Saturday, January 3, 2015

Willdan and CDI, engineering a new stock portfolio

The improved economic environment together with further diversification of services and expansion into new geographies are securing a solid foundation for future growth and profitability in the engineering & R&D services arena. Two stocks standout as leaders in the sector.

Willdan Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WLDN) 

Willdan Group is a provider of professional technical and consulting services to public agencies at all levels of government, public and private utilities, and commercial and industrial firms. It offers services in four segments: Engineering Services, Energy Efficiency Services, Public Finance Services, and Homeland Security Services. The company assists its clients with a range of complementary services relating to engineering and planning; energy efficiency and sustainability; economic and financial consulting, and national preparedness and interoperability. Willdan operates its business through a network of offices located primarily in California and New York. The company also has operations in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Washington and Washington, D.C.

WLDN shares are up 188 percent over the last 52 weeks (Jan. 6, 2014 to Jan. 2, 2015). This year alone the stock is up seven percent, closing Friday at $14.50 per share, up seven percent for the day. WLDN has a 52-week low of $4.34 and a high of $18.92.


CDI is an integrated engineering and technology services company. Effective January 2012, the company’s segments included: Global Engineering and Technology Solutions (GET), Professional Services Staffing (PSS) and Management Recruiters International, Inc. (MRI). CDI’s restructured business is focused on offering services through three geographic regions: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. The majority of the company’s operations are located in the Americas. Its GET provides engineering and information technology solutions for its clients that include the production of deliverable work products or services performed at a CDI facility or at a client’s facility. Its PSS provides technical and professional personnel to its clients. MRI is a global franchisor that does business as MRINetwork and provides the use of its trademarks, business systems and training and support services to its franchisees.

CDI shares are down two percent over the last 52 weeks (Jan. 6, 2014 to Jan. 2, 2015). This year alone the stock is down two percent, closing Friday at $17.32 per share, down two percent for the day. CDI has a 52-week low of $12.91 and a high of $18.89.

CDI paid a $0.13 dividend in March, May, August and November 2014. 

Disclaimer: This post is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. I am neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. Keith Stein has no position in any stock mentioned in this post. DCNewsroom has no position in any stock mentioned in this post.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bottom Dollar Food closing 66 stores

Bottom Dollar Food announced Friday that the company will close its 66 store locations in the greater Philadelphia and greater Pittsburgh markets by Jan. 15 and retire the banner's operations. Upon the closing of stores, Bottom Dollar Food will offer every associate severance, and eligible associates will be offered career transition services.

In November, Delhaize Group, the parent company of Bottom Dollar Food, announced that it had entered into a transaction to sell Bottom Dollar Food's 66 store locations and associated lease liabilities to ALDI Inc., and that the transaction would close in the first quarter of 2015.

"We want to thank our associates, customers and communities for their support over the past four years," said Gene Faller, vice president of retail operations for Bottom Dollar Food.

Golden stocks in Canada and South Africa

Public demand for gold coins was strong during 2014. Despite often negative and sometimes misleading comments on Wall Street about gold, there's a continuing public demand for gold as a time-proven, long-term investment, and the stock market reflects this view.

The long-term outlook for gold remains positive with predictions it may climb to $1,500 an ounce or more in 2015. Here are two stocks leading the mining gold sector: 

Richmont Mines Inc. (NYSE:RIC) 

Richmont Mines is engaged in activities related to the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of mineral properties. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the company operates two gold mines, two of its three material properties, (the Beaufor Mine in Quebec and the Island Gold Mine in Ontario) and is developing a third mine (the Francoeur Mine in Quebec).

The Beaufor Mine property, along with other adjacent properties such as Pascalis, Perron, Colombiere, Courvan and Perron Blocks two, three and four, are located approximately 20 kilometers to the northeast of the town of Val-d’Or, in the Abitibi-East County, in the Province of Quebec.

The Island Gold Mine is located approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Wawa, Ontario, in the Sault Ste. Marie Mining Division. Dubreuilville, Ontario, is approximately 10 kilometers northwest of the Island Gold Mine.

On Jan. 24, 2011, Richmont Mines sold its 70 percent interest in the Valentine Lake Property.

RIC shares are up 219 percent over the last 52 weeks (Jan. 2, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014). Shares closed at $3.16 on Wednesday, up one percent for the day. RIC has a 52-week low of $0.99 and a high of $3.49.

Sibanye Gold Ltd. (NYSE:SBGL)

For a dividend play we turn our attention to SibanyeGold, formerly GFI Mining South Africa (Pty) Limited, a producer of gold in South Africa.

Sibanye Gold is primarily engaged in underground and surface gold mining and related activities, including extraction, and processing. Its principal mining operations include Kloof-Driefontein Complex and Beatrix. Exploration activities are focused on the extension of existing ore bodies and identification of new ore bodies at existing sites. As of Jan. 10, 2013, Sibanye Gold mined only gold, with silver as a by-product.

SBGL shares are up 59 percent over the last 52 weeks (Jan. 2, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014). Shares closed at $7.57 on Wednesday, up two percent for the day. SBGL has a 52-week low of $4.58 and a high of $11.29.

The company paid a $0.24 dividend on March 12, 2014, and a $0.14 dividend on Aug. 20, 2014.

Disclaimer: This post is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. I am neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. Keith Stein has no position in any stock mentioned in this post. DCNewsroom has no position in any stock mentioned in this post.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Difficult year for virtual business world ProEconomica

Officials with ProEconomia say 2014 was a difficult year for their virtual business world website. ProEconomica is a website where users compete with other players in a virtual business world using concepts found in reality.

"It was a difficult year with fewer visible achievements, but to be sure, ProEconomica is a long-term project in which we work, and we will continue working to achieve the objectives set first," ProEconomica officials said in a message to players. "We wish you good health, success, best new year with many achievements, prosperity and welfare."

In the browser-based world ProEconomia the mission is not limited to developing your entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in the economical field, the most important is that players can contribute to their virtual city's development, and earn some "real money" from the game if successful.

London officials contacting plane passengers following Ebola case

Public Health England (PHE) is undertaking contact tracing following the confirmed case of Ebola in a healthcare worker returning from Sierra Leone, and as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, has spoken to 85 passengers.

The person had left Sierra Leone on Sunday and had been a passenger on flight AT596 from Freetown to Casablanca, flight AT0800 from Casablanca to London, and transferred at Heathrow to flight BA1478 for onward travel to Glasgow.

“Although the risk of infection to other passengers on the flights is considered extremely low, PHE is contacting 100 passengers, and the crew on the flight from Casablanca to Heathrow,” PHE said in a press statement. An additional 32 international passengers are being contacted by international public health authorities. Health Protection Scotland is carrying out a similar exercise for the 71 passengers on the Heathrow to Glasgow flight, speaking with 56 to date.

People contacted by PHE will be made aware that a person on their flight was confirmed with Ebola after they returned to the U.K., although the person would have been in the very early stages of disease and extremely unlikely to be infectious.

As a precaution, PHE informs people sitting directly in the vicinity of the passenger (2 rows adjacent, ahead and behind, comprising 21 passengers) to take their temperature twice daily until the Jan. 18. Any illness that passengers might experience beyond that point would not be considered to be related.

Since October, PHE has screened over 1,700 people returning from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Most popular posts December 2014

1.) Satellite data shows MH370 plane crashed into the Indian Ocean - Critical days were lost in the search for MH370 because Malaysian authorities initially rejected evidence from a British satellite company that the Boeing 777 with 239 aboard was in the Southern Indian Ocean. [Full story

2.) US Army deploys missile-fighting blimp over Maryland - For the first time, the U.S. Army lofted a blimp equipped with a new cruise-missile and drone-fighting radar system high above rural Maryland. [Full story

3.) Video: Plane crashes near Montgomery County Airpark - A small jet aircraft crashed into a neighborhood within a mile of Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Md., on Dec. 8. [Full story]

4.) Video: Chinese helicopter lands on U.S. guided-missile destroyer - A Chinese Harbin Z-9E helicopter practices landing aboard the U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104). [Full story] 

5.) Video: Army blimp launched over Maryland - You might have heard of JLENS, the U.S. Army’s cruise-missile fighting radar blimp that will be stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. [Full story]

Most popular posts 2014

1.) Cirrus aircraft crashes off Virginia in Atlantic Ocean - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a Cirrus SR22 into the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles from Wallops Island, Va., on Aug. 30. [Full story] 

2.) Critical heat shield installed on NASA's new Orion spacecraft - NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers installed the largest heat shield ever constructed on the crew module of the agency's new Orion spacecraft in June. [Full story] 

3.) Coast Guard suspends search for missing plane in Lake Pontchartrain - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing aircraft in Lake Pontchartrain on Nov. 13. [Full story] 

4.) Military C-130 'hard landing' reported, no injuries - A Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) aircraft under the control of U.S. Northern Command experienced a hard landing at 4:53 p.m. EDT on Aug. 17 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. [Full story] 

5.) Satellite data shows MH370 plane crashed into the Indian Ocean - Critical days were lost in the search for MH370 because Malaysian authorities initially rejected evidence from a British satellite company that the Boeing 777 with 239 aboard was in the Southern Indian Ocean. [Full story]

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Historical Lincoln, Jefferson documents up for auction

Historical documents dealer and auctioneer Cohasco has the following items up for auction:
  • A group of eight Illinois manuscripts, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1842, begins just two years after receiving his law license. Other signers include James Matheny, best man at Lincoln's wedding that year, best friend Joshua Speed, and Stephen A. Douglass, future opponent for the Presidency. 
  • A Baltimore reward poster for a successful named escapee via the Underground Railroad, 1857.  In black fugitive Adam's memoir, he described his former master as "a real country ruffian...a great drinker and gambler...." Underground Railroad lore is abundant, but original documents almost never come to market ($8,500-11,500).
  • A battle sword which witnessed Francis Scott Key's "rocket's red glare" in the dawn's early light of Sept. 1814.  From the possession of citizen-soldier John Howlet of Maryland, the sword was in use when he was shot (but survived).  ($1250-1750)
  • Thomas Jefferson signed document protecting America's frontier, 1792, as the first Secretary of State.  His signed Act embraces several firsts in America's history – including the first Presidential Cabinet, and first-ever Congressional investigations. ($28,000-35,000)
  • Civil War newspaper seeking trial of the President "for his numerous unconstitutional acts...The States alone declare who are their citizens." ($75-100)
  • Postcard flown on Russia's ultimate world adventure – their attempted 4,600-mile nonstop Moscow-New York flight, 1939. It crashed in Canada. ($1900-2750)
  • Rare pay receipt for black soldier Cato Negro's service in the Revolutionary War.  The Connecticut freedom fighter likely took his name from the play "Cato" - inspiring Patrick Henry's words, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" ($3900-4500)
The auction ends Jan. 6.

Ten Pennsylvania coal mines sold to Rosebud Mining Company

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. announced Tuesday that its subsidiary AMFIRE Mining Company, LLC has completed the previously announced divestiture of substantially all of its assets to Rosebud Mining Company. The transaction included total consideration of approximately $86 million, including $75 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. The assets, which include ten mines and four preparation plants and loadouts, are located in Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Greene, Indiana and Somerset counties, Pennsylvania.

Alpha Natural Resources affiliates continue to operate two mines in southwestern Pennsylvania that are not connected with the transaction, the Emerald and Cumberland mines near Waynesburg.  More than 1,100 workers are employed by these Greene County operations.

With affiliate mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, Alpha supplies metallurgical coal to the steel industry and thermal coal to generate power to customers on five continents.

Contract: Escort services for military aircraft towed on public roads

The U.S. Navy in Jacksonville, Fla., is conducting a market survey to determine the availability of vendors for Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) which is an industrial facility that accomplishes rework, repair, and overhaul of various aircraft, engines, and components located at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax), Duval County, Fla.

“This requirement is to provide escort transportation services for military aircraft on public roads between NAS Jax and the Cecil Commerce Center (CCC) for a total of 60 moves during the period from March 1 through Oct. 31, 2015,” the Navy said in contract documents released Tuesday. “The government will provide the tow equipment and a driver for the movement of the aircraft and obtain a blanket permit from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) authorizing the tow of aircraft on public roads between NAS JAX and CCC.”

The contractor will provide all labor, supervision, vehicles, equipment, law enforcement escorts, and any other items necessary to transport aircraft to include coordination with Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, FDOT, as well as the safety offices and security departments of FRCSE, NAS Jax, and CCC.

The aircraft will be reduced to the smallest size possible, ranging in height from 9-17 feet, width ranging from 16-34 feet, and length ranging from 28-61 feet. Tows will typically be Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. and involve only one aircraft, but the contractor must be prepared for other days/times and for two aircraft at a time.

Companies interested in supporting the contract should contact the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Jacksonville by Jan.15.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Boeing performs first test flight for KC-46 tanker program

The Boeing Company and U.S. Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program Sunday. The plane, a Boeing 767-2C, took off from Paine Field, Wash., at 12:29 p.m. (EST) and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field. The aircraft will receive its military systems following certification.

As part of a contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two 767-2Cs and two KC-46A Tankers. The 767-2Cs enter flight test as commercial freighters prior to receiving their aerial refueling systems, while the KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the Federal Aviation Administration and military certification process.

Boeing is on contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by 2017.