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This Takeover Candidate Offers High Yield and High Growth

Investors looking for high yield and high growth stocks should consider NTELOS Holdings Corp (NTLS) as a possible portfolio addition.  For income, the stock boasts a healthy 8.95% dividend yield.   For growth, earnings per share are projected to grow 29%next year compared to the current year.  This is a combination that can create significant upside for the stock price.  In addition, there is considerable speculation that NTELOS may be acquired by a larger telecom provider.

First Call consensus has NTELOS earning $1.32 per share in 2014 which is an increase of 29% from its 2013 EPS.  The EPS growth will better support the current dividend payout ratio.  Investors can wait for a pullback to add new shares since NTLS shares are up 30% in the past three months due to talk of a takeover.

AT&T Inc.’s (T) deal to grab Leap Wireless for$1.2 billion in cash continues the U.S. wireless consolidation race and has Wall Street looking at other possible targets.  NTELOS is a name being mentioned as having attractive spectrum. The company is small, with just 451,000 total subscribers at the end of March and a market value of$360 million. By comparison, Verizon Wireless has more than 90 million contract customers.

Despite its size, NTELOS has connections to bigger players including a wholesale deal to provide Sprint (S) service in West Virginia and western Virginia.  It is also working with Dish Network Corp. (DISH) to co-develop a fixed-mobile broadband-service within its coverage territory.

Once completed, the service is expected to give NTELOS and Dish customers access to high-speed Internet, a service that is especially lacking in some of the rural areas NTELOS covers.  The agreement comes as Dish has been working to plug a significant hole in the services it provides, it can’t offer high-speed Internet competitive with cable providers.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., a leading regional provider of nationwide wireless voice and data communications and home to the “best value in wireless,” recently announced it will be added to the Russell Microcap® Index, effective at the close of the market on June 28, 2013.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., operating through its subsidiaries as “nTelos Wireless,” is headquartered in Waynesboro, VA, and provides high-speed, dependable nationwide voice and data coverage for approximately 451,000 retail subscribers based in Virginia, West Virginia and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. The Company’s licensed territories have a total population of approximately 7.9 million residents, of which its wireless network covers approximately 6.0 million residents. The Company is also the exclusive wholesale provider of wireless digital PCS services to Sprint Nextel in the Company’s western Virginia and West Virginia service area for all Sprint CDMA wireless customers.

Here is a Nice Dividend Capture for July

For investors looking to book a solid dividend, Himax Technology (NASDAQ: HIMX) is the place to be in July.  Himax Technology has a current dividend yield of 4.78%.  On June 17, 2013 the board of directors approved a dividend of $0.25 per share.  The dividend is payable on July 31, 2013 to shareholders of record on July 19, 2013.

The stock has recently pulled back to $5.22 and presents a nice dividend capture strategy as HIMX pays an annual dividend.  Himax has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.  The stock has a 12-month price target of $8.40.  The stock is up 188% in the past year.

HIMX is growing solidly, and has shown this by beating Q1 earnings estimates, despite the fact that last quarter was the slow quarter for most Asian companies.  Himax also expanded its profit margin by 5%. This stock’s growth should only continue with the massive amount of news catalysts on the horizon.

Himax recently announced the closing of the previously announced underwritten offering by selling shareholder Innolux Corporation (“Innolux”) of 25,399,753 American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”), including 3,313,011 ADSs sold pursuant to the underwriters’ over-allotment option. The underwriters have exercised in full their over-allotment option to purchase the 3,313,011 ADSs. Immediately following the closing, Innolux has ceased to be the Company’s shareholder. The Company did not sell any ADSs in the offering and did not receive any proceeds from the offering. Innolux’s sale of the ADSs will not result in dilution of the Company’s outstanding shares.

Himax Technologies, Inc. (HIMX) is a fabless semiconductor solution provider dedicated to display imaging processing technologies. Himax’s main products include display driver ICs and timing controllers used in TVs, laptops, monitors, mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, car navigation, and many other consumer electronics devices.  Additionally, Himax designs and provides controllers for touch sensor displays, LCOS micro-displays used in palm-size projectors and head-mounted displays, LED driver ICs, power management ICs, scaler products for monitors and projectors, tailor-made video processing IC solutions and silicon IPs. The Company also offers digital camera solutions, including CMOS image sensors and wafer level optics, which are used in a wide variety of applications such as mobile phone, tablet, laptop, TV, PC camera, automobile, security and medical devices. Headquartered in Tainan, Taiwan, the Company has offices in Hsinchu and Taipei, Taiwan and in China, Korea, Japan and the US.

MRO – Look for a 49% Price Gain

David Kostin, Goldman Sachs’ chief U.S. equity strategist, provides us with a list of stocks with the most upside potential in his new Monthly Chartbook.   Kostin notes early May was solid for the S&P 500, but cited month-end drags in telecom services and utilities (-7 and -9 percent, respectively).  Nevertheless, he projects the S&P will end up 7.3% by year end, at 1750.

One stock on the Goldman list to watch is Marathon Oil (MRO).  The stock is up 39% in the past year but Goldman Sachs is projecting an increase of 49% in the stock.  In addition, Marathon offers a 1.96% dividend yield.

Production grew 8% (excluding Libya; 48 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day; MBOE/d) in 2012, to 388 MBOE/d. MRO expects development at U.S. onshore plays to drive a 7%-10% production boost in 2013 (ex Libya and Alaska), to 405-425 MBOE/d, and a 5%-7% production CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2017. MRO believes these assets are 80% liquids. We expect a lower planned 2013 rig count, made possible by drilling efficiencies, to keep cost inflation down. Since the fourth quarter 2012, Eagle Ford and Bakken production are up 22% and 6%, respectively. MRO is ending shale activity in Poland on weak tests.

MRO spun off its downstream business to shareholders in a tax-free transaction in mid-2011. We had been looking for reduced refining contributions over the next five years and believe greater exposure to upstream projects in new international and U.S. onshore basins will drive upstream growth at lower operating costs. MRO’s streamlined asset base (75% oil, based on reserves) is one of the higher-content liquids portfolios among domestic E&P companies. Operations in Libya resumed in late 2011 and MRO is looking to ramp up production there. MRO lowered its onshore U.S. rigs to about 25 as of October 2012, versus 34 rigs earlier in 2012, in response to lower prices.

MRO’s growth assets are where it expects to make significant investment in order to realize oil and gas production and reserve increases. It is focused on U.S. growth by developing liquids-rich shale play positions, a strong position in the core of the Eagle Ford shale. In addition, growth assets include the development of Angola Block 31, discoveries in Iraqi Kurdistan, select Gulf of Mexico blocks and Canadian in-situ assets. Exploration is focused on Poland, Iraqi Kurdistan, Norway and the Gulf of Mexico. MRO had a goal of divesting between $1.5 billion and $3.0 billion of non-core assets between 2011 and 2013. For the two-year period ended December 31, 2012 , it had entered into agreements for approximately $1.3 billion in divestitures, of which $785 million were completed. The remaining $545 million in asset sales were completed by February 22, 2013

We see 2013 and 2014 EPS of $2.76 and $3.35, respectively, versus $2.45 (adjusted) in 2012.

Investors can find High Yield here

For investors looking for high yield without the risk of rising interest rates, AllianceBerstein Holdings (AB) is definitely worth a look.  The stock has a nice 6.62% dividend yield that has increased 64% in the past year.  AB has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a Very Bullish rating.

First Call consensus has EPS increasing 23% in 2013 and 13% in 2014.  Analysts have a 12-month price target of $28.

AllianceBernstein’s  first-quarter profit rose 44% as demand from institutional investors helped the money manager book its second-straight quarter of inflows.

Assets under management stood at $443.2 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $430 billion at the end of 2012 and $419.1 billion a year earlier. Market gains added $10.6 billion while the firm also drew a net $2.6 billion in investor cash.

Institutional demand accounted for the bulk of the inflow, contributing a net $3.3 billion and helping to offset a modest outflow from the firm’s private- client business.

“Momentum continued to build in our institutions channel, where gross sales nearly doubled year-over-year,” Chief Executive Peter Kraus said.

AllianceBernstein reported a profit of $38.5 million, or 38 cents a unit, versus a year-earlier profit of $26.7 million, or 26 cents a unit.  Net revenue rose 4% to $709.1 million. Analysts expected earnings of 35 cents a unit on $684 million in revenue.

Total net revenues were up 4%, year to year, in the first quarter, driven by base investment management fees and easy comparisons.  We expect revenues to be up in the mid- to high single digits in 2013 and 2014 given easier comparisons and contraction of equity assets to the point where fixed income inflows are able to offset equity outflows.

The company has made progress in improving efficiency from cost-cutting efforts and has recently seen an encouraging turnaround in asset flows, but there is still work to do to improve equity fund performance.

This Monthly Dividend Stock May be Worth a Look

Fifth Street Finance Corp.(FSC) may be an ideal name for aggressive income investors. This is one of the top business development companies. The consensus price target is $11.50. Investors receive a 10.47% dividend with monthly distributions.  First Call consensus has a buy recommendation with a 2.5 rating.

Fifth Street reported net investment income of $0.27 (excluding gains on convert repurchase, diluted), in line with prior quarter and our estimate. This was a result of lower interest income earned on a larger average portfolio. Book value increased by $0.02 following a net $2.5 million unrealized appreciation on investments.

Liquidity: As of this week, FSC increased its available liquidity to $738 million following the post quarter end note issuance, capital raise, and credit facility expansion. FSC is well positioned for the acquisition of Healthcare Financial Group as management works toward its target leverage.

Valuation: Fifth Street is trading 12% premium, 1% above the peer group average, and yielding 10.47%, above the peer group average of 9.1%.

Estimates: Analyst lowered the 2013 estimate to $1.08 (from $1.10) to reflect a larger liquidity drag than previously expected. The 2014 and 2015 estimates remain unchanged at $1.15 and $1.20.

Maintain Buy: FSC is well positioned from a liquidity and capital standpoint to continue to take advantage of a strong pipeline of growth. The next step for the stock is to translate that into higher ROEs by achieving and maintaining higher levels of leverage.

In May, FSC announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a specialty lender, Healthcare Finance Group, that provides lending to healthcare companies. FSC will be investing $100 million, financed by cash and liquidity mentioned above.

OnMay 6, 2013, upon expiration of our existing stock repurchase program, the Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program to acquire up to$50 millionof outstanding common stock. Stock repurchases under this program would be made through the open market at times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate, provided they are below the most recently published net asset value per share.

Targa Resources Can Produce 10% Distribution Growth in 2013

Targa Resource Partners (NGLS) is a buy recommendation for income investors.  The MLP has a current dividend yield of 5.98%.  NGLS has a 5-year average annual dividend growth rate of 10%.  NGLS is a strong buy recommendation with a 12-month target price of $51.

Targa Resource Partners announced that the board of directors of its general partner has declared a quarterly cash distribution of $0.6975 per common unit, or $2.79 per common unit on an annualized basis, for the first quarter 2013.  The approved distribution represents an increase of approximately 3% over the previous quarter’s distribution and 12% over the distribution for the first quarter 2012. This cash distribution will be paid May 15, 2013 on all outstanding common units to holders of record as of the close of business on April 29, 2013.

First quarter 2013 net income attributable to Targa Resources Partners

was $38.9 million compared to $70.1 million for the first quarter of 2012. Net income per diluted limited partner unit was $0.16 in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $0.63 for the first quarter of 2012. The Partnership reported earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and other non-cash items (“Adjusted EBITDA”) of $132.2 million for the first quarter of 2013 compared to $145.4 million for the first quarter of 2012.

NGLS is a quality mid-cap natural gas processing and fractionation MLP that has an impressive array of fee-based expansion projects set to come into service over the next 18-24 months that should help to offset an over-supplied, and consequently, soft NGL pricing environment for the next three years. The key question regarding investing in NGLS is how the fee-based operating margin from the expansions will offset the drag from likely NGL over-supply. We believe that NGLS’ recent emphasis on fee-based operations will allow it to continue providing its unitholders distribution growth well above the sector average. Given the increasing percentage of fee-based projects, NGLS’s mix should improve to near 55% by the end of 2013 and 65% by the end of 2014. NGLS reiterated its guidance of 10%-12% distribution growth for 2013 and is comfortable having 0.9x coverage for the first half of the year which improves as the year goes on and as expansion projects are completed. Management is guiding to an average of ~1.0x for FY2013. We are modeling high single digit distribution growth for the next several years.

We are holding our three-year distribution growth forecast of 9% CAGR. NGLS’s 4Q results give us confidence that the growing fee-based portion of its business (Logistics, Marketing, Badlands) could support distribution growth despite a challenged NGL pricing environment for the next few years.

We are making minor changes to our outlook with DCF/unit adding $0.03 to $2.97 in FY2013 on lower assumed equity issuance, though EBITDA drops $23mm to $623mm after the 1Q miss and re-setting our commodity price deck. NGLS reiterated its $595mm-$655mm EBITDA guidance for 2013 and 1.0x distribution coverage for 2013 overall.

Microsoft May be Worth a Look Here

Windows 8 has gotten bad reviews, its mobile push has stalled and it’s facing a murky market for corporate software.  But despite all those headaches, Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) has seen its stock rising.  The software giant’s shares have jumped 14% over the past three months.  The stock has a current dividend yield of 2.82% and is a regular 15% per year dividend increase stock.  The Company will unveil the new X-box next month.  The worst may be behind this software giant.

Microsoft reported Q3 results of $20.489 billion in revenue and EPS of $0.72, compared to consensus of $20.497 billion in revenue and EPS of $0.68.

Microsoft reported March quarter EPS and operating margin ahead of consensus expectations with increased expense controls, while revenue was essentially in line with consensus expectations—with Windows, Microsoft Business Division, and Server & Tools sales falling slightly below estimates and the Online Services and Entertainment & Devices divisions exceeding forecasts. Although the PC market continues to put pressure on Windows and Office revenue and server shipments have been slow, Microsoft effectively managed expenses during the quarter and reported improving growth in OSD and Windows Phone.

Going forward, although PC shipments are expected to remain weak in the June quarter, we expect the combination of more attractive price points, the ramp of new chipsets from Intel, and greater adoption by OEMs of touch screens for ultrabooks and laptops to drive greater adoption of Windows 8 devices in the second half of 2013 and into 2014 than the market appreciates (particularly in the business user segment with the eventual release of Surface Pro 2). Furthermore, we expect the end-of-life of Windows XP in April 2014 to drive growth in the professional PC segment.

Based on these dynamics, we believe that the rate of decline in PC shipments is bottoming, and with continued better-than-expected cost controls, improving OSD and Windows Phone revenue, a new Xbox cycle on the horizon, and solid long-term competitive positioning and near-term product launches in MBD and S&T, we expect Microsoft’s recent outperformance to continue.

Our fiscal 2013 estimates are adjusted to revenue of $78.812 billion and EPS of $2.68 from revenue of $81.514 billion and EPS of $2.78.

We maintain our Outperform rating and our target price of $38. At a 9.7x NTM P/E multiple, Microsoft trades at a 33.8% discount to the S&P 500.

Look to this Shipper for High Yield

Investors looking for a high yield stock may want to check out Ship Finance International Ltd (NYSE: SFL).  The stock boasts a 9.59% dividend yield with EPS projected to grow 16% in 2014.  With 2 analysts upgrading the stock, SFL looks like a potential high yield stock that can sustain its EPS and dividend.

On February 25, Ship Finance International Ltd.’s fourth-quarter earnings jumped 69% as the tanker company benefited from a cash sweep agreement and a one-time gain from a sale.  Ship Finance, which owns and charters out large vessels that transport crude oil, in recent years has been diversifying its assets to include areas such as dry bulk and container ships. Though Ship Finance had seen a soft tanker market, the company said that the crude oil tanker market remained relatively firm.

Ship Finance is actively reviewing investment opportunities across its main market segments, while also closely monitoring the performance of its chartering counterparties in light of the “prevailing soft spot-market in some of the shipping segments.”  Ship Finance reported a profit of $51.1 million, or 60 cents a share, versus $ 30.2 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest period included $ 12.1 million from a cash sweep agreement with Frontline Ltd. and a $21.5 million gain on the sale of vessels.

Total operating revenue rose 2.1% to $77.7 million.  Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 33 cents on revenue of $89.9 million.

First Call consensus has Ship Finance earning $1.71 in FY 2014 which is 16% above 2013 EPS.  First Call has a buy rating on the stock with a 2.2 rating.  The stock trades at a PE of 7 and 1.4 times book value.  Ship Finance has a 12-month price target of $18.70.

On April 20, 2013 Columbine Capital Services, Inc. upgraded SHIP FINANCE INTERNATIONAL LTD from NEUTRAL to FAVORABLE.

On April 12, 2013 Ford Equity Research upgraded SHIP FINANCE INTERNATIONAL LTD from HOLD to BUY.

This Stocks offers a 4% Yield and 13% Upside

AbbVie (ABBV) is a global research-based pharmaceuticals business that emerged as a separate entity following its spin-off from Abbott Laboratories at the start of 2013.  AbbVie is worth a look for the growth and income investors as it has a 4.2% dividend yield and a price target with 13% upside potential.

AbbVie’s most important product is Humira, an injectable biologic TNF (tumor necrosis factor) blocker treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and similar conditions, with sales of $9.3 billion in 2012, up from $7.9 billion in 2011.We estimate that Humira accounts for more than half of the global prescription pharmaceuticals market for rheumatoid arthritis. Besides moderate to severe RA in adults, Humira is also approved for eight other uses, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease in adults, juvenile Crohn’s disease and axial spondyloarthritis.

AbbVie’s strategic objectives include expanding Humira’s sales through greater penetration of emerging markets, increased emphasis on earlier diagnosis of autoimmune patients, and new indications. ABBV also plans to advance its R&D pipeline through internal development or through collaborations and licensing agreements. From 2013 through 2016, the company plans to launch five significant new products. The company also plans to maximize efficiency by streamlining the supply chain and optimizing residual value when products near the end of exclusivity.

In January 2013, ABT said that global sales of branded drugs that now belong to ABBV rose 7.4% to$5.14 billionin Q4, topping the$4.8 billionestimate of Wells Fargo analysts. Sales of Humira, ABBV’s leading product, increased 23% to$2.68 billion, about$200 millionabove Wells Fargo’s estimate.

The company estimated 2013 adjusted earnings at $3.03 to $3.13 a share, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect $3.08 a share. Abbott had previously said fourth-quarter sales of Humira jumped 23% to $2.68 billion.  AbbVie said it expects the drug’s sales to increase by a low double-digit percentage in 2013.  The company also said it plans to initiate several Phase III programs this year, including atrasentan for diabetic kidney disease and ABT-199 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The stock is reasonably priced with a current PE of 11.6 compared to an industry PE of 19.7.  AbbVie has a 12-month target price of $43 applies a modest premium to peers P/E of 13.4X to our $3.20 EPS estimate for 2014. The $1.60 annual dividend presently yields 4.2%.We think ABBV’s $7.2 billion cash position enables it to do accretive acquisitions and stock repurchases.  ABBV has an equity summary score of 9.9 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.

The board of directors of AbbVie declared a quarterly cash dividend and also authorized a share repurchase program of up to $1.5 billion of the Company’s outstanding common stock.  The cash dividend of $0.40 per share is payable May 15, 2013 to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 15, 2013.  AbbVie was named to the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which tracks companies that have annually increased their dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.  AbbVie was included as a result of the Index’s change in its treatment of spin-off companies.

This Company is Broadcasting Significant Growth and Income in the Next Year

Television broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBGI) is experiencing a significant amount of success as it continues to grow its broadcasting network through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.  The Company is trading near 52 week highs following news the company has reached an agreement with DirecTV on a new retransmission consent agreement. It has also entered into a short-term extension of its existing agreement. As a result, DirecTV will continue to carry all of Sinclair’s stations.  This comes a day after saying it will pay$370 million to buy 18 stations from Barrington Broadcasting Group, and comes only days after the purchase of Cox Media Stations.

While the stock is up 54% in the past year, Sinclair Broadcasting is trading at a price earnings (PE) ratio of 10 compared to an industry PE of 17.5.  This is a cheap stock considering First Call is projecting a 78% increase in EPS next year.  The First Call consensus is for $2.35 in EPS next year.  Based on the current PE of 10, this indicates a target stock price of $23.50, a 30% increase from current levels.  First Call consensus is a strong buy with a 2.0 rating.

Sinclair Broadcasting has a dividend yield of 3.33%.  The company increased its dividend 25% in the past year.  On December 14, 2012, the Company paid a$1.00per share special dividend and a$0.15per share quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders. I expect the dividend to increase in the future as SBGI continues to increase EPS.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group had an increase in 4th quarter 2012 earnings of 161% and full year 2012 increase in earnings per share of 89%.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of$0.73for the three-month period ended December 31, 2012versus diluted earnings per common share of$0.28in the prior year period.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were$920.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 42.1% versus the prior year period result of$648.0 million.  The Company had operating income of$329.3 million in the twelve-month period, as compared to operating income of$225.6 million in the prior year period.  Net income attributable to the Company was$144.7 million in the twelve-month period, versus net income of$75.8 million in the prior year period.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of$1.78in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2012versus diluted earnings per common share of$0.94in the prior year period.

The Company expects first quarter 2013 station net broadcast revenues from continuing operations, before barter, to be approximately$251.9 million to $254.9 million, up 32.0% to 33.5% as compared to first quarter 2012 results of$190.9 million.  This assumes approximately$0.4 millionand$2.5 million in political and Super Bowl revenues, respectively, in the first quarter 2013, as compared to$3.6 millionand$0.1 million in the first quarter 2012.  The 2013 first quarter net broadcast revenue estimates assume$62.6 million related to the Acquisitions.

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