Monday, March 31, 2008

CECO Announces 33 New Orders

CECO Environmental Corp ticker symbol (CECE) rose over 9% today as they announced a total of 33 new orders each valued at over $200,000. The largest was in the automotive sector, and was worth more than 2.5 million. The recent addition of Fisher Klosterman even contributed to the orders which is a good sign that the acquisition is going well. If you follow this company closely you could have seen this one coming. Multiple insiders were buying up the stock over the past week and CECO tends to announce orders like this throughout the quarter. These type of announcements tend to make the stock spike since it is a small cap stock at only 126 million in market cap.

Here is what the President and CEO had to say about the orders.

Rick Blum, President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "As usual, our orders are coming from a wide variety of industries. The largest order, which is in excess of $2.5 million, was received from an automotive company. Another significant order was received from a tire manufacturer. The rest of the business came from the metals, power, electric equipment, ethanol, steel, aluminum, gypsum, refining, and copper smelting industries."

Phillip DeZwirek, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Fisher-Klosterman's China operation booked a significant order just last week. We are seeing ever increasing quoting activity in China and have already had established CECO customers visit the facility. Now that Fisher- Klosterman is part of CECO, we are in the process of establishing that facility as CECO Filters' manufacturing base in China along the lines of the facility that CECO Filters already has in India."

This stock has climbed over 25% in just the past 5 days, so I consider waiting till the dust settles before jumping into this one if you don't have a position already. I still believe this stock has simply been beaten up with the rest of the market and still represents a great value at these prices. Don't forget that it is always a good thing to see insiders putting their money where their mouth is as well... They think it is a bargain, do you?

For all of our articles on CECE click here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Appetite For Destruction Or Just Risk?

As an investor it is very important to realize where you are in your life, and what exactly your investment goals are. Generally, if you are a younger investor you can tend to take on more risk or more "speculative plays" if you will. Now, this doesn't mean you should go out and buy all risky stocks, you always need those stable dividend paying stocks.

In fact, one of the ways the rich get richer is that they just purchase a few high paying, stable, dividend paying stocks. Then take those cash dividends that you receive quarterly, and invest them into more speculative stocks. Once you make a bit of mad money on your speculative stocks, cash out some, or all of them, and re-invest into your high paying dividend stocks or other safer investments. Rinse and repeat...

Of course, this does take a lot of money/stock to generate much in the form of cash dividends, but it is none the less very possible. I am sure there are many rich investors out there taking advantage of it all the time. As a small investor though, you might just not be aware of this trick of the trade.

Now, if you are an older individual it is more important to have steady stocks that pay large dividends as you can use this as a source income. Not only this, but you should have a fair amount of bonds, mutual funds and even cds as a source of income. The most boring investments after all, are the safest, and that it what you need going into retirement.

So, before you invest make sure you know what your goals are... and be sure not to take on too much risk as you can get burned. Since this is Stock Picky, I will leave you with two long term investments. Google (goog) for all you young fellows out there... there's this new thing called the Internet perhaps you've heard of it, and Royal Bank Of Canada (ry) for all of you grey haired folks which pays out a hefty dividend and has always been dedicated to increasing shareholder value.

Good luck with all your investments and let me know if you have any questions...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vasco Data Securities Makes It's Way To The Middle East

Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) announced today that the leading
Middle Eastern bank Arab Bank will enhance the security of its
new Internet Banking Service with VASCO's Digipass GO 3 and
VACMAN Controller. This comes just after Vasco's stock rose
12.5% just yesterday. Today it is trading up another
4%, quite the gain in just two days!

Arab Bank is ranked among the largest international financial
institutions, with a capital base of over USD 6.9 Billion and
Total Assets of USD 38.3 billion. Arab Bank has an unmatched
Global Arab branch network with 400 branches spanning 28
countries in 5 continents. The bank offers a variety of
products and services covering four major areas: Personal
Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), AB Private
Banking and Treasury.

"We are happy to have an important bank like Arab Bank among
our customers," says Jan Valcke, VASCO's President & COO.
"With the current surge of Internet crime, we acclaim the
initiative of Arab bank to depend on VASCO's strong
authentication and putting the security of their clients

Arab Bank was established in 1930 and since its
inception has played a leading role in financing investment
and trade in the regions it operates,it has worked on
improving cooperation trade and investment within the
Middle East and North Africa region and the rest of the world.

Arab Bank has established branches in the Arab World and
major global financial centers with a giant branch network
spread out in 28 countries spanning five continents.

This is another huge win for Vasco Data Securities, they
have literally landed contracts with major banks all around
the world just this month! Earlier they announced a major
contract with Banks in Japan and Sweden and this kind of
global exposure will result in repeat customers worldwide
as consumers continue to demand better security for their
online transactions.

This year has been a rough one for Vasco Data Securities
stock holders, but I think as a long term investment Vasco
is a great opportunity, especially at these price levels...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time To Revisit Evergreen Solar

Over the past couple years it has been quite easy to see the correlation between solar stock prices and oil prices, but lately with the markets have been self destructing, and no one has been ready to take on any "speculative" solar plays like Evergreen Solar (ESLR). This is a stock that was just trading at $18.85 just three months ago! Today even with the Dow surging 420 points Evergreen Solar is sitting at $8.23 while oil is well over $100 per barrel.

So why did the stock plummet like that in just three months is the question you need to ask yourself. Well, first of all the market in general has been horrible, the number of companies hitting 52 week lows has been downright astonishing. That of course is not the whole story though, Evergreen Solar just finish a offering of stock at $9.50 per share. Evergreen Solar expects to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with funds it expects to raise by way of future debt financing and its operating activities, (i) to complete phase I of its new manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts, (ii) to plan, construct and equip phase II of the Devens manufacturing facility and (iii) for general corporate purposes, including purchases or prepayments for raw materials, including polysilicon, and working capital. This offering further dilutes shares and investors can tend to see this as a negative, especially in the type of environment.

None the less, the future of this company is still looking quite bright from my point of view. Just this past year they announced several polysilicon supply agreements which will provide a generous supply of the material needed to make solar panels for the next 10 years. They have ramped up production on their Devens plant and expect to start shipping solar panels out of that location in mid-2008. Not too mention Evergreen Solar touts the most green solar panels on the market, which simply means they have the smallest carbon footprint of any panels on the market. With oil over $100 a barrel I am shocked to see ESLR trading so low, and I have been taking advantage by added to my long term position at these levels. The long term bull market in solar power and other alternative energies is here to stay and Evergreen Solar is a great way to play it.

What can I say though it was hard to single out ESLR with so many stocks having been tossed in the garbage as the markets crashed. I still like Google, CECO Environmental Corp, Zoltek, Vasco Data Securities, Royal Bank Of Canada, and YUM Brands all at these levels. As a younger investor this downturn in the market has been like a God send. What an opportunity to get into great companies at bargain basement prices.

Better hurry though these sales aren't going to last long I am afraid...

As a side note our pole here at Stock Picky has closed and the major of voters say that 2008 will be a bear market. So far the bears do have the upper hand, but I think that by years end we will see the market averages hit new highs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CECO Environmental Corp Reports Earnings

CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE) reported earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2007 on March 10, 2008. For the quarter, the company reported net income of $1,818,000 or $0.12 per diluted share on net sales of $67,986,000 compared net income of $1,201,000 or $0.09 per diluted share on net sales of $41,498,000 to for the same period a year ago.

For the year, the company reported net income of $6,305,000 or $0.45 per diluted share on net sales of $235,953,000 compared net income of $3,094,000 or $0.24 per diluted share on net sales of $135,359,000 to for the same period a year ago.

Phillip DeZwirek, chairman and CEO, said in a news release that the company's gross profit margin fell slightly over the year because of a lower margin on a large automotive project.

"We anticipate that both gross and operating margins will increase in the future as the large project is completed and anticipated new higher-margin contracts are completed," he said in the release.

The order backlog at the end of 2007 was $85.5 million, compared to $97.1 million at the end of 2006, the company said in a news release.

DeZwirek figures the market for air pollution-control products has soared from $5 billion a couple of years ago to more than $50 billion now. The heightened attention to the environment is the driving force.

"They've really put together a full-service company that no one can compete against," said Bill Gregozeski, analyst at Capstone Investments in Milwaukee.

With the addition of Fisher-Klosterman, Inc. I think CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE) is still a great buy at these levels and will have a very successful 2008 even with a slowdown in the US economy. This site is all about long term investment after all and with a air-pollution controls market that is growing this fast CECO is certainly in the right spot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vasco Gains In Japan And Sweden

Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) reported today that they had landed the second large contract in as many weeks. The latest contract is with Swedbank, the leading bank in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Swedbank also operates in in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Western Russia, Luxembourg, Ukraine, US, China and Japan. With their broad reach Swedbank will secure over 1.25 million retail customers in Sweden and the Baltic States with VASCO's Digipass 260 and Digipass 300 Comfort.

"We opted for VASCO because of their product offering for authentication and their broad experience and knowledge in this area," said Christer Cragnell, CIO of Swedbank Group. "Customer service is of the utmost importance to Swedbank. By partnering with VASCO, we'll be able to secure our customers' assets in a flexible and cost effective way."

If that wasn't enough Vasco Data Securities also signed up one of the biggest bank in Japan last week Mizuho. More importantly, Mizuho is first bank in Japan to use VASCO’s products, which is a great sign that there will be more contracts like this in the future. They did not release official numbers about how many products Vasco would provide, but I can tell you that about 25 million individual customers have accounts with Mizuho Bank.

Vasco shareholders have be through a rough ride over the past year, but the company's ability to land contracts like these shows us that they have not lost focus on the future of the company. A couple lumpy quarters certainly doesn't justify this huge drop in VDSI.

To see all the past articles on Vasco Data Securities click here...

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Google Checkout Effect

With the drop in Google's stock price over the past few months the question of how much Google Checkout could help the results next quarter comes to mind. After all, Google was literally giving it away for free for the past year, and it was one hell of a expensive promotion from the sounds of it!

Google stated that as of December 2007 they had signed up over 100,000 merchants and millions of users. Starting at the beginning of February Google began charging 2% + $0.20 per transaction. Just think of all that revenue that will now be added, instead of subtracted from Google's bottom line. These figures of course will continue to grow as more and more merchants see the benefits of signing up for Google Checkout.

Just listen to these statistics, Google says web shoppers who’ve signed up for Checkout are 10 percent more likely to click on an ad that features a Checkout button and 40 percent more likely to make an online purchase once they reach a site. In other words, if an online retailer uses Checkout and spends ad dollars on Google (GOOG), it improves the chance that shoppers will make purchases on it's site. These kind of stats are what will not only help retain Google's advertisers, but gain even more. Plus, have we already forgotten about the Yahoo disaster and how it will effect Google Checkout?

Is that enough reason to be bullish on Google? That is up to you to decide, but I think that Google is a global growth story that has really just gotten started. As the demand for instant information across the world drives their growth we will begin to see the true potential of one of the best long term stock picks out there.

One of the benefits of being a long term investor is the ability to focus on the future, especially in markets like these. If I wouldn't have been in certain stocks before this whole subprime meltdown started I wouldn't be able to identify these stocks as potential buys at these levels. Just because the entire market drags everything down doesn't necessarily mean these stock deserved to go down. Are companies like Google done growing their businesses, or is this just a readjustment of risk...

Want more Google? Check out this post...