Monthly Archives: August 2017

Top Value Stocks To Watch Right Now

Like parades and fireworks,Independence Day cookouts are a holiday tradition. But hosting one can get priceyif you dont watch your budget. Hereare some tips for hostinga fabulous cookout this Fourth of July without going broke, courtesy of Sarah Spigelman Richter, a food reporterbased in Manhattan.

1. Thinkquality over quantity

You may think youre getting a deal on that discountmeat, but chances are the pricier goods are a better value, said Richter. Thoughyoull have fewer burgers to go around, youll feel better about eating meat that was raised ethically and sustainably its better for your health, the environment and animal welfare. Of course, sustainably sourced everything does cost more, Richter said, so dont feel pressuredto serve up a steak. Go for any sort of poultry thats interesting to you, she said, or choose sausages, fish or ground meat. The latter isoften cheaper and more delicious.

Top Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Allegheny Technologies Incorporated(ATI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Tuesday morning, the basic materials shares climbed by 0.95 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE: ATI), up 5 percent, and Mechel PAO (ADR) (NYSE: MTL), up 5 percent.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The stock market performed well on Tuesday, responding to steady improvement among many companies as earnings season kicked into high gear. Although political issues are likely to remain in the spotlight for some investors for the foreseeable future, many market participants are looking to economic and business issues in driving their investing decisions. Major market benchmarks finished the day with gains of 0.5% to 1%, but some stocks did much better. Among the best performers on the day were Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI), II-VI (NASDAQ:IIVI), and Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH). Below, we’ll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

Top Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Prestige Brand Holdings Inc.(PBH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Castor believes the cash has disappeared into working capital, which has grown from 23% to more than 50% since 2008. Comparable company PrestigeBrand (PBH) uses 11%; Unilever(UL) and Colgate-Palmolive(CL) far less.

Top Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Move Inc.(MOVE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Renu Singh]

    Aruba Networks (ARUN) is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.

How Game Publishers Can Make Money From eSports

For most mobile game publishers, eSports is currently not a profitable business. However, investing in eSports is usually justified by the positive impact on game revenues and the future potential of their eSports activities as a stand-alone business with Newzoos 2017 Global Esports Market Report that was released earlier this year noting:

Illustrated by the $98 million in publisher fees in 2016, esports is not a profitable business for game publishers. This is not set to change soon. We anticipate these fees to increase to $116 million worldwide in 2017 as more publishers enter the arena. However, their investment is justified by the positive impact on game revenues and the future potential of their esports activities as a stand-alone business. As esports is becoming engrained in the DNA of all successful competitive games. Publishers are actively looking to grow their franchises into spectator sports with the aim of further engaging their current fans and reaching new ones. Often lacking the experience and resources to do so, publishers turn to these white-label organizers to help them set up leagues and events around their franchises. Esports teams have seen revenues grow significantly year on year with sponsorship revenues growing rapidly. Still, most teams are not yet turning a profit as they invest int o new franchises and attempt to keep or attract the best talent.

Nevertheless and as noted by a post on Quora, there are a couple of key business model areas that can be used to generate revenue:


Sponsorships Endorsements Profit Sharing (Key Events with Partners/Sponsors) Stream Partnerships Team-Organised Events (Sponsored Invitational like EG Masters etc.) Player Appearances Stream Ads


Sponsorships Profit Sharing Stream Tickets Event Tickets Registration Fees (unlikely at large-scale events) Stream Ads


Sponsorships Event Organising Media Partnerships In-Content Advertising

A blog post also noted the following five streams of revenue for eSports based on the Newzoo 2017 report:

Merchandise from both teams and brands, such as items of clothing or branded computer hardware, and sales of event tickets Sponsorships for both players and teams Advertising on both classic media like ESPN and new platforms like Twitch Media rights for streaming and televising esports events And game publisher fees

Finally, its worth mentioning that Mike Turner, the VP of Strategic Partnerships at up and coming small cap mobile gaming stock SPYR Inc (OTCQB: SPYR), recently discussed in an interview how his Company along with other publishers are finding ways to make money from the eSports market:

“Just like the other Publishers in the gaming space, SPYR’s esports program will move through various stages of maturity that will unlock different revenue streams.

1. Player Driven Revenue Stream: PvP Tournaments attract more users to the game, make them stay longer, and make more purchases as they fight through the ladders and online challenges in each game.

2. Partnerships Driven Revenue Stream: Once a formal tournament structure is implemented on an ongoing basis, SPYR is able to sell direct deal sponsorship opportunities to brands who want to reach this demographic; as viewership grows, revenue will increase.

3. Licensing Driven Revenue Stream: SPYR then will leverage and license the streaming rights for broadcast of each game title. Larger media entities are progressively interested in acquiring streaming rights for active and engaged viewers.”

Over the last 24 months, small cap SPYR Inc has been investing in building a world-class mobile-first games publishing and development business by expanding the electronic games publishing business with additional titles under the SPYR umbrella (4-6 games per year) using a balanced portfolio strategy and by adding to in-house development capabilities through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. In June, SPYR Inc had announced big progress in turningits flagshipPocket Starshipsspace battle gameinto a major force in the eSports market as the game now includes new player vs. player (PvP) features. With the latest updates, players can now engage in direct PvP arena battles (either one on one, three on three or five on five) simply by pressing a “quick match” button in the game.In the battles, players can go solo or team up to defeat their opponents and move up the new game leaderboards and league system. Pocket Starships is well positioned for eSportsb ecauseits alsoavailable to gamers on a wide range of platforms and devices, including iOS, Android, tablets, PCs, Macs, Kindles, Amazon and Facebook.

Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now

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CMS Officially Shortens 2018 Individual Health Enrollment Period

President Donald Trump’s administration has formally adopted regulations that could help increase the stability of the individual major medical insurance market, and the Affordable Care Act exchange system, in 2018.

One big change in the new package of regulations will move the end of the open enrollment period for 2018 individual major medical coverage to Dec. 15, from Jan. 31, 2018.

Three Democrats and an independent crossed the aisle to vote for the Indiana health program consultant.

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Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Intrepid Potash, Inc(IPI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Wednesday afternoon, basic materials shares gained by 1.74 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE: IPI), and L.B. Foster Co (NASDAQ: FSTR).

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Friday afternoon, the basic materials sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE: IPI) and L.B. Foster Co (NASDAQ: FSTR).

Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Pure Cycle Corporation(PCYO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Tuesday, utilities shares fell 0.46 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Korea Electric Power Corporation (ADR) (NYSE: KEP), down 4 percent, and Pure Cycle Corporation (NASDAQ: PCYO), down 2 percent.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Wednesday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested small cap water and wastewater services stockPure Cycle Corporation (NASDAQ: PCYO) as a long/bullish trade:

Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.(WASH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    The list of below stocks is notable as the shares have traded on sequentially increasing volume spanning the trading days from September 16 to September 20:

Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Investors Real Estate Trust(IRET)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]


    General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.60 per share on revenue of $3.86 billion. Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $420.05 million. Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $2.03 per share on revenue of $847.79 million. Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $2.40 per share on revenue of $4.49 billion. Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WOR) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.64 per share on revenue of $692.48 million. Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $94.64 million. UniFirst Corp (NYSE: UNF) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $1.34 per share on revenue of $366.28 million. Exfo Inc (NASDAQ: EXFO) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $60.87 million. OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $205.40 million. 8Point3 Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: CAFD) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $11.60 million. Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE: PKE) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.22 per share on revenue of $35.30 million. Xplore Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: XPLR) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.01 per share on revenue of $24.00 million. Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $56.87 million. Tel-Instrument Electronics Corp. (NYSE: TIK) is estimated to post earnings for the latest quarter. Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEMD) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.20 per share. Ossen Innovation Co Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: OSN) is projected to post ea

Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (The)(IPG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    We rate INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COS as a Buy with a ratings score of A. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. 

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    Interpublic is our income play in our media universe. While other stocks we cover offer a higher yield than IPG’s 2.1%, the company’s double digit EPS growth projections for 2016 (following an estimated 18% in 2015) will also likely be a driver of outperformance for the year. While results can be somewhat volatile for IPG, we would point to record new business win backlog this year, which improves our conviction that the better than average recent organic revenue growth trends will continue next year. At 18x our 2016 EPS estimate, we find IPG shares attractive at current levels for another projected year of healthy double digit total returns. 

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company’s bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.


Top Medical Stocks To Watch Right Now: InterOil Corporation(IOC)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    On the production side of things, XOM continues to dive head-first into natural gas production and shipping. The fuel promises to be one of the primary ways we generate electricity in the future, and smart mega-buys such as XTO and InterOil Corporation (IOC) have made Exxon one of the worlds biggest players in nat gas.

5 of the Best Stocks Under $10 for 2017

Without classifying stocks as “cheap” or “expensive,” and rather than looking at a stock’s face value, we can put emphasis on earnings estimate revisions to find stocks under $10 that will, hopefully, be winners for investors.

5 of the Best Stocks Under $10 for 2017Source: Flickr

That being said, low-priced stocks can be attractive to smaller investors that can’t necessarily afford large stakes in companies with higher priced stocks. When looking at these low-priced stocks, we can look at the same trends in growth, value, and momentum and apply the Zacks Rank to properly analyze the potential that these companies have.

Today we’ve highlighted five stocks that are currently trading for under $10 per share. These stocks are also showing signs for solid growth throughout 2017, and all of them currently hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CVGI)

Today’s Close: $8.75

Commercial Vehicle Group supplies interior systems, vision safety solutions and other cab-related products for the global commercial vehicle market. With one positive estimate revision in the past 30 days helping move its Zacks Consensus Estimate higher, we now expect CVGI to post earnings growth of 52% this year.

This trend is expected to continue into the next fiscal year, wherein our current consensus estimate calls for EPS growth of 73%. Also, the company’s strong earnings surprise history should make investors feel more confident heading into its report next week.

xG Technology Inc (NASDAQ:XGTI)

Today’s Close: $2.14

xG Technology is engaged in developing communications technologies for wireless networks. Its products include xMax system, an end-to-end Internet protocol (IP) network solution. This has been—and will continue to be—a year of aggressive earnings and revenue growth for xG.

According to our current consensus estimates, the company is poised to post full-year revenue growth of over 700% and full-year EPS growth of over 100%. So far, the stock has soared more than 60% year-to-date, but if its shocking growth continues, this stock should keep going even higher.


Today’s Close: $9.30

ZAGG Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes protective clear coverings and accessories for consumer electronic and hand-held devices, worldwide. ZAGG just smashed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20% in its most recent report, and now the company is looking to ride that momentum into the new quarter.

Its full-year estimate for earnings has gained three cents in the past week, and now we expect EPS growth of 172% and sales growth of 21%. The stock also looks to be fundamentally sound, as its sporting “B” grades in all of our Style Scores categories, including the overall VGM category.

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Intelsat SA (NYSE:I)

Today’s Close: $3.32

Intelsat offers network services comprising transponder services, video distribution and contribution services, hybrid satellite, fiber and teleport managed services. Intelsat is at the head of a Satellite and Communication industry that currently sits in the top 12% of the Zacks Industry Rank, and the stock has been moving higher after the company beat our earnings expectations be nearly 40% recently.

On top of this, Intelsat sports an “A” grade for Value, which is underscored by its shockingly low P/S ratio and impressive PEG ratio, meaning it is a rare low-priced value pick.

Mazda Motor Corp (OTCMKTS:MZDAY)

Today’s Close: $7.87

Based in Japan, Mazda Motor Corp. engages in the manufacture and sale of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and automotive parts. Mazda also has an “A” grade for Value, which has been boosted by its P/E ratio of 8.14 and its P/B ratio of 0.95.

Additionally, the company’s full-year and next-year earnings estimates have been moving higher recently, and that positive sentiment has helped the stock gain more than 6% this month. That’s not to mention that Mazda falls into the strong Foreign Automotive industry, which currently sits in the top 2% of the Zacks Industry Rank.

Bottom Line

A stock’s market price is certainly not the most important factor to consider when considering whether or not to add it to your portfolio, and sales and earnings growth projections can prove to be tough to live up to.

Nevertheless, we can always use Zacks’ proven methods of finding quality stocks, and these five companies just happen to be showing strength while also trading for under $10 per share. If you would like to check out more of these low-priced stocks, look no further than our Stocks Under $10 portfolio service!

Want more market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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3 High-Yield Closed-End Funds for Tax-Free Income

Closed-end funds have become popular in recent years as bond yields have dropped precipitously. As a result, income investors have gone further out on the yield curve to find the kind of yields with CEFs they used to enjoy in the days when bonds were offering higher interest payments.

3 High-Yield Closed-End Funds for Tax-Free IncomeSource: Shutterstock

One of the things my stock advisory newsletter, The Liberty Portfolio, does is find securities that deliver better risk-adjusted returns than you’ll find in the market. This is not an easy task because most investors don’t realize just how much risk they are taking on so-called “safe investments,” even with CEFs.

This is not an easy task because most investors don’t realize just how much risk they are taking on so-called “safe investments,” even with CEFs.

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Today, I’m looking at three tax-free municipal bond CEFs as possible starting points for investors to consider adding to the portfolio. They aren’t quite up to the standards of The Liberty Portfolio, but they have many strong attributes.

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High-Yield Closed-End Funds: BlackRock Municipal Bond Trust (BBK)

High-Yield Closed-End Funds: BlackRock Municipal Bond Trust (BBK)Tax-Equivalent Yield: 8.55%
Expenses: 1.77%

BlackRock Municipal Bond Trust (NYSE:BBK) is a decent candidate for more aggressive investors, although it has pieces that I’m not crazy about. BBK invests in municipal bonds that are tax-exempt for federal income tax purposes.

It has a ten-year annual average total return of 7.26%. For those in the highest tax bracket, that’s equivalent to a whopping 12% yield. However, it has an expense ratio of 1.77%.

More than 71% of the bonds are A-rated or better. However, it carries bonds from Illinois and New Jersey, the two bottom feeders in the Mercatus Center’s ranking of states with the worst fiscal situations.

Because less than 8% of the entire portfolio is insured, you might want to either comb through the holdings to see just how much exposure there is to state-level bonds, or short a corresponding security for those states, if you can find them.

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High-Yield Closed-End Funds: Western Asset Municipal Partners Fund (MNP)

High-Yield Closed-End Funds: Western Asset Municipal Partners Fund (MNP)Tax-Equivalent Yield: 8.36%
Expenses: 1.61%

Western Asset Municipal Partners Fund Inc. (NYSE:MNP) has a few things going for and against it. MNP is like most municipal bond tax-free funds in that also has carried muni bonds from states that aren’t in great shape.

This is the problem with the best performers, because they have bonds from the shakiest states, and therefore those that pay higher rates. Still, A-rated and higher bonds represent more than 80% of the portfolio. There are bonds from the bottom three states accounting for about 11% of assets – although that’s why this CEF trades at a 4% discount to NAV.

MNP has a ten-year annual average total return is 6.72% with a total expense ratio of 1.61%. Now, you may ask why these CEFs have such high expense ratios. Well, it’s because most are leveraged. Which means that they borrow money to turn around and buy bonds.

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So they are able to boost returns by borrowing money at a lower rate than the bonds pay. Hence, most carry about 50 bps to 60bps of interest expense on the loans.

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High-Yield Closed-End Funds: Nuveen Texas Quality Municipal Income Fund (NTX)

High-Yield Closed-End Funds: Nuveen Texas Quality Municipal Income Fund (NTX)Tax Equivalent Yield: 7.79%
Expenses: 1.28%

If you want to stick with muni bonds from Texas, the 23rd highest-rated state according to Mercatus, consider Nuveen Texas Quality Municipal Income Fund (NYSE:NTX).

The ten-year average annual total return is 5.82%. In this CEF, we have over 87% of the assets A-rated or higher. Hence, the lower returns. Not only that, while most funds have about 150 holdings across several states, this has 148 holdings over just Texas. So it has its money in many different municipalities.

NTX trades at a 6.3% discount to NAV, which I think overestimates the possibility of default in some of these municipalities. It has a lower expense ratio of 1.28%, and in this case, 0.59% comes from that interest expense that I mentioned.

It, too, is leveraged at about 31% — roughly the same as most of the muni bond CEFs on the market.

Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, a specialty lender focusing on consumer finance and is the Manager of The Liberty Portfolio at He does not own any stock mentioned. He has 22 years’ experience in the stock market and has written more than 1,600 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at