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Warren Buffett, the man, the legend, is now 87 years old, has some history with cancer and is well aware that his best days are behind him. Rumors are flying that he’s been negotiating with God himself to continue running Berkshire from the grave-at least that’s the word on the street but I can’t verify that.  I suspect that the real plans involve mere mortals.

Warren Buffett is deservedly known as the greatest investor of all time. His track record with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) (BRK.A) is remarkable. And yet, for investors, that track record isn’t necessarily enough to justify purchasing the stock. As everyone who has ever looked at a mutual fund knows, past performance is no guarantee of future results. As Buffett himself put it a bit more cheekily:

That may seem easy to do when one looks through an always-clean, rear-view mirror. Unfortunately, however, it’s the windshield through which investors must peer, and that glass is invariably fogged

Source: The Snowball, by Alice Schroeder

Why Would the Market Pay Extra for Buffett?

When trying to determine whether the value of the company (and thus the stock price) will drop after the death of Mr Buffett, it is worth inverting (as his partner Charlie Munger always says). The question then becomes, why is the market paying up for him to be running things.

Let’s think about the sources of value inside Berkshire Hathaway. There are insurance operations which earn money year in and year out on underwriting. He doesn’t do the underwriting but has created a great corporate culture. Probably Ajit Jain and Co. are adding the value here. The company has wholly owned subsidiaries in the utility, railroad, industrial, consumer product, financial, and media spaces. Given the size of the company, he isn’t actively running any of these businesses. There may be a bit of a halo effect, but I doubt it moves the needle. The final sources of value are investments and cash. Some of the investment have appreciated so much that it would be tough to sell them due to taxes owing (I’m looking at you Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)), but new investments of cash are definitely the place where Buffett adds the most value.

More broadly, his value add is in capital allocation, which is basically the art of determining what to do with cash. He is objectively superior at that, which increases the likelihood of the company’s cash balances (and future cash income streams) being invested to earn a high return. That increases the present value of that cash to investors, and I believe is the primary source of any “Buffett premium.”

As someone who frequently writes on and invests in microcap net-nets, I am deeply aware that the market does not always value a dollar of cash at a dollar of market capitalisation. In Berkshire’s case, the huge cash pile is likely valued at a least a dollar for every dollar, because the market believes Warren Buffett will use the money effectively, as well as effectively allocate the significant cash flow that the business throws off each and every year.

Some of that Buffett premium is likely to disappear when Buffett passes away, and that day is inevitably getting closer. With Buffett now 87 and having had prostate cancer, he is certainly much closer to the end of his investing career than the beginning. Berkshire had the following to say about the matter in the Risks section of its most recent 10-k.

We are dependent on a few key people for our major investment and capital allocation decisions.

Major investment decisions and all major capital allocation decisions are made by Warren E. Buffett, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, age 86, in consultation with Charles T. Munger, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, age 93. If for any reason the services of our key personnel, particularly Mr. Buffett, were to become unavailable, there could be a material adverse effect on our operations. However, Berkshire’s Board of Directors has identified certain current Berkshire subsidiary managers who, in their judgement, are capable of succeeding Mr. Buffett. Berkshire’s Board has agreed on a replacement for Mr. Buffett should a replacement be needed currently. The Board continually monitors this risk and could alter its current view regarding a replacement for Mr. Buffett in the future. We believe that the Board’s succession plan, together with the outstanding managers running our numerous and highly diversified operating units helps to mitigate this risk.

 

It has called out its succession plan as a mitigating factor to this risk, and when Buffett dies, I believe the successor(s) will be announced very shortly thereafter. However, there is one other big reason I am not very concerned about Mr Buffett’s eventual death, and that is I believe that capital allocation is actually getting easier at Berkshire Hathaway for a number of important reasons.

Reinvestment in Berkshire’s Owned Businesses

The simple fact is that he has, over the last 15 or so years, designed Berkshire to be able to reinvest a material portion of its excess capital internally. Capital-heavy acquisitions like Burlington Northern and its utility subsidiaries have a continual need for more capital and are a great way to reinvest the capital that comes from the other businesses and portfolio dividends without needing to make as many acquisitions.

The utility businesses especially are a great place to put new capital, because new capital investment in regulated utilities earns a regulated return. Thus, Buffett’s successor has a home from money that will earn a guaranteed rate of return that is generally around the cost of equity, or high single digits to low double digits. That will help take the pressure off.

The other thing that will help is that Berkshire has been acquiring companies that themselves grow by acquisition. The utility subsidiaries are the biggest example of this group, but there are a number of others. As a couple of examples, the Marmon group of companies regularly makes acquisitions, and Berkshire purchased Precision Castparts for a relatively full price, partially paying for its ability to grow its earnings using Berkshire’s capital. These (and many other) subsidiaries making tuck-in acquisitions will help Buffett’s successor effectively allocate capital by reducing the amount of money they need to allocate.

How Berkshire’s Buyback Plan Helps Allocate Capital

I believe the company’s buyback plan is also built to help Buffett’s successor allocate capital. If Berkshire’s stock falls on Buffett’s death and goes below the board’s buyback floor, the successor will have an easy way to accretively use Berkshire’s capital. There would be no reasonable way for anyone to criticise buying back Berkshire stock at a level previously endorsed by Warren Buffett himself.

 

The successor (and board) could also begin paying a dividend, although I think that is less likely. While a dividend has the attraction of being able to use an unlimited amount of capital in an intelligent way, it is also (at least indirectly) an admission by the successor of not being as savvy a capital allocator as Mr Buffett. Now, that is an admission that basically anyone should be happy to make, but for market confidence reasons, I can see why the board may not want to do so.

See more on Warren Buffett

 

 

 

Walmart Still Considered Excellent Long Term Buy

There are many reasons to consider Walmart stock to add to your investment portfolio including the fact that it’s a well established company with over $400 Billion in sales last year alone. Considering that they now have over 4,600 stores, there’s a good chance that there’s a store within a short drive from your home and they keep on building new locations.

We all have been to Wal-Mart before haven’t we? Some love the experience and tout the store as having the lowest prices, while other claim they go site seeing at Wal-Mart for odd looking people. Whatever your opinion is of the store, there are two things that can’t be debated. 1. Wal-Mart has the lowest prices out of any Omnichannel retailer/e-tailer and 2. Wal-Mart’s application and e-commerce experience are amazing

Compare Wal-Mart to Amazon?

Why do investors feel the need to compare Wal-Mart to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)? I am not certain. Amazon is a behemoth, that operates in every industry imaginable. Amazon seeks to invest every dollar it has ever earned. While Wal-Mart has decided to return much of the profits to shareholders.

Amazon’s e-commerce business is its least profitable, yet it makes up the majority of its revenues. In 2016 alone, Amazon did $93B in online retail sales! But, by 2022, analysts expect that just 17% of retail sales will be done online.

Wait a second…If I am not mistaken that leaves 83% of retail sales to be done in stores? This means there are still tremendous value in retailers, and many people still prefer to shop in stores.

We should compare Wal-Mart to Costco, Target, and Dollar General Instead:

When you begin to look at Wal-Mart in a different light, against traditional retailers, it begins to look very appealing. Unlike Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Target (NYSE:TGT), and Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Wal-Mart has a seamless Omnichannel experience. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, order on the Wal-Mart application. I dare you! Compare it to Amazon. Now try the same thing with Costco, Target, and Dollar General. Good luck.

Wal-Mart is capitalizing in areas that other retailers are completely missing the ball on. For example, Wal-Mart’s brick and mortar locations now allow for online ordering with in store pickup. This shows me that Wal-Mart is focusing tirelessly on allowing the customer to buy the product where they want to, pick it up where they want to, and use it where they want to. Wal-Mart has shown me lately they are serious about providing amazing customer experiences.

 

Wal-Mart is also keenly aware of a gigantic problem in E-commerce, stolen goods. In 2015, 11 Million packages were stolen, while 41% of consumers said that they won’t order online because they fear this exact issue. Wal-Mart recently announced a partnership with smart lock maker “August” to make in home deliveries. Not only will this mitigate the issue of theft, but will enable a more seamless grocery delivery experience. The homes will be equipped with cameras for those worried about the delivery men. The last mile has proved to be challenging even for behemoths like Amazon, who have had to invest in lockers to hold their packages. Despite its failure, I think that the user base/appeal for ‘Doorman’ shows a change in consumer behavior, and I think Wal-Mart is on to something.

1. The Jet.com Acquisition has transformed Wal-Mart with New Technology and a New User Base

Jet.com is intensely focused on capturing the millennial market from other companies by offering exceptional service and a membership free model. They offer products that are trendy and popular with millennials while offering prices that are similar to Wal-Mart. Jet.com offers superior customer service than Amazon, with simple ways to connect to a live human when you need one.

Jet.com is also offering quarterly promotions giving 5% back on certain categories, taking aim at the credit card companies who have similar promotions.

Jet.com is growing 280 times faster than Amazon! Can you believe it? Jet has gone from 100,000 customers in July of 2015 to more than 3.6 million today!

Millennials are not fans of gigantic companies that have the power to exert control over its customers. They prefer the cool, and trendy little guys. Check out Jet.com’s new premium grocery brand called ‘Uniquely J’. I am certainly a fan!

2. The Omnichannel Solution Wal-Mart Offers is Superior to All Other Retailers:

Like I mentioned above, if you haven’t used the Wal-Mart application I urge you to give it a shot. If you haven’t ordered something off of Jet.com you should give it a chance.

 

Because Wal-Mart has such a strong brick and mortar presence it allows them to leverage the data from the store front to recommend products online. I recently was buying some toiletries and household products and sure enough 1 month later around the time when I needed more products, the Wal-Mart app recommended I order it.

I decided to place the order and two days later my product arrived on my doorstep. By leveraging these capabilities Wal-Mart is allowing for a more seamless experience with the customer deciding when and where to purchase. Wal-Mart is doing an exceptional job at managing every piece of data and integrating it into its Omnichannel strategy.

In addition to the aforementioned points above, Wal-Mart’s prices are significantly cheaper than on Target, Costco, & Amazon. I encourage you to compare basic necessities that you buy from other sites to those on Walmart.com The differences are material and should at some point impact the customer loyalty at other companies.

More about Wal-Mart

 

 

Playstation Pulls Sony Out of a Deep Hole

It’s been roughly three years since Sony went through some really rough times. There were massive layoffs, consolidations and overall general upheaval throughout the entire company. The company was beginning to look like it was destined to end up in full blown bankruptcy but the top brass had a viable plan and turned it around big time and a lot of that success is owed to the gaming sector, specifically Playstation.

Back in 2014, Sony (NYSE:SNE) unveiled its reorganization plan, which included sale of a number of its assets, spinning off its businesses, laying off staff, and focusing on increasing profitability of its major divisions. Since that time, the company with its CEO Kaz Hirai achieved extraordinary results, as the stock more than doubled, and revenue started to grow.

In the latest quarter, Sony finally had a positive operating income of $843 million and a net income of $250 million. As expected, game & network services division was one of the best performers during the fiscal quarter and improved its sales by 21%. And, as the G&NS division continues to be one of the biggest drivers of Sony’s growth, it’s important to understand how the company plans to use it to improve its overall business performance.

The G&NS division mostly consists of products from the PlayStation family like PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, VR, and others. And, as the gaming industry continues to increase in value and is predicted to grow at ~6% annually, Sony has a real chance to establish even a stronger foothold there and continue to dominate the hardware sector of a console market.

Recently, Sony announced two major news. First was about the sales of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro that together reached 60 million units shipped worldwide. This is an important milestone for the company, which released its first 8th generation console only a few years back in 2013, and considering the current rate of growth, the management believes that it can sell another 18 million units by April 2018, which is going to make the company an even more attractive investment.

The second news was about the sales of PlayStation VR that reached 1 million units shipped worldwide in only half a year since its launch. Considering that virtual technology is still a novelty in today’s world, the fact that Sony successfully tested it and sold in such a great amount for entertainment purposes shows us that there’s a big demand for innovation in this space, and Sony should use this fact in its favor going forward.

See more on Playstation

 

Profitable Tech Trends for the New Year

You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see the future profits in this sector, it’s already here and getting bigger.

Prognostication is a humbling business. Last year at this time Mark Anderson, a tech futurist type and CEO of the Strategic News Service, predicted that Amazon (AMZN) would have a tough time in 2015, citing e-book squabbles, drone expenditures and the Fire phone flop. Oops.

All Amazon did was blow the doors off in 2105, with the stock up over 120% in a flat market. What’s up with that, Mark? “I thought Jeff [Bezos] was making too many mistakes, and that the shareholders and or customers would take it out on him,” he wrote to me in an email. “But AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been throwing off so much cash that nothing else mattered — even though the NY Times story came out and harmed the company’s reputation, and even though the Harvard Business Review dropped him from first place to near last based on some of these flaws. So, the world did indeed catch on to Jeff’s issues, but cloud computing saved the day.”

Fair enough Mark, and good for you for owning up to your miss. (And by the way, Mark had some good calls too.)

With that cautionary tell in mind, I set out to make some calls of my own, putting out three big tech trends for 2016. These aren’t the “holy-crow-I-never-even-thought-about-that” variety. Rather, they’re existing trends that I think will either hit the mainstream, become part of the public conversation, or have mega implications for investors in 2016. So here goes:

—VR. (If you have to ask what that means, you are officially behind the eight ball.) VR stands for virtual reality, of course, and yes, it’s those goofy headsets that zoom you into another world, and yes, you’ve been hearing about them for a few years now. But the point is that 2016 is the year these puppies will actually roll out to the general public. Even more significantly, VR really looks to be a major, incipient, platform battleground in the world of Tech. To wit: Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) are debuting VR products next year. So, too, is HTC, which may be a Hail Mary for that company. Google (GOOGL) has already introduced Google Cardboard, a low-end VR offering and has also invested in a stealth VR company with the ultimate VC-bait name: “Magic Leap.” But maybe Facebook (FB) will plant the biggest stake in the ground with a product from its Oculus Rift subsidiary, which Zuck & Co. bought for $2 billion in 2014. How big a deal is this? In a recent interview I did with Facebook’s head of sales, Carolyn Everson, she talked about how the company operates with mobile as its primary platform today but then went on to characterize Oculus thusly: “We think that can be the next operating system for the future.” Wow! No small thing there. (If you want to see how enamored Zuck himself is of Oculus, check out this Vanity Fair piece.) Still early days here. Oculus will only work on high-end PCs (which is weird), and the audience is all about gamers for now. But 2016 is merely year one. What the VR biz looks like in 2026, no one knows, but it will be big.

 

See more of the future

Forex Markets Face Huge Volitility in 2013

FOREX.com, the retail division of GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP), a global provider of online trading services, today released its Q1 2013 Market Outlook report. FOREX.com analysts predict that the New Year could see a large pick-up in volatility if the US goes over the fiscal cliff edge. This would have major implications for global financial markets as risk sentiment deteriorates and the US economy faces a sharp recession.

2013 is set to be the fourth year of the sovereign debt crisis for Europe and rather than moving nearer to a resolution the crisis is expected to flare up again in the coming year. Stabilization in the Eurozone is likely to be undermined by concerns about Spain’s financial position. The fall-out from refinancing Spain has the potential to cause a major spike in market volatility and a drop in the euro. Political risk is also likely to increase during the first quarter of 2013 as the market prepares for a general election in Italy.

The dollar will be faced with two important events in Q1. The first is the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations. The second event that is important for the dollar is the changing of the guard at the Federal Open Market Committee, which could see a dovish bias at the US central bank.

“If the US goes over the cliff edge then the dollar could attract safe haven flows and stocks may sell off like we saw during debt ceiling negotiations in the US in August 2011,” said Kathleen Brooks, Research Director, FOREX.com.

Ms. Brooks added: “After a period of intense risk aversion we could see markets start to recover in late Q1.  From a macro perspective, the US could join the Eurozone and Japan in falling back into recession, which may ignite a global decline. Without a bold solution to the European debt crisis and a deal in Washington we cannot envisage a significant pick-up in global sentiment in the first quarter.”

Expectations from the FOREX.com Q1 2013 Markets Outlook include:

  • The outlook for EURUSD is bleak and we may see some sharp declines over the quarter as sovereign concerns especially in Spain start to heat up;
  • There are signs Chinese growth is starting to pick up, this should fuel appreciation in the renminbi during the first quarter of 2013;
  • The AUD, CAD and NZD may remain subdued  as these commodity currencies are most sensitive to the bleak global growth outlook;
  • Gold and silver could have an adventurous quarter as two opposing forces, including sluggish global growth and fresh monetary stimulus, impact the precious metals space ;
  • The spread between UK and US oil could remain at elevated levels ($20-25) for the foreseeable future as long as bottlenecks in the supply of oil remain and tensions remain in the Middle East.

The FOREX.com Markets Outlook report highlights potential price ranges for key pairs, such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/GBP and USD/RUB.  Major foreign equity markets; key commodities including gold, silver, oil and agriculture are also covered.

The FOREX.com Markets Outlook report is prepared by Research Director Kathleen Brooks, Senior Technical Strategists Chris Tevere, CMT, Eric Viloria, CMT, and Research Analyst Chris Tedder.

The full FOREX.com Q1 2013 Markets Outlook Report is now available at www.forex.com under “Research”.

Foreign Exchange and other leveraged products involve significant risk of loss and are not suitable for all investors. Increasing leverage increases risk. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange and other leveraged products, you should carefully consider your financial objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not available for US residents.

GAIN Capital and its affiliates are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US; the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK; the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan; the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in HK; the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC); and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia

The opinions and information in this report are for general information use and are not intended as an offer or solicitation to any product offered.

About GAIN Capital

GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP) is a global provider of online trading services. GAIN’s innovative trading technology provides market access and highly automated trade execution services across multiple asset classes, including foreign exchange (forex or FX), contracts for difference (CFDs) and exchange-based products, to a diverse client base of retail and institutional investors.

Through our retail brand, FOREX.com, we provide retail traders around the world with access to a variety of global OTC financial markets, including forex, precious metals and CFDs on commodities and indices.  A market leader for over a decade, FOREX.com supports clients from over 140 countries and our products and services are available in multiple languages, including English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic.

GAIN Capital also operates GTX, a fully independent FX ECN for hedge funds and institutions; Open eCry, an innovative online futures broker; and GAIN Securities, Inc. (member FINRA/SIPC) a licensed U.S. broker-dealer.

GAIN Capital and its affiliates have offices in New York City; Bedminster, New Jersey; London; Sydney; Hong Kong; Tokyo; Singapore; Beijing and Seoul.

For company information, visit www.gaincapital.com.

CONTACT: In North America, Chris Mittendorf, +1-212-704-8134 or Samantha Nelson, +1-212-704-4589, both of Edelman, pr@gaincapital.com or In EMEA, Sorrel Beynon, +44 (0) 20 3047 2365 or Laura Crooks, +44 (0) 20 3047 2366, both of Edelman, gain@edelman.com

Web Site: http://www.gaincapital.com

Investment Advisor Reveals 11 Best Stocks for New Year

English: A view from the Member's Gallery insi...

Investment Advisor(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BullMarket.com (http://www.bullmarket.com) (“BMR”), an online investment newsletter focused on long-term growth and income-generating stocks, announced today that it has published an 80-page special report on high-yield stocks. The report includes 11 top selections for 2013 and features over 70 stocks in total, including Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE), Copano Energy (Nasdaq: CPNO), Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP), Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC), and Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK), among many others.

Since its first high yield report published in November 2008, BullMarket.com’s annual high yield selections have generated a 4-year cumulative return of 166.2%, greatly outpacing the 73.9% return of the S&P over the same period.

BMR is known for helping investors generate strong returns without taking outsized risks. Whether you’re a growth, value, or income investors, or you like large-cap or small-caps stocks, BMR is able to help you find winners across various sectors. Among some of BMR’s current or recent winners include Apple (up over 1,000% in two stints), McDonald’s (up about 450%), Enterprise Products Partners (up over 200%), and Synovis Life Technologies (taken out for a 73% gain).

BMR’s Recommended List, meanwhile, has generated solid returns in both good markets and bad, outperforming the S&P by over 49% since the start of the Great Recession in 2008.

All trial subscribers will also receive our recently published special report “Climb the Fiscal Cliff: 11 High Yielders for 2013” for free. This 69-page report gives an in-depth examination of eleven high-yielding stock picks, while also examining approximately 70 other high-yield stocks. The report digs into each pick’s dividend history, business activities, strengths, weaknesses, latest earnings report, and much more.

Past winners featured in the report include Baytex (up 114%), Regal Entertainment (up 92%), and HCP (up 89%) in 2009; TICC (up 96%), StoneMor (up 73%), B&G Foods (up 53%), and Enterprise Products Partners (up 52%) in 2010; Philip Morris (up 25%) in 2011; and US Ecology (up 34%), American Capital Agency (up 33%), and Toronto Dominion Bank (up 30%) in 2012.

Start your 14-day free trial today:
https://www.bullmarket.com/subscribe/pr/?refer=HY2013p

About BullMarket.com:
Launched in 1997, BullMarket.com has a strong track record of creating wealth for its subscribers by providing sound, long-term investing advice. The BullMarket.com Recommended List includes about 50 companies across all major industries, including Financials, Healthcare, Energy, Technology, and Retail, among others. BullMarket.com is one of the oldest continuously published investment newsletters online, and its Recommended List has consistently outperformed the major market indices.

NOTE: This release was published by Indie Research Advisors, LLC (CRD #131926), a registered investment advisor with the NASD and State of NJ. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contacts
Indie Research Advisors, LLC
Marcie Martin, +1-888-278-5515

TD Bank Proposed Acquisition Under Investigation

Law office of Brodsky & Smith, LLC announces that it is investigating potential claims against the Board of Directors of Epoch Holding Corp. (“Epoch” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: EPHC) relating to the proposed acquisition by TD Bank Group (“TD Bank”).

Under the terms of the transaction, Epoch shareholders will receive only $28.00 in cash for each share of Epoch stock they own. The investigation concerns possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the Board of Directors of Epoch for not acting in the Company’s shareholders’ best interests in connection with the sale process to TD Bank. The transaction may undervalue the Company and will not result in a substantial gain for many Epoch shareholders. For example Epoch stock traded at $27.80 as recently as April 27, 2012 and an analyst has set a $33.50 per share price target for Epoch stock.

If you own shares of Epoch stock and wish to discuss the legal ramifications of the proposed transaction, or have any questions, you may e-mail or call the law office of Brodsky & Smith, LLC who will, without obligation or cost to you, attempt to answer your questions.  You may contact Jason L. Brodsky, Esquire or Evan J. Smith, Esquire at Brodsky & Smith, LLC, Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, by e-mail at investorrelations@brodsky-smith.com visiting http://brodsky-smith.com/514-ephc-epoch-holding-corp.html, by calling toll free 877-LEGAL-90.

Web Site: http://www.brodsky-smith.com

Option Traders Get Year End Gift

MIAX Options Exchange (“MIAX”), the newest U.S. equity options exchange, announced today that it will waive transaction fees until the end of the year, other than select transaction and regulatory fees applicable to members trading options on and using services provided by MIAX.  MIAX also confirmed that it will launch trading operations on December 7, 2012, as previously announced.

Thomas P. Gallagher, MIAX’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, “Tomorrow marks a tremendous milestone for MIAX with the launch of our MIAX Options Exchange.  We are proud to be the newest member of the U.S. equity options industry and we look forward to a successful launch.”

Gallagher further stated, “On behalf of our shareholders and the Boards of Directors of both MIAX and Miami International Holdings, Inc., our parent company, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Doug Schafer, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at MIAX, and his highly skilled and experienced IT team for their unwavering commitment.  Doug and his team are extremely well-versed in the unique functional and performance demands of the options industry and have designed and implemented a trading platform that features ultra-low latency, proper protections and exceptional throughput, and which can be operated on a very cost-efficient basis.”

Shelly Brown, Senior V.P. Strategic Planning and Operations, who spearheaded the MIAX Exchange strategy, stated, “The response from the options industry has been very enthusiastic, and we are pleased to have more than 27 market makers and order flow providers already approved for options trading with additional firms close to completing the membership process.”

MIAX is a fully electronic options trading exchange. Its trading platform has been developed in-house and designed from the ground up for the unique functional and performance demands of derivatives trading.  The MIAX executive offices and technology development center are located in Princeton, New Jersey.  The National Operations Center for the MIAX Options Exchange is also housed at the Princeton facility.  Additional executive offices, as well as a multi-purpose training, meeting and conference center will be located in a state-of-the-art facility in Miami, Florida.

For detailed information regarding fees on the MIAX Options Exchange, please visit www.miaxoptions.com/content/fees.

For further information regarding the MIAX Options Exchange, including fee schedule, news and recent developments, member onboarding, and technology onboarding, including specifications and requirements, please visit www.MIAXOptions.com or contact MIAX Trading Operations at TradingOperations@MIAXOptions.com.

Corporate Communications Contact: Oly Wirtz
609-897-1478
owirtz@miami-holdings.com

About MIAX Options Exchange

MIAX is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Miami International Holdings, Inc. (“MIH”).  MIAX has assembled a team with deep rooted experience in developing, operating and trading on options exchanges.  The initial focus of MIH is to leverage management’s expertise and relationships in the equity options space to launch the MIAX Options Exchange.  MIAX intends to launch the MIAX Equities Exchange once the MIAX Options Exchange is operational and plans to pursue Latin American equity listings.  The launch of the MIAX Equities Exchange is subject to SEC approval.  The vision for the MIAX Equities Exchange is to become a marketplace that enables access to the Latin American markets, a place where global Hispanic entrepreneurs can seek capital and growth opportunities, and an exchange where Latin American companies will want to be listed.  MIAX believes that Miami is the ideal location for taking advantage of the rapidly developing business opportunities emanating from the Americas and that Latin American companies will be interested in listing on the MIAX because of its presence in Miami.  The MIAX Futures Exchange is also planned as a follow-on initiative.  The launch of the MIAX Futures Exchange is subject to CFTC approval.

Disclaimer and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities of MIH, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer; solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical or current facts of MIH, together with its subsidiaries, including MIAX (the “Company”).  Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the possible or assumed future results of operations of the Company; the competitive position of the Company; potential growth opportunities available to the Company; the expectation with respect to securities, options and future markets and general economic conditions; the effects of competition on the Company’s business; and the impact of future legislation and regulatory changes on the Company’s business.  Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

Web Site: http://www.miaxoptions.com

Top Forex Broker Does It Again

English: Typical SMS forex signal, delivered t...

Forex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Investors vote OANDA as winner of the ‘Highest Overall Client Satisfaction’ and ‘Value for Money’ awards in 2012

OANDA, a global provider of innovative foreign exchange trading services, has won two awards in Singapore from Investment Trends, a specialist financial services research agency. OANDA was ranked No. 1 for the third year running for “Highest Overall Client Satisfaction”, and was also awarded “Best Value for Money” in forex*. OANDA has won two awards every year the survey has been conducted by Investment Trends. This year’s awards are based on a survey conducted by Investment Trends that received responses from 11,762 traders and investors in Singapore.

“These awards recognize OANDA’s continuous efforts to improve our trading platform and develop new features, as well as our commitment to provide clients with high quality forex trading experiences backed by excellent customer support. It’s good to see that OANDA’s clients are satisfied with our reliable and easy-to-use FX trading platform: its superior quality of execution, innovative features, and tight spreads. Winning the award for highest overall satisfaction is seen as highly prestigious,” said K Duker, CEO of OANDA.

“It is a testament to our hard work and emphasizes our goal to be the most trusted partner for retail forex traders.”

Investment Trends is a global research firm and has been conducting studies in the retail CFD, FX and online broking markets for over 10 years. The survey, conducted in September 2012, is the largest and most extensive study on the Singapore CFD and FX market, analyzing how traders and investors rate the leading FX and CFD providers.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by forex traders for our technology leadership and our reputation for excellence in client service. Singapore is an extremely competitive market, yet OANDA has a continuously growing number of clients because traders trust our services. We have increased our market share and we’re pleased to see that traders recognize our commitment to help them succeed in the volatile FX market. It validates our work in providing innovative tools, data and information traders need – from traditional news sources, social networks, industry experts, and OANDA’s own aggregated market data,” says Marion Lang, Head of Sales and Marketing for OANDA.

* Based on the Investment Trends September 2012   Singapore CFD & FX Report

Notes to the Editors

About OANDA

OANDA Corporation has transformed the business of foreign exchange through an innovative approach to forex trading. The company’s leading online trading platform, fxTrade, introduced a number of firsts to the marketplace, including immediate execution; instant settlement on trades; trades of any size between one unit and 10 million units; and interest calculated by the second. OANDA was the first online provider of comprehensive currency exchange information, and today the company’s OANDA Rate® data are the benchmark rates for corporations, auditing firms, and central banks.

OANDA Corporation has seven offices worldwide, in Chicago, London, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, and Zurich. OANDA is fully regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. National Futures Association (NFA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), and the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Contacts:

Cognito for OANDA Corporation
Paul Bowhay / Bryony Scragg
Direct: +44(0)20-7426-9400
OANDAPR@cognitomedia.com
http://www.cognitomedia.com

Stock Expert Reveals Top Stocks to Buy and Sell

Zacks Equity Research highlights Unilever Plc (NYSE:UL) as the Bull of the Day and NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

We are upgrading our recommendation on Unilever Plc (NYSE:UL) to Outperform from Neutral based on impressive third quarter 2012 results. Despite high input costs and a tough currency environment, Unilever posted healthy underlying sales growth of 5.9% on the back of both volume and pricing gains.

Increased investment in innovation and brand building also contributed to the growth. Organic sales in the emerging markets improved as well. The company maintained its dominant market share in all the business segments and recorded decent growth in spite of global economic crisis.

We are encouraged by Unilever’s solid fundamentals and a wide portfolio of globally recognized flagship brands. Moreover, continuous innovation in all the segments adds to its growth prospects.

Bear of the Day:

Following NuStar Energy’s (NYSE:NS) grim third quarter results, we are recalibrating our investment thesis on the midstream energy partnership to Underperform from Neutral. In particular, losses in its asphalt and fuel marketing segments (which together contribute roughly half of total income) adversely impacted NuStar’s third quarter profits.

Though we welcome the partnership s decision to sell a 50% stake in its volatile asphalt operations, the continued poor outlook for the sector will be a further drag on NuStar’s near-to-medium term EBITDA. We are also concerned by the partnerships high leverage. Considering these headwinds, we expect NuStar to perform below the industry, which gives investors little reason to hold the stock.

This is corroborated by our new Underperform recommendation. Our $40 price objective reflects a 2013 P/E multiple of 17.7x.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) expects that its sales in the U.S. will top 2 million vehicles in 2012 depending on burgeoning demand for Camry sedan and Prius hybrid. Last time, when the automaker’s sales reached that level was in 2007, at 2.62 million vehicles. Logging a sales of more than 2 million vehicles in the year implies a 22% growth from 2011.

In the first nine months of the year, Toyota’s sales grew 29.5% to 1.72 million vehicles. Sales of Camry surged 36.5% to 344,714 units while sales of Prius leapt 91.2% to 200,114 units during the period (all on a daily selling rate basis).

Toyota saw more than threefold increase in profits to ¥257.92 billion ($3.28 billion) or ¥81.44 ($1.04) per share in the second quarter of fiscal year ended September 30, 2012 from ¥80.42 billion or ¥25.65 in the same quarter of prior fiscal year.

The increase in profits can be attributed to strong demand for Toyota vehicles as well as positive impact from the company’s cost control measures. However, profits were lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.62 per share.

Revenues in the quarter grew 18.2% to ¥5.41 trillion ($68.75 billion) on a 14.9% rise in sales volume to 2.16 million units. Vehicle sales increased in all the regions, except Europe. Operating income more than quadrupled to ¥340.61 billion ($4.33 billion) from ¥75.39 billion in the second quarter of previous fiscal year.

For fiscal 2013 ending March 31, 2013, Toyota projected lower consolidated vehicles sales of 8.75 million units, down 50 thousand units from the prior guidance. The automaker also lowered its consolidated revenue outlook to ¥21.30 trillion (up 14.6% from fiscal 2012) from the prior guidance of ¥22.00 trillion. The downward revision of sales outlook was based on difficulties in Chinese and European markets.

However, it raised operating income guidance to ¥1.05 trillion (up 195.3% from fiscal 2012) from the prior level of ¥1.00 trillion and profits to ¥780.0 billion (175.1%) from the previous projection of ¥760.0 billion.

Toyota is the leading automaker in the world. Its product portfolio consists of a full range of models from passenger cars, minivans and trucks as well as related parts and accessories.

The company’s domestic competitors include Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY). Despite better results, the company currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank on its shares, which translates to a short-term (1 to 3 months) rating of Hold, owing to the global economic weakness and problems in China, the company’s one of the biggest markets.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

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