the performance of other geothermal stocks like small cap Ormat Technologies, Inc (NYSE: ORA) and mid cap Calpine Corporation (NYSE: CPN).�First of all, I should mention there are some other geothermal stocks out there like Alterra Power Corp (CVE: AXY) and Ram Power Corp (TSE: RPG) who have their primary listing on Canadian exchanges with secondary ones on the OTC���meaning they may not be a good deal for American investors or easy to invest in. Second, U.S. Geothermal Inc itself is a good geothermal proxy as its�focused on developing, owning, and operating clean, sustainable electric power from geothermal energy resources and its�operating geothermal power projects at Neal Hot Springs, Oregon; San Emidio, Nevada; and Raft River, Idaho plus El Ceibillo, an advanced stage, geothermal prospect located within a 24,710 acre energy rights concession area near Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: Synaptics Inc (SYNA)

Synaptics Incorporated is a developer and supplier of custom-designed human interface solutions that enable people to interact with a range of mobile computing, communications, entertainment, and other electronic devices. The Company focuses on the personal computer ( PC) market, primarily notebook computers, including ultrabooks, the markets for digital lifestyle products, including mobile smartphones and feature phones, the tablet market, and other select electronic device markets with its customized human interface solutions. The Company generally supplies its human interface solutions to its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers through their contract manufacturers, which take delivery of its products and pay the Company directly for them.

The Company provides custom human interface solutions for navigation, cursor control, and multimedia controls for many of the world�� premier PC OEMs. In addition to notebook applications, other PC product applications for its technology include peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, and monitors, as well as remote control devices for desktops, PCs, and digital home applications. Its solutions for the PC market include the TouchPad, the ClickPad, the TouchStyk, and dual pointing solutions. The Company�� tablet includes the ClearPad Series 7. In August 2012, it acquired Pacinian and the Video Display Operation of Integrated Device Technology, Inc.


TouchPad provides a method for screen navigation, cursor movement, and gestures and provides a platform for interactive input for both the consumer and corporate markets. TouchPad solutions offer various advanced features, including Scrolling, Customizable tap zones, performance of entertainment, productivity, and media tasks, tapping and dragging of icons, and device Interaction. The Company�� TouchPad solutions are available in a variety of sizes, electrical interfaces, and thicknesses.


The Company�� ClickPad introduces! a clickable mechanical design to the TouchPad application. Its ClickPad is activated by pressing down on the internal tact switch to perform a left- or right-button click and provides feedback similar to pressing a physical button. The latest version of ClickPad features ClickEQ, which is a mechanical solution.


The Company's ForcePad is a thinner version of the Company's ClickPad, which introduces a new dimension in control through the addition of variable force sensitivity. ForcePad is designed to provide consistent performance across OEM models through its design intelligence and self-calibration features.

Dual Pointing Solutions

The dual pointing solutions offer a TouchPad with a pointing stick in a single notebook computer. Its dual pointing solutions also provide the end user the ability to use both interfaces interchangeably. The Company has developed two solutions for use in the dual pointing market. Its first solution integrates all the electronics for controlling a third-party resistive strain gauge pointing stick onto its TouchPad PCB. Its second dual pointing solution uses its TouchStyk and offers the OEM integration. The second solution is a completely modular design, allowing OEMs to offer TouchPad-only, TouchStyk-only, or dual pointing solutions on a build-to-order basis.


The Company�� TouchStyk is a pointing stick interface solution for PC notebooks. TouchStyk is an integrated module that uses capacitive technology similar to that of its TouchPad. TouchStyk is enabled with press-to-select and tap-to-click capabilities and can be integrated into multiple computing and communications devices.


The Company�� NavPoint solution offers TouchPad functionality for small form factor devices in accessing and managing content in handheld devices through navigation controls. It also includes short- and long-distance scrolling features, tapping, and mouse-like cursor navigation.


The Company�� ClearPad touchscreen solutions consist of a transparent, thin capacitive sensor, which is a discrete sensor, that can be placed over any display, such as an liquid crystal display (LCD) or organic light-emitting diode (OLED). Its ClearPad Series 3 can provide full-time tracking of ten or more fingers simultaneously and features stylus support and support for various sensor configurations, including discrete sensors, sensor-on-lens, which includes sensor electrodes patterned on the bottom of the glass cover lens; on-cell, which includes sensor electrodes patterned on the display glass, and in-cell, which includes sensor electrodes patterned inside the LCD glass.

The Company�� ClearPad Series 4 products combines its capacitive multi-touch technology with a device�� display driver in a single-chip solution delivering advanced display noise management and capacitive sensing performance. Its ClearPad Series 7 products are designed for large touchscreen market for products more closely related to clamshell notebooks, slates, tablets, and similar devices. The Company�� ClearPad Series 7 products include single-chip touchscreen solutions and multi-chip touchscreen solutions designed for devices, such as gaming applications.


This capacitive sensing interface is mounted beneath a mechanical keypad, and allows the keypad surface to be used for advanced scrolling and navigation features, character entry, and advanced gesture input on handheld devices. With navigation functionality similar to a touch pad, FlexPad offers interface and industrial design differentiation.


The Company�� ClearButtons product is an extension of its core capacitive sensing technology that has been used in TouchPad solutions for notebook PCs, mobile smartphones, and feature phones. ClearButtons is a sensor that can be mounted under plastic, providing OEMs with integration and design options for scrolling and b! uttons.


The Company�� TouchButtons product provides capacitive button and scrolling controls for an interface solution designed to replace mechanical buttons. Button arrays and ScrollStrips can be programmed to perform various functions, such as controls for multimedia, display and device settings in notebook PCs, multimedia keyboards, MP3 players, digital photo frames, monitors, and other digital lifestyle products. TouchButton interfaces are designed for integration under the plastic face of a device, allowing for a sealed, durable, and thin design, which can be coupled with light emitting diode (LED) animation.


The Company�� ThinTouch, is a design technology that delivers a full keyboard solution that is 40% thinner than traditional keyboard solutions. ThinTouch provides design architecture that facilitates backlighting.

Proximity Sensing

The Company�� proximity sensing technology enables users to interact with consumer electronics without touch. With this technology, sensors in a device, such as a notebook PC, mobile phone, peripheral, or digital photo frame, sense the presence of a user�� hand to activate a function, such as illuminating LEDs for discoverable buttons or waking devices from power-saving mode.

Dual Mode

The Company�� Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad interface allows a user to switch between cursor control and icon-based control on the TouchPad surface. In default mode, a Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad provides the same cursor control for on-screen navigation as a standard TouchPad. When the user taps on a launch icon located on the TouchPad surface, control icons illuminate on the TouchPad surface.

ChiralMotion Gesture

The Company�� ChiralMotion Gesture technology can be applied for continuous circular motion to initiate precise and fine-tuned scrolling on any two-dimensional input surface, such as its TouchPad and ClearPad solutions. ChiralMoti! on Gestur! e technology is suited for small handheld products, such as feature-rich mobile handsets, personal navigation systems, and personal media players that require easy access for entertainment, music, and other digital files.

Synaptics Gesture Suite

The Company�� Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGSTM) provides users with an intuitive way to interact with their notebook computers. SGS was developed by analyzing the most common workflows from entertainment activities, such as viewing photos and listening to music, to productivity activities, such as accessing e-mails and presentations. SGS represents a portfolio of gestures available on its interface solutions. These gestures are compatible with a range of Microsoft Windows and Linux applications. Gestures in the market include Pinch, Rotate, ChiralMotion Scrolling, Two-Finger Scrolling, Three-Finger Flick, Three-Finger Down, and Four-Finger Flick.

Enhanced Gesture Recognition

Synaptics�� Enhanced Gesture Recognition is a suite of ClearPad gestures included in its firmware. Customers can easily enable SingleTouch gestures, such as Tap, Double Tap, Press, and Flick; DualTouch gestures, such as Pinch and Pivot Rotate, and multi-finger gestures for ClearPad directly from its touch module firmware. No additional ssoftware is required on the host processor to implement these gestures.

Dual Mode for TouchPad

The Company's Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad interface allows a user to switch between cursor control and icon-based controls on the TouchPad surface. In default mode, a Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad provides the same cursor control for on-screen navigation as a standard TouchPad.

The Company competes with Alps Electric, Elan Microelectronics, Atmel, Cypress and Melfas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    You got me there
    In these specific use cases, Apple simply can't compete. Short of calling up Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) and incorporating the company's ClearPad technology and its 3D-Touch capabilities, the iPhone will never know when you're about to touch it. Apple used to tap Synaptics for iPod click-wheel sensors, but that was a long time ago. The Samsung design win has given Synaptics a nice pop, since the GS4 is bound to bring in abundant unit volumes.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) climbed 11% today after the touch-screen technologist raised its outlook for the current quarter. �

  • [By Ryan Sullivan]

    The Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) -branded,�LG-manufactured Nexus 5 is the first high-definition smartphone to use Synaptics'� (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) ClearPad 3350 In-cell touchscreen technology. This new technology equips the Nexus 5 with a single-chip touch controller integrated into the display. The product offers increased touchscreen sensitivity with a 10-finger multi-touch display and 120 Hz refresh rate.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) have popped by as much as 18% today after the company posted solid quarterly earnings and provided upbeat guidance thanks to design wins at Samsung.

Top Computer Hardware Stocks To Own Right Now: George Risk Industries Inc (RSKIA)

George Risk Industries, Inc. (GRI), incorporated on February 21, 1961, is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of computer keyboards, push button switches, burglar alarm components and systems, pool alarms, thermostats, EZ Duct wire covers and water sensors. GRI is a diversified manufacturer of electronic components, consisting of the security industries variety of door and window contact switches, environmental products, proximity switches and custom keyboards. The Company operates in two segments: security alarm products and security alarm products GRI�� security burglar alarm products comprise approximately 84% of net revenues and are sold through distributors and alarm dealers/installers. These products are used for residential, commercial, industrial and government installations. Its products include security products/ magnetic reed switches, data entry peripherals, pushbutton switches, custom engraved keycaps and proximity sensors.

The security segment has approximately 3,000 customers. One of the distributors, ADI accounts for approximately 40% of the Company's sales of these products. The keyboard segment has approximately 800 customers. Keyboard products are sold to original equipment manufacturers to their specifications and to distributors of off-the-shelf keyboards of proprietary design. GRI owns and operates its main manufacturing plant and offices in Kimball, Nebraska with a satellite plant 40 miles away in Gering, Nebraska.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Geoff Gannon] or even just above book value. It's a darn good business so I'm getting high quality assets and earnings power. That gets less clear when looking at lower quality businesses.

    For example:

    Solitron (SODI) sells at 74% of NCAV, has decent z- and f-scores, a FCF margin of 5.3% and an ROA of 12%.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Top 5 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now

Popular Posts: 6 Biotechnology Stocks to Buy Now5 Oil and Gas Stocks to Buy Now9 Biotechnology Stocks to Sell Now Recent Posts: 5 Worst Sectors to Avoid This Week 3 Building Products Stocks to Buy Now 5 Stocks With Poor Cash Flow ��KWK STP ATPG EDN AONE View All Posts

For the week, the worst sectors according to Portfolio Grader are the Metals and Mining, Computer and Personal Electronics, Energy Services, Oil and Gas, and Communications Equipment sectors.

The Metals and Mining sector looks weak, with 78% of its stocks (74 out of 95) rated a “sell”. Finishing near the bottom this week are Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:), Walter Energy (NYSE:), and Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (NYSE:) among the Metals and Mining stocks. Cliffs Natural Resources has a score of F while Walter Energy and Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. rated F and F. Over the last 12 months, Walter Energy is the worst performer in this sector, with a 70.4% decline.

Top 5 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now: LifeLock Inc (LOCK)

LifeLock, Inc., incorporated on April 12, 2005, is a provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and identity risk assessment and fraud protection services for enterprises. It operates in two segments: consumer segment and an enterprise segment. In its consumer segment, the Company offer identity theft protection services to consumers on a monthly or annual subscription basis. In its enterprise segment, it offer identity risk assessment and fraud protection services to enterprise customers who pay the Company based on their monthly volume of transactions with it. It protects its consumer subscribers, whom it refers to as its members, by monitoring identity-related events, such as new account openings and credit-related applications. It also provides remediation services to its members in the event that an identity theft actually occurs. On March 14, 2012, the Company acquired ID Analytics, Inc. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of Lemon Inc.

Consumer Business

The Company protects its members by proactively monitoring identity-related events, such as new account openings and credit-related applications, which may present a risk of identity theft. If it detects that a member�� personally identifiable information is being used, the Company sends notifications and alerts, including proactive, near real-time, actionable alerts, to the member via text message, phone call, or e-mail through its LifeLock Identity Alert system that allows the member to confirm valid or unauthorized identity use.

Enterprise Business

The Company delivers on-demand identity risk assessment and authentication information about consumers to its enterprise customers in their daily transaction flows. Its enterprise customers utilize this information in real time to authenticate their customers, assess their risk profile, and enhance the enterprise�� decision making process on which to base account opening, le! nding, credit, and other risk-based decisions. By integrating its services into their business processes, its enterprise customers can reduce potential financial losses from identity fraud. Information generated from the transaction flow at its enterprise customers is transmitted back to its data repositories, which continually enhances the LifeLock ecosystem and helps strengthen the services the Company can provide to its customers in the future.

The Company competes with Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Affinion, Early Warning Systems, Intersections and LexisNexis.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    AFP/Getty Images/Gabriel Bouys Companies can make brilliant moves, but there are also times when things don't work out quite as planned. From a luxury electric car maker ramping up its production to sandwich makers failing to make dough rise, here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders in the business world. Tesla Motors (TSLA) -- Winner The Model S isn't cheap, but Tesla is selling enough of them to impress investors. Shares of the maker of plug-in electric vehicles raced to a new high after announcing that it delivered 6,892 cars in its latest quarter. Things will get even better in 2014 as Tesla expects to sell and deliver 35,000 vehicles. Tesla will need to ramp up its production -- currently, roughly 600 cars a week -- to closer to 1,000 Model S and new Model X cars by the end of the year. Conn's (CONN) -- Loser It isn't easy running a consumer electronics store these days. Shares of Conn's plunged 43 percent on Thursday after warning that its holiday quarter results will fall well short of its earlier expectations. If that seems like a significant drop for a mere miss, let's dive a little deeper. Conn's also warned that it's suffering from higher loan delinquencies than usual. Conn's provides in-house consumer credit on its appliances, furniture, mattresses, and consumer electronics, so revealing that 8.8 percent of its loan portfolio hasn't made a payment in more than 60 days is problematic. Conn's, which has stores in the Southwest, blames cold weather for disrupting payments, but things are never as simple as that. Conn's was holding up better than its peers that had imploded earlier this year on reports that the holidays weren't so jolly this time around. Now we know that Conn's is merely mortal, and that way too many of its customers last year aren't current on their payments. Candy Crush Saga -- Winner The company behind "Candy Crush Saga" filed to go public this week. Dublin-based King Digital Entertainment is hoping

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap security and surveillance stocks OSI Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: OSIS), Vimicro International Corporation (NASDAQ: VIMC), Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ: ALOG), Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK) and View Systems Inc (OTCBB: VSYM) have been producing a steady flow of news lately that investors might want to take a closer look at. After all, the whole security and surveillance industry is pretty vast as it would include everything from airport scanners to security cameras to software securing everyone�� personal or online data. With that in mind, here is a look at the latest news from important small cap security and surveillance stocks:

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    LifeLock (NYSE: LOCK  ) has been a beneficiary over the years, as folks turn to the company to monitor potential ID breaches. It scored another strong quarter, with revenue climbing 30% and adjusted profitability more than doubling.�

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    LifeLock Inc. (NYSE: LOCK) is a top small cap name to buy that may hold big gains for investors. The company is a leader in identity-theft protection systems and crushed its recent earnings estimates. Deutsche Bank has an $18 target, and the consensus target is $15.50. A move to the Deutsche Bank target would be a gain of 50% for investors.

Top 5 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now: Location Based Technologies Inc (LBAS)

Location Based Technologies, Inc. (LBT), incorporated on April 20, 2006, designs, develops, and sells personal, pet, and vehicle locator devices and services including PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Pets and PocketFinder Vehicles. The Company markets and sells consumer and commercial location devices and services. Its devices utilize Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technologies in conjunction with its technologies designed to enhance the families to interact and stay connected around the world. The Company is a developer of the PocketFinder family of products and the PocketFinder Network. The PocketFinder family of products includes the PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Vehicle, PocketFinder Pets, PocketFinder Luggage, PocketFinder Mobile and PocketFinder Fleet. The PocketFinder is a small location device that enables a user to locate a device, person, or pet, at anytime from almost anywhere. PocketFinder personal locator devices are wireless.

The Company generate revenue by selling its products and charging customers an ongoing service fee, for which it offers monthly and annual subscription plans. The Company�� product, PocketFinder, is a small, waterproof and wireless location device that enables users to locate anyone or anything they care about, from a computer or Web-enabled device. Its products deliver critical information to users, such as: device location, longitude, latitude, heading speed and 60 days of location history. This information can be viewed passively through a user�� account or can be sent to a user via email or push notification if the user sets an alert. The target markets for the PocketFinder include: young children, seniors, people with special needs and people who need to track valuable assets such as luggage or sporting equipment. In addition to the PocketFinder, it also sell the PocketFinder Pet and the PocketFinder Vehicle products. The PocketFinder Pet is designed for pets weighing 15 pounds or more,! and it markets the PocketFinder Vehicle to families with new drivers, car enthusiasts, motorcycle owners, watercraft owners and business fleets. The PocketFinder Vehicle attaches directly to a battery or fuse box, so it has a constant supply of power. All PocketFinder products operate on the same user interface, which enables its customers receive the same features, functionality and user-experience, regardless of which product they own. To access their account or locate their devices, users can logon to the Company�� Website at or use its native iPhone, iPad or Android Apps.

The Company�� products are sold through various brick-and-mortar and online retailers and through its Website. It provides customer service and support in the United States through existing call centers owned by Affinitas. It provides wireless location based solutions for global positioning products along with its friendly user interface software system. PocketFinder and PocketFinder Vehicle devices are being sold in the United States and in Canada through the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores. PocketFinder devices for Pets are available for purchase on its Website.

The Company competes with Geospatial Platform Providers, Application Developers, Garmin�� GTU-10, Qualcomm�� Tagg, Lo-Jack, SpotLight, Fleetmatics, NetworkFleet, and Qualcomm.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By CRWE]

    Today, LBAS surged (+10.27%) up +0.015 at $.160 with�39,780 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 11:41AM EDT July 5, 2013).

    Location Based Technologies, Inc. and EE, Ltd., the U.K.�� most advanced communications company, have previously entered into a purchase agreement which will allow LBT to embed EE SIM technology into LBT�� world�� best GPS products for immediate purchase throughout Europe and in additional areas around the world.

    EE�� relationship with LBT continues to grow. The companies began their relationship earlier this year when EE launched PocketFinder Personal GPS Locators in their London flagship stores ( With this latest agreement, LBT now has the capability to sell devices into Europe using a local SIM, thereby greatly reducing the monthly service fee charged to customers.

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, LBAS has shed (-7.69%) -0.010 at $.120 with 95,100 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 12:21PM EDT August 15, 2013).

    Location Based Technologies, Inc. previously reported it has signed a distribution agreement with Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd., an Apple approved distributor for its online, brick and mortar stores, and authorized distributors in Asia. The agreement is one of the final steps preceding the launch of LBT�� GPS products into the Asian markets. Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd. serves China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

    LBT estimates that it will begin selling its PocketFinder devices in Singapore through Apple�� online store and authorized distributors in the near future with other Asian countries to follow thereafter.

Hot Casino Stocks For 2014: Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO)

Cisco Systems, Inc., incorporated on December 10, 1984, designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry and provide services associated with these products and their use. The Company provides a line of products for transporting data, voice, and video within buildings, across campuses, and around the world. Its products are designed to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Its products are installed at enterprise businesses, public institutions, telecommunications companies, commercial businesses, and personal residences. The Company has five segments: United States and Canada, European Markets, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific, and Japan. The Emerging Markets theater consists of Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In July 30, 2012, it acquired NDS Group Ltd. In October 2012, it acquired virtual networking company, vCider. In August 2011, the Company acquired Versly. In November 2011, it acquired BNI Video. In March 2012, the Company acquired Lightwire, Inc. In May 2012, the Company acquired ClearAccess. In December 2012, the Company acquired Cloupia. In December 2012, the Company acquired Cariden Technologies Inc. In December 2012, the Company acquired Meraki, Inc.

The Company�� product offerings fall into three categories: its core technologies, routing and switching; advanced technologies, and other products. In addition to its product offerings, the Company provides a range of service offerings, technical support services and advanced services. The advanced services program supports networking devices, applications, solutions, and complete infrastructures.


The Company offers a range of routers, from core network infrastructure for service providers and enterprises to access routers for branch offices and for telecommuters and consumers at ho! me. Key products within its routing category are the Cisco ASR 901/903, Cisco 1000, 5000, and 9000 Cisco Aggregation Services Routers (ASR), as well as the Cisco ASR 800, 1900, 2900 and 3900 Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR):; Cisco CRS-1, 7600 and Cisco CRS-3 Cisco Carrier Routing Systems (CRS). During the fiscal year ended July 31, 2010 (fiscal 2010), Cisco introduced the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System (CRS-3) and Cisco 7600 Series Routers.

Service Provider Video

The Company�� end-to-end, digital video distribution systems and digital interactive set-top boxes enable service providers and content originators to deliver entertainment, information, and communication services to consumers and businesses around the world. Key product areas within its Service Provider Video category are: Set-Top Boxes, IP set-top boxes (both High-Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD)); Digital cable set-top boxes (both HD and SD); Cable Modem CPE (Data, EMTA, and Gateways); Videoscape Software Products and Headend Equipment (Encoders, Decoders, and Transcoders).


The Company�� switching products offer many forms of connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, access points, and servers, and also function as aggregators on local-area networks (LANs), metropolitan-area networks (MANs), and wide-area networks (WANs). Its switching systems employ several widely used technologies, including Ethernet, Power over Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, Packet over Synchronous Optical Network, and Multiprotocol Label Switching. Many of its switches are designed to support an integrated set of advanced services, allowing organizations to be more efficient by using one switch for multiple networking functions rather than multiple switches to accomplish the same functions.

Cisco offers a family of Ethernet switching solutions from fixed-configuration switches for small and medium-sized businesses to modular switches for enterprise! s and ser! vice providers. Its fixed-configuration switches are designed to provide a foundation for converged data, voice, and video services. Key products within its switching category are the Cisco Catalyst 2960, 3560, 3750, 4500 and 6500 Series; the Cisco Nexus 2000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 Series switches; and MDS Series: MDS 9000.

Fixed-configuration switches are designed to cover a range of deployments in small and medium-sized businesses. It fixed-configuration switches are designed to provide a foundation for converged data, voice, and video services. They range from small, standalone switches to stackable models that function as a single, scalable switching unit. Modular switches are typically utilized by enterprise and service provider customers. Fixed-configuration and modular switches also include products such as optics modules which are shared across multiple product platforms.

NGN Routing

Routing technology is fundamental to the Internet, and this technology interconnects public and private IP networks for mobile, data, voice, and video applications. The Company's NGN Routing products are designed to enhance the intelligence, security, reliability, scalability, and level of performance in the transmission of information and media-rich applications. It offers a broad range of routers, from core network infrastructure and mobile Internet network for service providers and enterprises to access routers for branch offices and for telecommuters and consumers at home. Key product areas within its NGN Routing category are, Cisco Aggregation Services Routers: Cisco ASR 901/903, Cisco ASR 1000, Cisco ASR 5000 and Cisco ASR 9000. Cisco Integrated Services Routers: Cisco ISR 800, Cisco ISR 1900, Cisco ISR 2900 and Cisco ISR 3900. Cisco Carrier Routing Systems: Cisco CRS-1, Cisco CRS-3 and Cisco 7600 Series Routers.


Cisco security solutions deliver identity, network and content security solutions designed to enable customers to reduce the ! impact of! threats and realize the benefits of a mobile, collaborative, and cloud-enabled business. The products in this category span firewall, intrusion prevention, remote access, virtual private networks (VPNs), unified clients, network admission control, Web gateways, and email gateways. Its AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client solution enables users to access networks with their mobile device of choice, including laptops and smartphone-based mobile devices, while allowing organizations to manage the security risks of networks. Its cloud-based Web security service is designed to provide real-time threat protection and to prevent malware from reaching corporate networks, including roaming or mobile users. It focuses on a proactive, layered approach to counter both existing and emerging security threats. During the fiscal year ended July 28, 2012, it introduced the Cisco ASA 5500-X Series Midrange Security Appliance, Cisco Security Manager 4.3, the IPS 4500 Series, and Prime Security Manager.


The Cisco Unified Wireless Network aims to harness the network to solve business problems, uniting high-performance wireless access across campus, branch, remote and outdoor environments. Its offerings include wireless access points (including the Cisco Aironet product family), controllers, antennas, and integrated management. The Company�� offerings provide users with simplified management and mobile device troubleshooting features which are designed to reduce operational cost and maximize flexibility and reliability. It is also investing in custom chipsets to deliver functions such as CleanAir proactive spectrum intelligence, ClientLink acceleration for mobile devices and VideoStream multicast optimization technology.

Data Center

The Company�� data center product category has been its major product category for the past two fiscal years. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Server Access Virtualization form the core of the Data Center product category.! Key prod! uct areas within its Data Center product category are: Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers, Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers and Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.

Other Products

The Company�� other products category primarily consists of Linksys home networking products, certain emerging technologies, and other networking products. In addition to its product offerings, it provide a range of service offerings, including technical support services and advanced services.

The Company competes with Alcatel-Lucent; ARRIS Group, Inc.; Aruba Networks, Inc.; Avaya Inc.; Belden Inc.; Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.; Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.; Citrix Systems, Inc.; D-Link Corporation; LM Ericsson Telephone Company; Extreme Networks, Inc.; F5 Networks, Inc.; Force10 Networks, Inc.; Fortinet, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Company; Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.; International Business Machines Corporation; Juniper Networks, Inc.; LogMeIn, Inc.; Meru Networks, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; NETGEAR, Inc.; Polycom, Inc.; Riverbed Technology, Inc.; and Symantec Corporation.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Finally, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) climbed 1%. The company has done a good job of increasing its presence in the cloud-computing space, with Cisco having been cited by an analyst firm as hurting the prospects of cloud rival VMware (NYSE: VMW  ) . As tech giants across the industry break out of their traditional niches and all chase after the same high-growth areas, such confrontations will become more commonplace, and it'll be essential for Cisco to use its size and financial strength to make the most of the opportunities it has.

Top 5 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now: Envivio Inc (ENVI)

Envivio, Inc., incorporated on January 5, 2000, is a provider of Internet protocol (IP) video processing and distribution solutions, which enable the delivery of video to consumers. The Company�� solution is designed to enable service providers and content providers to offer video anytime, anywhere across a range of video formats, networks, consumer devices and operating systems. Its software-based solution runs on industry-standard hardware and includes encoders, transcoders, network media processors all controlled through its network management system. It enables service providers and content providers to deliver linear broadcast and on-demand video services to their customers through multiple screens, such as tablets, mobile handsets, netbooks, laptops, personal computers (PCs) and televisions. Its customers include mobile and wireline telecommunications service providers, cable multiple system operators (MSOs), direct broadcast satellite service providers (DBSs), and content providers, which includes broadcasters and content publishers, owners, aggregators and licensees.

Core Technologies

The Company�� software platform includes core technologies: modular software architecture and multi-core video compression. The Company�� core competencies are in developing advanced media compression and video over IP technologies, where it delivers a carrier grade, multi-screen solution. Its modular software architecture provides a common platform of capabilities and features, which allows its products to perform critical video processing and distribution functions, including ingestion, processing, packaging, protection and encryption, network optimizations and monitoring. In addition, its software-based architecture allows customers to enable features or add capacity through the input of a simple security or license key.

The Company Multi-core video compression has a set of video processing and compression algorithms designed to optimize performance on industry-stan! dard, multi-core hardware chipsets. These algorithms are central to all of its encoder and transcoder products.


The Company�� unified video headend solution and unified delivery infrastructure for live and on-demand multi-screen video delivery are built on its encoding, transcoding and video distribution products. Its suite of products consists of Envivio 4Caster, Muse, Halo and 4Manager. Its 4Caster product delivers video to mobile, PC and television from a single platform. It has designed 4Caster to optimize live and on-demand workflows for video delivery commensurate with the characteristics of both legacy and current network infrastructures by encoding video input in multiple codecs, resolutions, bit rates and formats. 4Caster utilizes pre-processing techniques to clean and optimize video sources before encoding.

Envivio Muse is its new multi-screen software architecture designed for live or file-based video transcoding and distribution to multiple devices. Muse is available on industry-standard blade servers or its 4Caster appliances and enables service providers running large-scale operations to leverage their existing datacenter infrastructure to deliver enhanced video services. Muse also enables advanced functionality, such as ad-insertion and content protection for mobile devices that facilitates service monetization.

The Company�� Halo Network Media Processor performs final content adaptation for consumer devices, including protected adaptive bitrate streams compatible with Apple iOS, Android 3 and Microsoft Smooth Streaming enabled consumer devices. Its 4Manager network management system is specifically engineered to manage next generation video headends for mobile television, over-the-top (OTT) and Internet protocol television (IPTV), while continuing to support traditional broadcast distribution networks. 4Manager allows service providers to monitor and control all headend appliances. 4Manager is designed to maximize video he! adend ava! ilability and reliability by reporting system malfunctions and can automatically switch away from a defective unit, minimizing service disruption.


The Company offers a range of services in support of its products, including on-site project assessment, systems integration, on-site delivery and operational and customer support. On-site project assessment include complete review of content sources, existing systems and middleware to determine the proper interface and adaptation equipment necessary for its customer to deliver an optimized consumer quality of experience. Systems integration configures all the equipment with its solution according to network design and plan. On-site delivery install all equipment and test the operational environment, including redundancy and system monitoring, as well as administer technical training to validate predefined use cases in an operational environment. Operational and customer support provides different grades of service level agreements and support contracts according to requirements.

The Company competes with Harmonic Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Elemental Technologies, RGB Networks, Inc., Google Inc. and Ericsson AB.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Technology stocks gained Thursday, with Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Envivio (NASDAQ: ENVI), with shares up 2.8 percent, and Adept Technology (NASDAQ: ADEP), with shares up 4.3 percent.

Top 5 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now: Houston Wire & Cable Co (HWCC)

Houston Wire & Cable Company, incorporated in 1997, provides wire and cable and related services to the United States market. The Company offers its customers with a single-source solution for wire and cable, hardware and related services. The Company offers products in categories of wire and cable, including continuous and interlocked armor cable, control and power cable, electronic wire and cable, flexible and portable cords, instrumentation and thermocouple cable, lead and high temperature cable, medium voltage cable, premise and category wire and cable, wire rope and wire rope slings, as well as nylon slings, chain, shackles and other related hardware. It also offers private branded products, including its brand LifeGuard, a low-smoke, zero-halogen cable. On January 1, 2011, the acquired companies were merged into HWC Wire & Cable Company.

The Company�� products are used in repair and replacement, also known as maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and related projects, larger-scale projects in the utility, industrial and infrastructure markets and a diverse range of industrial applications, including communications, energy, engineering and construction, general manufacturing, mining, construction, oilfield services, infrastructure, petrochemical, transportation, utility, wastewater treatment, marine construction and marine transportation. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company served approximately 6,000 customers.

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 Houston Wire & Cable (Nasdaq: HWCC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.