Missouri's governor Jay Nixon on Tuesday signed a law that made it the first state to bar pension advances — a practice wherein retirees are offered a lump sum in exchange for signing over all or part of their income stream — for public workers.
“This practice is bad for consumers. It preys on a vulnerable population, and it's bad for retirement security in general,” Missouri's Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who championed House Bill 1217, said in an interview.
Indeed, the Government Accountability Office on Monday released a study that found that exploitative business practices abound in the world of pension advance transactions. The GAO identified at least 38 companies — at least 21 of which are related to each other in ways that aren't apparent to consumers — that operate in this space, noting that “some targeted financially vulnerable consumers with poor or bad credit nationwide.”
5 Best Integrated Utility Stocks To Buy For 2015: FBR & Co (FBRC)
FBR & Co., formerly FBR Capital Markets Corporation, is a full-service investment banking, institutional brokerage and asset management company. In addition, it makes principal investments, including merchant banking investments. The Company�� subsidiaries are FBR Capital Markets & Co. (FBR & Co.), FBR Capital Markets International, Ltd. (FBRIL), Financial Services Authority (FSA), and FBR Fund Advisers, Inc. (FBR Fund Advisers). Its segments include capital markets, which include investment banking and institutional brokerage and research; asset management, and principal investing, which includes merchant banking. It provides capital raising services, including underwriting and placement of public and private equity and debt; financial advisory services, including merger and acquisition advisory, restructuring, liability management, recapitalization and strategic alternative analysis; asset management services through a family of mutual funds; institutional sales and trading services focused on equities, equity-linked securities, listed options, high-yield bonds, senior debt and bank loans; and research coverage.
The Company�� capital markets business is conducted by its investment banking and institutional brokerage professionals through its United States and United Kingdom broker-dealer subsidiaries. These professionals provide investment banking services, including capital raising and financial advisory services, and institutional brokerage services, including sales, trading, and research services, to its institutional clients across its core industry sectors.
The Company�� investment adviser subsidiaries principally manage a family of mutual funds. At December 31, 2011, it managed client assets through its 10 mutual fund product lines that cover a range of sectors and asset classes. Through attention to relative valuation and security selection, it manages mutual funds strive both to participate in rising m! arkets and preserve capital in down markets. It focuses on expanding its asset management business.
The Company�� investing activity consists primarily of investments in merchant banking investments, investments in publicly traded companies, and investments in short-term liquid instruments. This strategy involves putting its capital to work alongside the capital of its institutional clients.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Zachary Tracer]
FBR & Co. (FBRC) is leading the sale, according to a regulatory filing today from Emeryville, California-based NMI. The company said it�� seeking to raise $25 million, a placeholder amount used to calculate registration fees, according to the document.
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: Southcross Energy Partners LP (SXE)
Southcross Energy Partners, L.P., incorporated on April 12, 2004, is a limited partnership. The Company owns, operates, develops and acquires midstream energy assets. The Company provides natural gas gathering, processing, treating, compression and transportation services and natural gas liquid (NGL) fractionation services to its producer customers, under fixed-fee and fixed-spread contracts, and it also sources, purchases, transports and sells natural gas and NGLs to its power generation, industrial and utility customers. Its assets are located in South Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its South Texas assets, which consist of approximately 1,445 miles of pipeline and two processing plants and accounted for approximately 77% of its revenues. Its Mississippi and Alabama assets, which consist of approximately 626 and 519 miles of pipeline, respectively, provide transportation of natural gas to its power generation, industrial and utility customers, as well as to unaffiliated interstate pipelines. The assets in its South Texas region are located between Houston and Freer. These assets consist of approximately 1,445 miles of pipeline ranging in diameter from 2 inches to 20 inches. In March 2014, the Company acquired natural gas pipelines near Corpus Christi, Texas along with contracts related to those pipelines.
The assets in the Company�� South Texas region are located between Houston and Freer, a city, which is located approximately 50 miles west of Corpus Christi. These assets consist of approximately 1,445 miles of pipeline ranging in diameter from 2 inches to 20 inches with an estimated design capacity of 590 million cubic feet per day. Its South Texas region also includes 29 compressors with total compression of approximately 35,000 horsepower, two processing plants with total processing capacity of 185 million cubic feet per day and contracted third-party processing capacity of 83 million cubic feet per day, two treatin! g plants and one fractionator. During 2011, the systems in this region had an average throughput of 379 million cubic feet per day, including the processing plants, which processed an average of 75 million cubic feet per day in that period. It divides its South Texas region into four asset systems Vanderbilt and Gulf Coast gathering systems, which it refers to collectively as the Gulf Coast system; CCNG Transmission, which refer to as the CCNG system; Gregory gathering system, Gregory processing plant and Gregory fractionation plant, and Conroe gathering system and Conroe processing plant.
The pipelines in its South Texas segment are connected to multiple producing fields, including the Eagle Ford shale area. In addition to tie-ins to its two processing plants, its gathering systems are also connected to two processing plants owned by third parties and to a range of intrastate and interstate pipelines.
The Gulf Coast system is located throughout 13 counties in South Texas, including parts of the Eagle Ford shale area, and consists of two pipeline systems. The Gulf Coast system includes approximately 743 miles of pipeline ranging from 2 inches to 20 inches in diameter with an estimated design capacity of 205 million cubic feet per day. The system also includes seven compressors with compression of approximately 7,136 horsepower on a combined basis. During 2011, this system had an average throughput of approximately 114 million cubic feet per day.
The Gulf Coast system acquires natural gas from over 100 producers at prices that are at a fixed discount to the Houston Ship Channel Index price. The gas is delivered to third-party processing plants, including the Formosa processing plant located in Point Comfort, Texas and the Hilcorp processing plant located in Old Ocean, Texas. In the case of the Hilcorp processing plant, its customers pay it gathering fees to transport approximately 25 million cubic feet per day from their wells to this processing plant. Its producer ! customers! on the Gulf Coast system range from small independent exploration and production companies to producers, such as Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy.
The CCNG system is located in the Eagle Ford shale area and consists of over 417 miles of transmission and gathering pipeline ranging from 2 inches to 20 inches in diameter. The system also includes one compressor with total compression of approximately 1,260 horsepower. During 2011, the system had an average throughput of 190 million cubic feet per day. Natural gas is supplied to this system from approximately 35 field receipt points, treating plants and third party gathering systems and pipelines, including Texas Eastern, Kinder Morgan and Conoco Lobo. Producers who supply or transport natural gas on the CCNG system include Swift Energy, EOG, Exxon, Comstock and Apache. Liquids-rich gas can be transported from the western end of the system to its Woodsboro and Gregory processing plants. Dry gas is brought into the dry gas portions of the system along with residue gas from the outlets of its processing plants. Gas in the system is purchased and sold, under fixed-spread arrangements, as well as transported on behalf of shippers. The CCNG system sells its dry natural gas in the industrial market around the city of Corpus Christi. A portion of the throughput on its CCNG system is processed at its Gregory processing plant or at the Formosa processing plant located in Point Comfort, Texas.
The Gregory gathering system is located near Corpus Christi, Texas and consists of approximately 266 miles of pipeline ranging from 4 inches to 18 inches in diameter. The system also includes one compressor. Its Gregory processing plant is a cryogenic natural gas plant comprised of two units collectively having a total capacity of 135 million cubic feet per day. Its Gregory processing plant processes natural gas from the Gregory gathering system, as well as gas originating in its CCNG System.
Produced NGLs are fractionated in the Compan! y�� fra! ctionator located on the same site as the Company�� Gregory processing plant. Purity ethane is shipped through pipeline to Dow Chemical while remaining NGLs are shipped through truck to local markets, which yield a premium to available pipeline rates. All of its customers on the Gregory gathering system pay a flat fee for natural gas to be gathered in the system and processed at the Gregory processing plant. Its Conroe processing plant is a 50 million cubic feet per day cryogenic natural gas plant. The plant recovers approximately 65% of the ethane contained in the inlet natural gas, depending on loads and temperatures.
The assets in the Company�� Mississippi region are located in the southern half of the state and comprise the intrastate pipeline system in Mississippi. The Mississippi assets consist of approximately 626 miles of pipeline ranging in diameter from 2 inches to 20 inches. The Mississippi system also includes two compressors. During 2011, the system had an average throughput of 86 million cubic feet per day. It generates revenues from its Mississippi assets by charging fixed transportation fees to shippers and by entering into fixed-spread contracts with suppliers and power generation, industrial and utility customers. During 2011, fixed-fee transportation contracts comprised 34.8% of the volumes it transported on its Mississippi system and fixed-spread contracts comprised the remaining 65.2% of its volumes.
The assets in the Company�� Alabama region are located in northwest and central Alabama and consist of 519 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline ranging from 2 inches to 16 inches in diameter. The Alabama system also includes 22 compressors with total compression of approximately 24,537 horsepower. The system has an estimated design capacity of 375 million cubic feet per day. The gas supply to the system is coalbed methane gas from the Black Warrior Basin with incremental volumes gathered from conventional ! gas wells! . It gathers, transports, compresses, purchases and sells natural gas in Alabama and offers both intrastate transportation and interstate transportation services. During 2011, 81% of the volumes on its Alabama system were transported pursuant to fixed-fee transportation contracts and 19% of the volumes on the system were purchased from producers and then transported and sold to power generation, industrial and utility customers pursuant to fixed-spread contracts.
The Company competes with Copano Energy, L.L.C., Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., Enterprise Products Partners LP and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
Southcross Energy Partners LP (NYSE: SXE) shares rose 11.05% to $20.61. The volume of Southcross Energy shares traded was 624% higher than normal. Southcross Energy and TexStar Midstream Services announced a combination agreement.
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: Westwood Holdings Group Inc(WHG)
Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. manages investment assets and provides services for its clients. It operates through two subsidiaries, Westwood Management Corp. and Westwood Trust. The Westwood Management Corp. provides investment advisory services to corporate retirement plans, public retirement plans, endowments and foundations, mutual funds, individuals, and clients of Westwood Trust. The Westwood Trust provides trust and custodial services to institutions and high net worth individuals, and participates in common trust funds that it sponsors. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Dallas, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Will Ashworth]
Even though APAM stock has been hitting its 10-month high in recent days, its yield is still 2.6% — 50 basis points higher than BLK, WDR and WETF. If you like asset managers that handle big chunks of institutional money while still playing the retail mutual fund game, this is the smart choice.Westwood Holdings Group (WHG)
I first became aware of the Dallas-based asset manager Westwood Holdings Group (WHG) when I read about its founder, Susan Byrne, in an article that appeared in Fortune magazine several years ago. Her firm has been doing great things outside the bright lights of Manhattan ever since.
- [By E.S. Browning]
��t is a slow, grinding process. It is going to take some getting-used-to,��said Mark Freeman, chief investment officer at Westwood Holdings Group Inc.(WHG), which oversees $19 billion in Dallas. It is possible that ��his is what we will be doing over the next several quarters,��he added.
- [By Matt Jarzemsky var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); popups.forEach]
Producers focused on hot shale regions have been in vogue among investors of late, said Bill Costello, portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings Group Inc.(WHG), which manages about $19 billion.
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: InfoSonics Corp(IFON)
InfoSonics Corporation engages in the design, development, sourcing, and sale of wireless handsets and accessories in Latin America and the Asia Pacific. The company offers a line of entry-level, mid-tier, and high-end products under the verykool brand name. It contracts with electronic manufacturing services providers to manufacture its branded products. The company?s customers include carriers, agents, distributors, resellers, and original equipment manufacturers. InfoSonics Corporation was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Bryan Murphy]
Looking for some new trading ideas? Start by putting Arrowhead Research Corp. (NASDAQ:ARWR) and InfoSonics Corporation (NASDAQ:IFON) on your watchlist... though not yet in your portfolio. Though both IFON and ARWR have laid the foundation for a rally, neither has gotten above their final humps. Here's a closer look at what it's going to take.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Infosonics (NASDAQ: IFON) shares jumped 22.64% to $2.06. Infosonics shares have jumped 170.97% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 23.35% in the same period.
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: Ishares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB)
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (the Index). The Index consists of securities of NASDAQ-listed companies that are classified according to the Industry Classification Benchmark as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, and which also meet other eligibility criteria. The Index is one of the eight sub-indices of the NASDAQ Composite, which measures all common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.
The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund�� investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Might that be the reason that Gilead’s shares are climbing today, even as most other big biotech names get clobbered. Gilead has risen 3.2% to $75.17 at 12:15 p.m. today, while Amgen (AMGN) has fallen 5.2% after missing earnings forecasts and Biogen Idec (BIIB) has dropped after it too disappointed. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) has declined 2.2% to $131.13, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) is off 1.4% at $231.54.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
We’d better refresh our memories, however. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has rallied 20% since dropping 21% from the February 25 through April 11. And large-cap biotech stocks now trade at 16.3 times 2015 earnings versus the S&P 500′s 14.8 times. That, says Nomura’s M. Ian Somaiya and team makes beating earnings forecasts an imperative, who says “lackluster 1Q earnings have increased reliance on solid 2Q results to maintain momentum in the group.”
- [By Chris Dieterich]
Biotech stocks were, and still are, some of the market�� best-performing stocks over the past year. But waves of selling in recent weeks hit these stocks hard, with big price swings in heavily traded ETFs including the $4.9 billion iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF(IBB) (IBB). In March, the ETF has dropped 11%, despite a 2.5% advance today.
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: Energie Holdings Inc (ELED)
Energie Holdings Inc, formerly Alas Aviation Corporation, incorporated on June 10, 2013, is in the process of acquiring, assembling and operating passenger airlines, air cargo and related ground service operators. The Company's business model includes purchasing low-scale regional operators then assembles and integrates them as subsidiaries. Corporacion Ygnus Air, S.A. (Cygnus) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. It is engaged in acquisition discussions with several operators throughout Europe and around the world.
Cygnus is an aeronautical company is an integrated provider of air cargo transportation specializing in medium and long-range cargo routes. Cygnus operates a fleet of two Boeing 757-200PCF cargo jets to Europe and Africa. Cygnus has managed multi-plane operations, carrying both freight and passengers throughout Spain, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Wi-Fi Wireless Inc (OTCMKTS: WFWL), Energie Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: ELED) and Trend Exploration, Inc (OTCMKTS: TRDX) surged 47.06%, 25% and 12.50%, respectively, last Friday. However, none of these small cap stocks appear to be the subject of paid promotions or investor relations activities ��something that could be a good thing for investors who are not traders. Keeping that in mind, are these three small cap stocks going to be winners over the long term? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:
Top 10 Net Payout Yield Stocks To Watch Right Now: Alliance Resource Partners L.P.(ARLP)
Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. engages in the production and marketing of coal for utilities and industrial users in the United States. It operates nine underground mining complexes, which offer low, medium, and high-sulfur coal. The company also leases land and operates a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana; and purchases and resells coal. In addition, the company provides mine products and services comprising design and installation of underground mine hoists for transporting employees and materials in and out of mines; design of systems for automating and controlling various aspects of industrial and mining environments; and design and sale of mine safety equipment, such as its miner and equipment tracking, and proximity detection systems. Further, it offers ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. As of December 31, 2010, the company had approximately 697.4 million tons of coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Alliance Resource Management GP, LLC serves as the general partner of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
The basic materials sector is highly cyclical. It relies on a strong economy to create demand for its raw materials. Since most of its products are considered to be commodities, the sector is sensitive to supply and demand fluctuations, with end-users able to substitute based on price.
Historically, yields in this sector have been on the lower end of the scale. However, with the increased demand for certain raw materials, the stocks in this sector are beginning to see higher yields with increased profitability. In addition, depressed prices on some companies have also boosted yields.
This week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for Basic Materials companies with a yield above 2.0% and that have increased their dividends for at least 10 consecutive years. The results are presented below:
RPM International Inc. (RPM) makes specialty coatings and products for structural waterproofing and corrosion control, as well as products for the consumer, do-it-yourself and hobby markets. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1969 and has increased its dividend payments for 40 consecutive years. Yield: 2.3%
Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) is a major producer of industrial gases and electronics and specialty chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. is a major producer of industrial gases and electronics and specialty chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses. Yield: 2.5%
Nucor Corporation (NUE) is the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas. Nucor Corporation is the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas. Yield: 2.7%
Alliance Resource Partners LP (ARLP) produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industr