Why Protective Life, Broadcom, and American Realty Capital Healthcare Are Today's 3 Best Stocks

The S&P 500 crawls to another all-time high as Protective Life, Broadcom, and ARC Healthcare head to the upside.

Jun 2, 2014 at 5:15PM

All the king's horses and all the king's men, along with every short-seller on Earth, may not be able to bring the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) down again. OK, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration, but practically any midmorning weakness of late has been met with late-day buying, eventually pushing the S&P to another green close.


The big news today that pushed the market modestly higher was the release of the Institute for Supply Management purchasing managers' index, which came in with a reading of 55.4, up from 54.9 in April. The institute had to correct the number twice during the day, after initially issuing a reading of 53.2 and then 56. The slight improvement (in the correct results) from April demonstrates that factory orders are stronger than economists have expected and lend credence that this rally could continue higher.

On the flip side, construction spending for April grew by just 0.2% compared to the 0.6% growth witnessed in March. Some might view the month-over-month dip as disappointing, but investors should also consider that construction spending surged in March following the extremely cold winter, so matching that month's level of growth in April was likely going to be nearly impossible. I personally believe the construction and homebuilding sector as a whole is walking on thin ice, but for now the data would seem to support slow but steady growth.

By day's end, the S&P 500 trudged higher by 1.40 points (0.07%) for yet another record closing high of 1,924.97.

Leading the charge today was Protective Life (NYSE:PL) a financial services company in the U.S. primarily known for underwriting life insurance policies. Shares of Protective Life surged 11.9% after The Wall Street Journal noted that Dai-Ichi Life Insurance could be preparing to bid nearly $4.9 billion for the company. Protective Life chose not to comment on the matter, leaving investors to ponder whether this rumor will come to fruition, or if they'll eventually be burned. As my Foolish colleague Alex Planes noted earlier today, even if the deal doesn't go through it makes sense to keep an eye on Protective Life as it has consistently topped Wall Street's estimates in recent months, and because insurance companies have a way of boosting premiums as needed to ensure profitability.


Source: Jez, Flickr.

Health property-based real estate investment trust Ventas (NYSE:VTR) also announced that it would purchase American Realty Capital Healthcare Trust (NASDAQ:HCT) in a combined cash and stock deal that sent ARC Healthcare shares higher by 9.7%. Under the terms of the deal, ARC Healthcare shareholders can receive either 0.1688 Ventas common shares or $11.33 per share in cash, with the cash portion of the deal being capped at 10% of ARC Healthcare's outstanding shares. The boards of both companies have already approved the transaction. As noted by Ventas, the deal will be immediately accretive to its funds from operations (music the ears of Ventas' shareholders) and should add at least $0.10 in funds from operations in 2015. With the company so recently debuting on the Nasdaq, it's tough to tell if ARC Healthcare shareholders are getting the best possible deal. However, given the premium paid, the cash-and-stock option for existing shareholders, and Ventas' projection that the buy will be immediately FFO accretive, I'd say everyone came out a winner today.

Finally, shares of Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), a provider of semiconductor solutions to the wired and wireless communications industry, advanced 9.3% after the company announced its intentions to explore the sale of (or wind down) its wireless business.

Source: CannedTuna, Flickr.

Broadcom has generally catered to what's now considered to be older wireless technologies and, as such, it has has been left in the dust by its mobile communications peers. Selling the wireless business would dramatically lower its capital expenditures and could ultimately boost margins and make Broadcom more profitable. While its top-line growth implies rather underwhelming growth prospects over the near-term, Broadcom's $1.5 billion in net cash and 1.5% dividend yield are certainly enticing enough for long-term investors to give this company a closer look.

These 3 stocks may have soared today, but they're likely no match for this top stock over the long haul
Give us five minutes and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with outstanding potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on one of the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303% over the subsequent years! Believe me, you don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information