If you look through some explanations of why the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) failed to set a new record today, you’ll find a common theme: Investors are worried about a potential correction. Yet the problem with that hypothesis is that investors have been worried about a correction for months now, if not years, and the market hasn’t hesitated to climb higher regardless. With a decline of just 19 points for the Dow and similarly insignificant declines for the broader market, reading too much into the day’s activity will lead you to false conclusions about what in reality isn’t any change in sentiment among investors.
Moreover, focusing too much on pessimistic sentiment will distract you from pockets of optimism within certain sectors. For instance, Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) climbed 1.7% today as investors continued to applaud the company’s decision last week to shut down two of its Canadian production lines and to delay the construction of a new line for at least six years. With aluminum prices remaining stubbornly weak, Alcoa’s move at the Baie-Comeau smelter in Quebec represents the latest in a series of strategic decisions designed to reduce overall supply and support long-term price increases for the metal. Even though it will take time for conditions to improve, Alcoa has demonstrated its willingness to make tough decisions in order to put itself in the best position to benefit from favorable long-term trends toward greater future use of aluminum.
Top 5 Canadian Stocks To Buy Right Now: Transdigm Group Incorporated(TDG)
TransDigm Group Incorporated designs, produces, and supplies engineered aircraft components for use on commercial and military aircraft principally in the United States. The company?s products include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, AC/DC electric motors and generators, NiCad batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, rods and locking devices, engineered connectors and elastomers, cockpit security components and systems, cockpit displays, aircraft audio systems, lavatory components, engineered interior surfaces, and lighting and control technology. Its customers comprise distributors of aerospace components; commercial airlines, including national and regional airlines; commercial transport and regional and business aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); various armed forces of the United States and foreign governments; defense OEMs; system suppliers; and various other industrial customers. TransDigm Group Incorporated was founded in 1993 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio.
Top 5 Canadian Stocks To Buy Right Now: Imperial Oil Limited(IMO)
Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration and production of conventional crude oil, natural gas, synthetic oil, and bitumen primarily in the Western Provinces, the Canada Lands, and the Atlantic Offshore. Its primary conventional oil producing asset includes the Norman Wells oil field in the Northwest Territories. The Downstream segment engages in the transportation and refining of crude oil, as well as blending, distribution, and marketing of refined products. It owns and operates crude oil, and natural gas liquids and products pipelines in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. The Chemical segment engages in the manufacture and marketing of various petrochemicals, including ethylene, benzene, aromatic and aliphatic solvents, plasticizer intermediates, and polyethylene resin. As of De cember 31, 2010, Imperial Oil Limited had 1,204 million oil-equivalent barrels of proved undeveloped reserves; maintained a nation-wide distribution system, including 24 primary terminals, to handle bulk and packaged petroleum products moving from refineries to market by pipeline, tanker, rail, and road transport; and sold petroleum products through 1,850 Esso retail service stations, of which approximately 510 were company owned or leased. The company was founded in 1880 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada. Imperial Oil Limited operates as a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation.
Hot Casino Companies To Buy For 2014: Agrium Inc.(AGU)
Agrium Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and markets agricultural nutrients, industrial products, and specialty products worldwide, as well as involves in the retail supply of agricultural products and services in North and South Americas. The company?s Retail segment markets crop nutrient products, including nitrogen, phosphate, potash, sulphur, and micronutrients; crop protection products, such as herbicides, fungicides, adjuvants, and insecticides; and seeds. This segment also offers agronomic services, as well as product application, soil and leaf tissue testing and analysis, and crop scouting services. This segment operates 1,192 outlets in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The company?s Wholesale segment produces, markets, and distributes nitrogen, phosphate, potash, sulphate, and other crop nutrient products for agricultural and industrial customers. This segment also owns and operates facilities that upgrade ammonia t o other nitrogen products, such as urea, nitric acid, and ammonium nitrate, as well as provides Rainbow plant food products. Agrium?s Advanced Technologies segment produces and markets controlled-release crop nutrients and micronutrients for the agriculture, specialty agriculture, professional turf, horticulture, and consumer lawn and garden markets. The company was formerly known as Cominco Fertilizers Ltd. and changed its name to Agrium Inc. in 1995. Agrium Inc. was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Hard commodities aren’t getting all of institutional investors’ hate in 2013; agricultural commodity stocks are too. Enter Agrium (AGU), the Canadian agricultural retailer. Agrium is the largest ag retailer in the U.S., selling fertilizers, chemicals and seed directly to farmers through more than 1,250 locations. One of the most attractive attributes of Agrium is the fact that the firm isn’t merely a seller — it’s also the third-largest producer of potash in North America, a factor that should bode well for Agrium’s margins as fertilizer prices rise.
Agrium is well-positioned to grab onto bullish trends in the agricultural commodities. Because its customers, the farmers, have that same exposure, they’re less price-sensitive to changes in costs than they would otherwise be; fertilizer and seed prices tend to move in lock-step with the prices that farmers are able to charge for their crops.
From a macro standpoint there’s reason to be bullish on the agriculture business: Growing populations and declining farmland continue to be major themes worldwide, and demand for efficiency-improving products (like fertilizers) should continue to strengthen. At the same time, Agrium’s push to other regions should help to spawn growth in the next few years.
While a proxy battle at AGU has added some extra headline risks for the firm (big holders want to split the firm’s retail and wholesale fertilizer businesses), it’s my view that ultimately either outcome will likely add value for investors. The combined firm has more cost savings, while the split up firm will likely see value unlocked from a public offering.
Institutions unloaded more than $25 million shares of AGU in the last quarter.
- [By Lowell]
Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU): Down 1.01% to $71.84. Agrium Inc. supplies nitrogen, potash and phosphate for agricultural, industrial, and specialty use. The Company operates throughout the America’s while it markets its products globally.
Top 5 Canadian Stocks To Buy Right Now: Higher One Holdings Inc.(ONE)
Higher One Holdings, Inc. provides technology and payment services in the United States. It offers a suite of disbursement and payment solutions for higher education institutions and their students. The company provides OneDisburse Refund Management product that offers higher education institutional clients with a technology service for streamlining the student refund disbursement process. It also offers CASHNet Payment suite that includes software-as-a-service products and services, such as ePayment to securely accept online payments for tuition, charges, and fees from students through credit card, pinless debit, and ACH; eBill to automate payer billing and processing functions; MyPaymentPlan to personalize students? payment plans; eMarket that allows academic, athletic, and other departments to take alumni donations, sell event tickets and other merchandise, and accept payments of event and conference registration fees; and Cashiering to operate and manage cashiering fu nctions, back office payments, and campus-wide departmental deposits. In addition, the company provides OneDisburse ID, which offers an option to combine the company?s debit card with the institution?s ID cards; OneDisburse Payroll to distribute payroll and other employee-related payments; OneDisburse PLUS product to distribute Parent PLUS loan refunds to parents on behalf of the school; and Financial Intelligence to students with an online class. Further, it provides student-oriented banking services to campus communities. Additionally, the company offers OneAccount product for students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni, with an FDIC-insured online checking account and a debit MasterCard ATM card. Higher One Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut.
- [By Robert Holmes]
Company Profile: Higher One offers integrated financial aid disbursement services for universities. The company provides services to about 5.8 million students, ensuring they receive financial aid refunds quickly, can pay tuition and bills online, make on-campus and community purchases.
Share Price: $19.99 (Dec. 6)
2011 Return: -1.2%
Investment Thesis: William Blair analysts say they like Higher One because the company has an attractive, predictable business model with high incremental margins and solid cash flow conversion. It also helps that management recently said that the company’s pipeline "remains extremely robust."
"We believe there could be upside down the road from the company increasingly being viewed as a true bank alternative (e.g., more direct deposit), through acquisitions, by monetizing the graduate opportunity, and as a takeover candidate," the analysts write.
However, there is high short interest in H igher One’s stock — William Blair analysts say it would take about 30 days to cover. That’s due to a number of unresolved headwinds, including competition, fees, potential cuts in Pell grants, slowing enrollment growth in the U.S. and a bank partner.
While finding a bank partner is the biggest question market, William Blair analysts say that a positive announcement, which could come in the next three months, would be a huge catalyst, especially considering the massive short interest.
Top 5 Canadian Stocks To Buy Right Now: PPL Corporation(PPL)
PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, generates and sells electricity; and delivers natural gas to approximately 5.3 million utility customers primarily in the northeastern and northwestern U.S. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, International Regulated, Pennsylvania Regulated, and Supply. The Kentucky Regulated segment engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity; and the distribution and sale of natural gas to approximately 1.3 million customers in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. The International Regulated segment owns and operates electricity distribution businesses in the United Kingdom that deliver electricity to 7.7 million customers. The Pennsylvania Regulated segment delivers electricity to approximately 1.4 million customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania. The Supply segment owns and operates power plants to generate electricity using coal, uranium, natural gas, oil, and water res ources; markets and trades electricity and other purchased power to wholesale and retail markets; and acquires and develops domestic generation projects. It controls or owns a portfolio of generation assets of approximately 11,000 megawatts in Montana and Pennsylvania. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s distribution system included 649 substations with a capacity of 25 million kVA, 28,838 circuit miles of overhead lines, and 24,131 cable miles of underground conductors in the United Kingdom. It also operated 377 substations with a capacity of 31 million kVA, 33,122 circuit miles of overhead lines, and 7,368 cable miles of underground conductors in Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- [By Michael Brush]
PPL (PPL) has a dividend yield of 5%.
Utilities are the classic dividend play from your grandparents’ day. They’re still a good place to get yield.
Wright says he favors PPL in part because the provider of electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee is out of favor with investors. "Your risk/reward is not going to get much better than it is now."
Electricity demand should increase as the economy picks up. And much of the revenue from increased sales will fall to the company’s bottom line, because PPL generates power from lower-cost energy sources, particularly nuclear and coal.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
You can’t build a dividend portfolio without looking at utility stocks—which brings us to PPL.
PPL is a utility stock that owns 11,200 megawatts of generation capacity, and provides regulated utility service to electricity customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and the UK. PPL also distributes natural gas to Kentucky. Just a few years ago PPL was primarily a generation firm, earning three-fourths of its profits by selling power on the open market. Today, though, the firm has shifted its strategy towards the stable income of the regulated utility business.
Stable, predictable income is the hallmark of a stellar dividend stock, and PPL has managed to pick up its regulated exposure while still keeping its uniqueness. A big differentiator for PPL is its energy distribution unit in the UK—that expertise in a foreign market should open the door to other overseas utility operations if attractive opportunities present themselves down the road.
Dividend growth at PPL is likely to cool in the next couple of years as the firm dumps considerable CapEx into upgrading its infrastructure. That’s actually a good thing for dividend investors because it means that PPL’s dividend prospects are going to be artificially held down in the near-term. With the firm’s payout already at 4.87 percent, investors shouldn’t have any trouble waiting a while for the next hike.