Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now

I have written about MFS Intermediate Income Fund (MIN) on a few previous occasions, most recently here. I have extolled its virtues as a defensive play in a bear market scenario.

In this brief article, I wish to provide an update on MIN’s recent release of its breakdown of the May monthly dividend, which to me shows a change in its income sources.

MIN is high on my watch list, as it certainly appears that the markets could be turning down as this is written. At a minimum, volatility seems to be increasing, particularly when one notes how the market averages had some pretty wild swings last week.

A Quick Summary Of MIN

MIN is a closed-end fund [CEF] that seeks to provide income by investing in short and mid-term high grade securities. Its portfolio is global in scope.

Of late, MIN’s performance has been abysmal at best, with both its price per share and net asset value [NAV] hitting new lows on an almost a daily basis. At its Friday closing pr ice of $5.70 the current yield is now 9.07%. On the encouraging side (really encouraging) is the fact that MIN is now selling at a 4.52% discount to NAV. MIN has only sold at a discount two times in the past year, and to my knowledge both times the discount was very small.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: CCR SA (CCRO3)

CCR SA is a Brazil-based holding company primarily engaged in the operation of highways. The Company’s businesses are divided into five main operating segments: Highway which includes concessions such as AutoBAn, ViaOeste, NovaDutra, RodoNorte, SPVias, Ponte, ViaLagos, RodoAnel Oeste, Transolimpica and Renovias; Subway which includes ViaQuatro, Sea Transportation which includes Barcas concession; Airport Concessions which include Quiport, Aeris and CAP, and all companies related to these concessions; and Services/Holdings which is related to sub-holdings CPC and CCR Espana, among others. It is involved in the collection of toll fees on highways and is responsible for repairing, conserving, maintaining and operating of these highways. It is responsible for national highways network in Brazilian states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Parana. Additionally, it is active in automotive inspection services, automatic toll payment and automatic vehicle identification systems operati on. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ney Hayashi]

    Toll-road operator CCR SA (CCRO3) added 3.1 percent to 16.75 reais, snapping a five-day rout that drove shares 11 percent lower. Competitor EcoRodovias Infraestrutura e Logistica SA gained 1.7 percent to 14.75 reais today.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Blue Calypso Inc (BCYP.OB)

Blue Calypso, Inc., formerly JJ&R Ventures, Inc. (JJ&R), incorporated on March 2, 2007, is a development stage company. The Blue Calypso platform consists of two primary components. The Blue Calypso Network, or back-end, includes the data warehouse of ad and related content, the ad rendering engine, endorser portal, brand portal, agency portal, administrative portal, and Web services and communications clusters responsible for receipt and transmission of data and content. The second component is the mobile platform, installed on endorser smartphone devices or accessed via an endorser Web portal,, and called Calyp. The Calyp mobile application and Website are the portals for endorsers to enter the community, initiate endorsements and interact with other endorsers. The Company owns four registered trademarks in the United States. Blue Calypso Holdings (Texas Corporation) merged into Blue Calypso, Inc. (Delaware Corporatio n), on December 17, 2011.

< p>On September 1, 2011, Blue Calypso Acquisition Corp., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, merged with and into Blue Calypso Holdings, Inc., with Blue Calypso Holdings, Inc. On October 17, 2011, the Company merged with and into Blue Calypso, Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary, for the sole purpose of changing its state of incorporation from Nevada to Delaware. Aztec Systems, Inc. provides administrative and technical support services to the Company. The Company outsources the endorser reloadable Visa Debit card processing to an organization that is responsible for filing necessary taxes documents, preserving personally identifying information (PII/PCI) and maintaining and issuing the cash rewards to the endorsers.

The Company competes with MyLikes, Zuberance, WeReward (IZEA), Dunnhumby, BzzAgent, Groupon and Living Social.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Markman Advisors]

    Public companies leveraging their patent portfolios, (aka "patent plays"), are getting the market’s attention. Companies such as Vringo (VRNG), ParkerVision (PRKR), MGT Capital (MGT), Worlds Inc. (WDDD.OB) and others have presented trading opportunities due to their volatility while retaining the chance for a big payoff to those investors who stay the course. Yet there exist viable patent plays that are still undiscovered. Some of these so called "plays," which are not getting enough attention, are actually real companies making and selling real products or services in contrast to pure patent monetization companies. Some known examples are Single Touch Interactive (SITO.OB) and Blue Calypso (BCYP.OB). This article is focused on another one of these patent plays, On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTIV).

Best Consumer Service Companies To Own In Right Now: Johnson Controls Inc.(JCI)

Johnson Controls, Inc. engages in building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions businesses worldwide. Its building efficiency business designs, produces, markets, and installs integrated heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, as well as building management systems, controls, and security and mechanical equipment. This business also provides technical services, energy management consulting, and operations of real estate portfolios for the non-residential buildings market. In addition, this business offers residential air conditioning and heating systems, and industrial refrigeration products. The company?s automotive experience business designs and manufactures interior products and systems for passenger cars and light trucks, including vans, pick-up trucks, and sport/crossover utility vehicles. It offers seating systems and components; cockpit systems comprising instrument panels and clusters, information displays, and body controllers; overh ead systems, such as headliners and electronic convenience features; floor consoles; and door systems. This business also produces automotive interior systems for original equipment manufacturers. Its power solutions business produces lead-acid automotive batteries serving automotive original equipment manufacturers and the general vehicle battery aftermarket. This business produces lead-acid batteries, as well as offers absorbent glass mat and lithium-ion battery technologies to power hybrid vehicles. The company was formerly known as Johnson Electric Service Company and changed its name to Johnson Controls, Inc. in 1974. Johnson Controls, Inc. was founded in 1885 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Sales at America’s automakers have been going great guns these past few quarters, and you’d think that would be great news for the companies that make parts for all these shiny new autos. In some cases, you’d be right to think that. But in at least one case — the case of Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI  ) stock — you’d be very, very wrong.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Summit Midstream Partners LP (SMLP)

Summit Midstream Partners, LP is engaged in owning and operating midstream energy infrastructure that is located in North America. The Company provides natural gas gathering and compression services in two resource basins: the Piceance Basin, which includes the Mesaverde, Mancos and Niobrara Shale formations in western Colorado, and the Fort Worth Basin, which includes the Barnett Shale formation in north-central Texas. As of June 30, 2012, the Companys gathering systems had approximately 385 miles of pipeline and 147,600 horsepower of compression. As of September 20, 2012, its systems gathered an average of approximately 909 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, of which approximately 64% consisted of natural gas liquids (NGLs), that were extracted by a third party processor. Summit Midstream GP, LLC is the Companys general partner. On October 27, 2011, the Company acquired certain natural gas gathering pipeline, dehydration and compression assets in the Picean ce Basin of western Colorado, which it refer to as the Grand River system. The Companys customers include the natural gas producers in North America, such as Encana Corporation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, TOTAL, S.A., Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc., WPX Energy, Inc., Bill Barrett Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation and EOG Resources, Inc. In October 2012, the Company acquired ETC Canyon Pipeline, LLC from La Grange Acquisition, L.P., a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. On February 15, 2013, it closed the acquisition of to Meadowlark Midstream Company, LLC, formerly Bear Tracker Energy, LLC. In June 2013, Summit Midstream Partners LP acquires assets in Bakken, Marcellus. In June 2013, Summit Midstream Partners LP acquired Bison Midstream LLC. In June 2013, Summit Midstream Partners LP closed the previously announced acquisition of certain natural gas gathering pipelines and compression assets located in the liquids-rich window of the Marcellus Shale P lay.

The Grand River system consists of approxi! mately 276 miles of pipeline and 97,500 horsepower of compression and is located in Garfield County, Colorado. The Grand River system primarily gathers natural gas produced by the Companys customers from the liquids-rich Mesaverde formation within the Piceance Basin. The Grand River system also gathers natural gas produced from its customers’ wells targeting the deeper Mancos and Niobrara Shale formations. As of September 20, 2012, the DFW Midstream system had five primary interconnections with third-party, intrastate pipelines that enables the Company to connect its customers, directly or indirectly, with the natural gas market hubs of Waha, Carthage, and Katy in Texas, and Perryville and Henry Hub in Louisiana. As of September 20, 2012, the DFW Midstream system gathered an average of approximately 325 million cubic feet per day from seven producers.

The Company competes with Access Midstream Partners, L.P., Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., Williams Partners L.P., Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Midstream operator,Summit Midstream Partners (NYSE: SMLP  ) is expanding its reach after it announced two separate natural gas gathering acquisitions last week. The company is spending $460 million to acquire assets in the Bakken and Marcellus in unrelated deals. Let’s take a closer look and the deals and what both mean for investors.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: M&T Bank Corporation (MTB)

M&T Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for M&T Bank and M&T Bank, National Association that provide commercial and retail banking services to individuals, corporations and other businesses, and institutions. It offers business loans and leases; business credit cards; deposit products, such as demand, savings, and time accounts; and financial services, including cash management, payroll and direct deposit, merchant credit card, and letters of credit. The company also provides residential real estate loans; multifamily commercial real estate loans; commercial real estate loans; one-to-four family residential mortgage loans; investment and trading securities; short-term and long-term borrowed funds; brokered certificates of deposit and interest rate swap agreements related thereto; and branch deposits. In addition, it offers foreign exchange, as well as asset management services. Further, the company provides consumer loans, and commercial loans and leases; cred it life, and accident and health reinsurance; and securities brokerage, investment advisory, and insurance agency services. As of December 31, 2009, it had 738 banking offices in New York State, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia; a commercial banking office in Ontario, Canada; and an office in George Town, Cayman Islands. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Buffalo, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mike Deane]

    M&T Bank (MTB) announced its fourth quarter and full year earnings before the bell on Friday, with quarterly GAAP earnings falling from last year’s Q4 while full year earnings rose 11%.

    MTB Earnings in Brief

    M&T Bank reported quarterly net income of $245.72 million, which was down from last year’s Q4 net income of $296.19 million. The company’s diluted EPS came in at $1.79 for the quarter, down from the $2.23 per diluted common share reported in last year’s Q4 results. MTB missed analysts’ estimates of $1.92 EPS. For the full year, MTB reported EPS of $8.38, marking an 11% increase from last year’s EPS of $7.54

    CFO Commentary

    Rene F. Jones, CFO and executive VP, had the following comments about the company’s earnings: “While expenses were elevated by investments in our infrastructure during 2013, M&T achieved a net operating return on average tangible common shareholders’ equity of 18.17% for the full year. Our core capital position strengthened, as the Tier 1 common ratio grew to 9.25% at the 2013 year-end, up 17 basis points from September 30 and 168 basis points higher than at December 31, 2012. We are also pleased with the continued improvement in credit quality. M&T’s liquidity and risk profile was enhanced during the year through several actions, including replacing less liquid investment securities with Ginnie Mae securities and the securitization of loans held in the loan portfolio. During the final two quarters of 2013 we invested heavily in several key areas, including risk management, capital planning and stress testing, regulatory compliance, and other operational and technologyinitiatives. Those investments will better position M&T for the future.”

    No Dividend Change

    MTB did not announce a change to its quarterly dividend, and has not raised its dividend since 2007. It should be noted that MTB did not cut its dividend

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB  ) will take a little longer to absorb fellow lender Hudson City Bancorp (NASDAQ: HCBK  ) . The companies said in a joint press release that they believe more time will be needed to address regulatory issues in order to effect the planned acquisition, first announced in Aug. 2012.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Rocket Fuel Inc (FUEL)

Rocket Fuel, Inc., incorporated on March 25, 2008, is a technology company that has developed an Artificial Intelligence and Big Data-driven predictive modeling and automated decision-making platform. Its technology is designed to address the needs of markets in which the volume and speed of information render real-time human analysis infeasible.

The Companys Artificial Intelligence (AI), system autonomously purchases ad spots, or impressions, one at a time, on these exchanges to create portfolios of impressions designed to optimize the goals of Its advertisers, such as increased sales, heightened brand awareness and decreased cost per customer acquisition. Its solution is designed to optimize both direct-response campaigns focused on generating specific consumer purchases or responses, as well as brand campaigns geared towards lifting brand metrics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Analysts at Needham upgraded Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ: FUEL) to Strong Buy from Buy with a $75 price target. The analysts noted positive industry checks and that recent concerns over the company are overblown. Shares gained 13.55 percent, closing at $56.83.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDD)

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is a German producer of solutions for the print media industry. The Company divides its activities into the three business segments Heidelberg Equipment, Heidelberg Services as well as Heidelberg Financial Services. Its product portfolio includes the prepress area with the Suprasetter product family; the press area, which comprises Speedmaster product families, that are used for classical offset printing, as well as for special applications, such as ultraviolet (UV) printing; as well as the postpress area, that includes cutters, folders, saddle stitchers, adhesive binders, die-cutting products, folding carton gluing machines and label systems. The Company also offers a range of spare parts and used equipment, as well as training programs and its own printing process automation software, Prinect. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated three domestic subsidiaries and a number of foreign subsidiaries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Brazil, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ICRAOnline]

    Second-quarter revenue dropped 3.8% to $3.53 billion due to weakening hard disk drive (HDD) demand, reflecting the continuous slump in the PC industry. And even though low-cost and reliable HDDs are demanded by the burgeoning cloud storage space, Seagates high-margin HDD sales were poorer than expectations. On the flip side, demand for HDDs from consumer electronics, external storage and network-attached storage areas progressed well.

  • [By Nicolas73]

    Seagate Technology (STX) is a company involved in the design, manufacture, marketing and selling of Hard Disk Drives (HDD).

    They produce HDDs for enterprise applications (e.g. enterprise servers), client compute applications (mainly for notebooks), and non-compute applications (e.g. portable devices).

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDD) jumped 14 percent to 2.20 euros, its biggest gain since February 2009, as it announced a digital partnership with Fujifilm Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Heidelberger Druck will gain access to Fujifilms inkjet technology and its partner will in return benefit from the German companys engineering and manufacturing activities, Heidelberger Druck said.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Entropic Communications Inc.(ENTR)

Entropic Communications, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops, and markets systems solutions to enable connected home entertainment. Its products include integrated circuits and related software associated with home networking solutions based on the Multimedia over Coax Alliance standard; direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services; high-speed broadband access; and silicon tuners. The company?s products enable the delivery of various streams of high-definition television-quality video, standard-definition television-quality video, and other multimedia content, such as movies, music, games, and photos into and throughout the connected home. It serves telecommunications carriers, cable operators, and DBS service providers, as well as the providers of over-the-top services. Entropic Communications offers its products through its direct sales force, as well as through a network of sales representatives and distributors worldwide. The company was founded in 20 01 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Entropic Communications Inc.(ENTR) said its board has authorized a $30 million share-repurchase program. The chip maker recently had a market capitalization of $394.1 million, according to FactSet.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Entropic (NASDAQ: ENTR  ) got crushed today by as much as 16% after the company reported earnings.

    So what: Revenue in the first quarter added up to $74.5 million, which translated into non-GAAP net income of $300,000. That rounds to $0.00 per share, which was in line with consensus forecasts. CEO Patrick Henry acknowledged that 2013 will be a transitional year for the company.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Oplink Communications Inc.(OPLK)

Oplink Communications, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells optical networking components and subsystems worldwide. The company?s products are used to expand optical bandwidth, amplify optical signals, monitor and protect wavelength performance, redirect light signals, ensure signal connectivity, and provide signal transmission and reception within an optical network. It offers bandwidth creation products, such as wavelength expansion products comprising dense wavelength division multiplexers (DWDM), coarse wavelength division multiplexers, band wavelength division multiplexers, and DWDM interleavers; and optical amplification products consisting of gain blocks, erbium doped fiber amplifiers, wavelength division multiplexers pump/signal combiners, integrated hybrid components, WDM pump combiners, polarization beam combiners, gain flattening filters isolators, isolators, and tap couplers. The company also offers bandwidth management produc ts, such as optical switching and routing products comprising optical add/drop multiplexers, wavelength selective switches, reconfigurable OADMs, switches, and circulators; wavelength conditioning products that include variable optical attenuators, variable multiplexers, and dynamic band equalization products; and wavelength performance monitoring and protection products consisting of supervisory channel WDM, integrated WDM and tap monitor arrays, optical channel monitors, and wavelength protection subsystems. In addition, it provides optical interconnect products, including connectors and adapters, fixed attenuators, patchcords, and termination and distribution enclosures; and transmission products, such as small form-factor pluggable transceivers, XFP transceivers, CWDM transceivers, bi-directional transceivers, DWDM transceivers, optical supervisory channel transceivers, GEPON products, and 40G/100G transceiver products. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartere d in Fremont, California.

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 Oplink Communications (Nasdaq: OPLK  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [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 Oplink Communications (Nasdaq: OPLK  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Buy Right Now: Hansen Medical Inc.(HNSN)

Hansen Medical, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells medical robotics designed for positioning, manipulation, and control of catheters and catheter-based technologies. The company?s products comprise the Sensei Robotic Catheter System and its related Artisan and Lynx catheters. It offers Sensei Robotic Catheter systems and Artisan catheters for manipulation, positioning, and control of mapping catheters during electrophysiology procedures. The company also provides robotic platforms consisting of the Magellan Robotic System and the NorthStar Robotic Catheter for the treatment of vascular disease. In addition, it offers CoHesion 3D Visualization Module, a software interface that provide physicians with 3D visualization to augment their ability to move a catheter throughout the heart, as well as control the placement of the catheter in specific locations. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States; and through direct sales force and dis tributors primarily in the European Union and internationally. It has a joint development agreement and co-marketing agreement with St. Jude Medical, Inc. for the development of CoHesion 3D Visualization Module; and a collaboration agreement with Philips Medical Systems Nederland B.V. to co-develop integrated products for use in the diagnosing and treatment of arrhythmias. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    While billed as a rival to America’s Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG  ) , Mazor actually bears closer resemblance to tiny Hansen Medical (NASDAQ: HNSN  ) . Lacking profits despite raking in nearly $15 million in revenues last year, Mazor doesn’t generate positive free cash flow like Intuitive does. Instead, it burns it like Hansen does (albeit more slowly). Last year, negative free cash flows amounted to $2.1 million, which suggests that Wallachbeth’s endorsement may be a bit premature.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap robotic stock Adept Technology (NASDAQ: ADEP) has put in a very good performance this month verses its immediate peeriRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT) as well as against medical robotic stocks like MAKO Surgical (NASDAQ: MAKO), Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) and Hansen Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: HNSN). I should also mention that we have recently added Adept Technology to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio (we are up 9% since last week) because we feel robotics is an improving sector as companies aim to reduce overhead and improve efficiencies through machine to machine (M2M) automation.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap medical robotics stock MAKO Surgical Corp (NASDAQ: MAKO) soared 82.19% after it was announced that Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK) would acquire it meaning it might be time to take a closer look at large cap medical robotics leader Intuitive Surgical, Inc (NASDAQ: ISRG) along with small caps Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) and Hansen Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: HNSN). MAKO Surgical Corpmarkets both its RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System and proprietary RESTORIS family of implants to surgeons for a procedure called MAKOplastythat provides a less invasive method for knee resurfacing and a new procedure for Total Hip Arthroplasty.Stryker Corporation, whose medical technologies include reconstructive, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine products, agreed to pay $1.65 billion or $30 a share for a massive 86%premium for MAKO Surgical Corp. Thats sounds great for investors unless you are an investor who go in the stock ba ck in 2011 and early 2012 when shares hit as high as the$43 level.