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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

hot stock picks


Monday, October 18, 2010

Penny Stocks to watch this Fall

Penny Stocks to Watch - 10/18/2010

Penny Stock Trading
How To Make Big Bucks With Penny Stocks

YRCW-YRC Worldwide Inc.

DSCO-Discovery Laboratories Inc.

HEB-Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.

LVLT-Level 3 Communications Inc.

CPST-Capstone Turbine Corp.

RAS-RAIT Financial Trust

CTZN-Citizens First Bancorp Inc.

RPC-Radient Pharmaceuticals Corporation

INUV-Inuvo, Inc.

DPTR-Delta Petroleum Corp.

CAPS-Orthologic Corp.

LEI-Lucas Energy, Inc.

JSDA-Jones Soda Co.

BPAZ-BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How To Make Big Bucks With Penny Stocks
ARWR-Arrowhead Research Corp.

SUPR-Superior Bancorp.

HSWI-HSW International, Inc.

GSX-Gasco Energy Inc.

NENG-Network Engines Inc.

MERX-Merix Corp.

XRM-Xerium Technologies Inc.

LXRX-Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, In


COIN-Converted Organics Inc

RPRX-Repros Therapeutics Inc.


ABK-Ambac Financial Group, Inc.

ETFC-E*TRADE Financial Corporation

BBI-Blockbuster Inc.

RNN-Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

SSN-Samson Oil & Gas Limited

AEN-Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

PEIX-Pacific Ethanol, Inc.

SNSS-Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

DSCO-Discovery Laboratories Inc.

HEB-Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.

LVLT-Level 3 Communications Inc.

CPST-Capstone Turbine Corp.

TBUS-DRI Corporation

SBCF-Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida

SLP-Simulations Plus Inc.

PEIX-Pacific Ethanol, Inc.

QTWW-Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.

DEAR-Dearborn Bancorp Inc.

RTK-Rentech, Inc.

SNSS-Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

ABK-Ambac Financial Group, Inc.

HEB-Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.

IRSN-Irvine Sensors Corp.

GNVC-GenVec Inc.

NEXM-NexMed Inc.

CHIO-China INSOnline Corp.

BGP-Borders Group, Inc.

CDII-China Direct Industries, Inc.

ABCW-Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin, Inc.

CTBK-City Bank

FTK-Flotek Industries Inc.

CPRX-Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc.

LTS-Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

JOEZ-Joe's Jeans Inc.
The Penny Stock Trading System - Palm
AKRX-Akorn Inc.

DPTR- Delta Petroleum Corp.

ANX-Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

VG-Vonage Holdings Corporation

How To Make Big Bucks With Penny Stocks

OTC Pink Sheets Stocks to Watch - 10/18/2010

WDRP.PK- Wanderport Corp.

WAMUQ.PK- Washington Mutual Inc.

MTLQQ.PK- Motors Liquidation Company.

CHTL.OB- China Tel Group Inc.

USOG.PK- United States Oil & Gas Corp.

SNWT.OB San West, Inc.

NVLT.OB- Novelos Therapeutics, Inc.
Penny Stock Trading
AENY.OB- Americas Energy Company.

GETA.OB- Genta Incorporated

JY JayHawk Energy, Inc. (JYHW.OB)

GDHI.PK- Golden Dragon Holdings, Inc

BGOI.OB- Bonanza Oil & Gas, Inc.

CBAI.OB- Cord Blood America Inc.

BIEL.PK- BioElectronics Corporation

POSC.OB- Positron Corp.

ACTC.OB- Advanced Cell Technology Inc.

MTLQQ.PK-Motors Liquidation Company

LTUM.OB- Lithium Corporation

MDCE.OB- Medical Care Technologies, Inc

WDRP.PK- Wanderport Corp.

PWRM.OB-Power 3 Medical Products Inc.

QASP.PK-Quasar Aerospace Industries, Inc.

SNWT.OB-San West, Inc.

SGTI.OB-Shengtai Pharmaceutical Inc.

TADF.OB-Tactical Air Defense Services Inc

AXCG.PK- Avenue Exchange Corp.

VRML.PK-Vermillion, Inc.

YASH.OB-Yasheng Eco-Trade Corporation.

GGWPQ-. General Growth Properties Inc.

NXTH.OB-NXT Nutritionals Holdings, Inc.

ISPI-OB- InfoSpi, Inc.

CRWG.OB- CrowdGather, Inc.

LTUM.OB-Lithium Corporation.

PEPR.OB- Pepper Rock Resources Corp.

SKGO.PK- SkyBridge Technology Group, Inc.


SEWC.PK-Sew Cal Logo Inc.

NACF.PK-National Clean Fuels Inc.

INGB.OB-International Building Technologies Group, Inc.

BIEL.PK-BioElectronics Corporation

ESPH.OB-Ecosphere Technologies, Inc.

CHTL.OB-China Tel Group Inc.

VSTNQ.PK-Visteon Corp.
Penny Stock Trading

Monday, October 4, 2010

Buy Soft Drinks Industry (HEK, DPS, COKE, FIZZ, JSDA) ?

Below are the top five companies in the Soft Drinks industry as measured by the price to book ratio. Often companies with the lowest ratio present the greatest value to investors.

Heckmann (NYSE:HEK) has a price to book ratio of 1.4x based on a current price of $3.92 and a book value per share of $2.77.

Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) has a price to book ratio of 3x based on a current price of $35.11 and a book value per share of $11.82.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated (NASDAQ:COKE) has a price to book ratio of 3.7x based on a current price of $52.94 and a book value per share of $14.36.

National Beverage (NASDAQ:FIZZ) has a price to book ratio of 4.2x based on a current price of $14.12 and a book value per share of $3.33.

Jones Soda (NASDAQ:JSDA) has a price to book ratio of 5.1x based on a current price of $1.35 and a book value per share of $0.26.

SmarTrend is bearish on shares of HEK and our subscribers were alerted to Sell on March 30, 2010 at $5.57. The stock has fallen 29.6% since the alert was issued

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sales of U.S. new homes rose in June more than forecast up 23% .....

Sales of U.S. new homes rose in June more than forecast following an unprecedented collapse the prior month, a signal the worst of the slump triggered by the end of a government tax credit is over.

Purchases increased 24 percent from May to an annual pace of 330,000, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The rate was the second-lowest in data going back to 1963 after May’s downwardly revised 267,000 pace.

The lowest mortgage rates on record may help underpin demand, stabilizing the industry that triggered the worst recession since the 1930s. Even so, increasing foreclosures are swelling the number of unsold existing homes, putting pressure on prices and keeping buyers on the sidelines as unemployment hovers near 10 percent and the economy cools.

“We’ll probably reach an equilibrium level over the next couple of months and I wouldn’t be surprised if we slog along the bottom,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. “Until we get a more definitive turn in growth, in particular employment, housing demand is going to remain very soft.”

Stocks extended prior gains following the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,108.8 at 10:04 a.m. in New York. The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilder Index climbed 1.9 percent.

Exceeds Forecast

Economists forecast sales would rise 3.3 percent to an annual pace of 310,000, according to the median of 73 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 260,000 to 360,000. The government had initially estimated May sales at a 300,000 rate.

The median price decreased 0.6 percent from June 2009 to $213,400.

Purchases increased in three of four regions, led by a 46 percent jump in the Northeast and a 33 [percent surge in the South, the largest area. Demand dropped 6.6 percent in the West to a record low 57,000 pace.

The supply of homes at the current sales rate fell to 7.6 months’ worth from 9.6 months in May. There were 210,000 new houses on the market at the end of June, the fewest since 1968.

To become eligible for a federal incentive worth up to $8,000, buyers had to sign contracts by April 30 and close deals by the end of last month. The surge in demand prior to the April deadline prompted the government this month to extend the closing deadline until Sept. 30 to ensure buyers had enough time to complete transactions.

Exiting Homes

Purchases of previously-owned homes, which are tabulated when a contract closes, fell a less-than-forecast 5.1 percent in June, sustained by a backlog of deals waiting to settle, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed last week.

New home sales are calculated when a contract is signed. The drop in sales in May came after demand reached an almost two-year high the prior month, according to last month’s Commerce Department data.

Builder shares have dropped this year as the housing outlook dimmed. The Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilder Index, which includes Toll Brothers Inc. and Lennar Corp., has fallen 5.4 percent from Dec. 31 through July 23, while the S&P 500 Index is down 1.1 percent.

With the deadline for signing a contract now past, it will be up to advances in the labor market to support home sales. Private U.S. companies added 83,000 jobs in June, fewer than economists had forecast, and initial jobless claims have averaged 449,700 this month, a sign firings remain elevated.

Mounting Foreclosures

Another challenge to new home sales is the rising tide of foreclosures. Home seizures jumped 38 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, RealtyTrac Inc. said last week, putting lenders on pace to claim more than 1 million properties this year.

NVR Inc., based in Reston, Virginia, said last week the original June 30 closing deadline to qualify for the tax incentive resulted in a “surge in settlement activity” in the second quarter, with closings jumping 63 percent from the same time a year earlier. New orders fell six percent in the second quarter to 2,559 units.

Homebuilders turned more pessimistic this month, with the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index dropping to 14, the lowest level since April 2009, according to data released last week.

by: C. Schliserman

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tony Hayward's departure from his job as BP's, steps down ?

Tony Hayward's departure from his job as BP's chief executive will be at the center of the agenda when the company's board of directors meets Monday night, according to a source close to the company.

The board is meeting in advance of Tuesday's release of quarterly results, and the directors will weigh how best to confront or defuse criticism as the company unveils its best estimates of massive losses arising from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hayward, a geologist who has spent his entire career at BP, recognizes that he has become "a liability going forward" and is ready to step down, the source close to the company said. The source asked for anonymity because the company has not yet announced its intentions.

Hayward has come under sharp criticism from members of Congress, President Obama and many investment analysts for events leading up to the exploration well blowout. Some of his comments about the spill have been called insensitive to gulf coast residents.

Moreover, the company has struggled to stop not only the flow of oil but the flow of bad publicity, from complaints about the speed of payment of claims to gulf residents to doctoring photographs on its Web site. Some analysts say Hayward's exit would be a statement that someone is taking full responsibility.

One of the front-runners to succeed Hayward would be Robert Dudley, a Mississippi native who joined BP from Amoco after the two companies merged in 1998. Dudley, who was just put in charge of leading gulf coast cleanup efforts, would be the first American to run the company originally known as British Petroleum.

Plug The Damn Hole! anti Obama anti BP oil spill bumper sticker

Another source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that other top executives might also be ousted, but the source close to the company said that decision would be left to the new chief executive.

Among the executives whose positions are widely considered to be tenuous are Andy Inglis, the Houston-based head of global exploration and production who is also leading the relief well effort; Doug Suttles, the chief operating officer who has played a prominent public role in addressing questions about BP's response to claims and cleanup issues; Lamar McKay, the president of BP America who had no responsibility for the exploration well but who has been given the unenviable task of defending the company before Congress.

Additional ousters could come of less prominent people further down the chain of command who might have made improper decisions about the design of the exploration well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

BP's oil spill is all messed up & could be much worse ?

Found a grat  artical on BP ......
T. -Westra

Sunday, July 17, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been with us nearly three months, and the news just isn't getting better. Even when there's hope of a cleanup, an accident sends us back nearly to square one. The American public is incensed, the finger-pointing refuses to end, the U.S.-British "special relationship" is straining, an offshore moratorium is declared but overruled, and even as the blown-out gulf well was sealed Thursday, anxiety lingered about whether the cap would hold. It's a mess in every sense of the word.

But this could be far worse. Imagine if BP were a state-owned oil company. Instead of reasoning with an incompetent chief executive, we'd be reasoning with a protectionist prime minister. Regarding BP, this is a thought experiment. But there are plenty of state-owned companies drilling in U.S. waters and abroad. The next oil spill could be more than just an economic and environmental crisis. It could be a diplomatic one.

As it is, the BP spill has caused tension between the United States and Britain. President Obama has been accused by British media and officials of xenophobia, waging a campaign of hate, and general "Brit-bashing." British Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, has been criticized for not taking a stronger stance in favor of BP. At a time when some are saying the "special relationship" is over, a tiff over BP isn't exactly what the friendship needs.

Humor me and picture what would happen if BP were owned by the British government. We would be facing a situation in which a foreign government would be directly responsible for the ever-worsening spill on our domestic shores. The United States and Britain have had arguments before, and the nationalistic vitriol coming from both sides would be 10 times worse as issues of blame, recovery costs, national pride, domestic security, and economic competition are endlessly debated between leaders, economists, and cable pundits.

That's still the rosy scenario, because at least Britain is an ally. There are plenty of countries that are not, and they happen to own their oil companies -- Venezuela, China, Iran, and Russia being among the biggest. These petroleum-rich countries are placing more importance on their nationalized oil companies as a way to ensure a steady supply to guard against growing domestic demand and changing market conditions.

The oil industry is dominated by state-owned companies. Multinationals might have more name recognition with the public -- ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron -- but they have full access to 6 percent of worldwide oil reserves. Eighty-eight percent of reserves are held by national oil companies, which also represent the majority of worldwide production. (It's unknown the percentage of oil that state-owned companies get from outside their countries' shores.) Companies such as Aramco, Petrobras, Sinopec and Pemex aren't household names, but they will be as oil becomes scarcer and they can throw around their weight even more due to their dominance of existing oil reserves.

We're already seeing potential hotspots, and the United States isn't the only country that should be worried. Chevron and Rosneft (owned by the Russian government) will begin drilling in the Shatsky Ridge of the Black Sea at the end of 2011. The Black Sea is bordered by Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine -- countries that, to put it lightly, don't always get along. Any substantial accident would be seen as a Russian oil company contaminating its oft-slighted neighbors. Cue the international crisis.

More potential trouble could happen in the South China Sea, where China-owned CNOOC continues to expand its operations. As many as 10 countries surround the South China Sea, and its importance as a major shipping zone and an area of ecological diversity cannot be overstated. It is already a geopolitical hotspot, and any disaster caused by a state-owned company might unravel any diplomatic progress being made.

Even the Gulf of Mexico might see trouble again. Brazil's Petrobras drills in the gulf, and has been ramping up its operations in the area for several years. Brazil has relatively good relations with its neighbors in the Americas, but a Deepwater Horizon-style disaster could significantly change the political dynamics of the region.

It doesn't have to be a blown offshore platform that changes everything. Accidents can happen at any point in the supply chain. A recent death at the Port Arthur, Tex., refinery (owned by Shell and Aramco) highlights the potential for more tension. A substantially destructive accident at any step of the oil extraction, refining or transportation process could stain relations as well.

If we can be sure of one thing in the aftermath of the BP spill, it's that it won't be the last. Countries have not used the BP oil spill to stop offshore development: Deepwater production is anticipated to increase by two-thirds within five years, and state-owned oil companies in general are poised to continue their strong growth.

Strides in renewable energy aren't happening quickly enough to substantially reduce global demand of oil. That oil isn't plentiful enough to be extracted as easily anymore, meaning companies are using more and more potentially dangerous methods to get at it. As BP has shown, danger can only be averted for so long.

Thoughts ? Are you buying BP stock ?

Monday, June 7, 2010


ABTL, Inc.
ARWR Arrowhead
AVXL Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
CRM, Inc.
EMIS Emisphere Technologies, Inc.
MIL Millipore Corp.
PANL Universal Display Corp.
QSFT Quest Software, Inc.
RCMT RCM Technologies, Inc.
TIII TII Industries, Inc.
VMW VMware Inc.
VNV Viacom Inc.
XEC Cimarex Energy Co.

New 52-Week Low -Friday

AEO American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
ACUR Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
AEXP American Exploration Corp.
ALVR Alvarion Ltd.
AMAR Amarillo Biosciences
AMPL Ampal-American Israel Corp.
AMRI Albany Molecular Research, Inc.
ARYX ARYx Therapeutics Inc.
ATTD Attitude Drinks Inc.
BDSI BioDelivery Sciences Intl, Inc.
BKBO BakBone Software Inc.
BSX Boston Scientific Corp.
CF CF Industries Holdings, Inc
CADX Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc.
CASB Cascade Financial Corp.
CLMS Calamos Asset Management Inc.
CMED China Medical Technologies Inc.
COCO Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
CRYP CryptoLogic Ltd.
CWCO Consolidated Water Co. Ltd.
DRYS Dry Ships Inc.
DWSN Dawson Geophysical Co.
ECOL US Ecology Inc.
EEFT Euronet Services, Inc.
EFIR EGPI Firecreek, Inc.
ELCR Electric Car Co., Inc.
ENG ENGlobal Corp.
ERII Energy Recovery Inc.
ESLR Evergreen Solar, Inc.
EURX Eurand N.V.
FFNW First Financial Northwest, Inc.
FORM FormFactor Inc.
GILD Gilead Sciences, Inc.
ICFI ICF International Inc.
IESC Integrated Electrical Services, Inc.
IFXY INFRAX Systems Inc.
INFN Infinera Corp.
INOD Innodata Corp.
KRNY Kearny Financial Corp.
LABL Multi-Color Corp.
LACO Lakes Gaming, Inc.
LIME Lime Energy Co.
LTON Linktone Ltd.
MEMS Memsic Inc.
NCEN Nacel Energy Corp.
NUBL NuMobile, Inc.
NVGN Novogen Ltd.
NWPX Northwest Pipe Co.
OPTR Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc.
PBCT Peoples Bank
PNSN Penson Worldwide Inc.
RPRX Repros Therapeutics .
SHOR ShoreTel, Inc.
SIXFQ Six Flags, Inc.
SMTB Smithtown Bancorp Inc.
SOEN Solar Enertech Corp.
SRDX SurModics, Inc.
TRCR Transcend Services, Inc.
VITA Orthovita Inc.
VIVO Meridian Bioscience Inc.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BP CEO Tony Hayward sold shares weeks before oil spill ? Buy Boycott BP Bumper Sticker

Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst, causing an environmental disaster. Boycott BP Bumper Sticker - Oil Spill Decal - Environmental
Mr Hayward, whose pay package is £4 million a year, then paid off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent, which is estimated to be valued at more than £1.2 million.
There is no suggestion that he acted improperly or had prior knowledge that the company was to face the biggest setback in its history.
His decision, however, means he avoided losing more than £423,000 when BP’s share price plunged after the oil spill began six weeks ago.
Since he disposed of 223,288 shares on March 17, the company’s share price has fallen by 30 per cent. About £40 billion has been wiped off its total value. The fall has caused pain not just for BP shareholders, but also for millions of company pension funds and small investors who have money held in tracker funds.
The spill, which has still not been stemmed, has caused a serious environmental crisis and is estimated to cost BP up to £40 billion to clean up.
There was growing confidence yesterday that a new cap placed over the well was stemming the oil flow. An estimated three million litres a day had been pouring into the sea off the coast of Louisiana since the April 20 explosion, damaging marine life.
The crisis has enraged US politicians, with President Obama yesterday forced to cancel a trip to Indonesia amid a row over the White House’s response.
Mr Hayward, whose position is thought to be under threat, risked further fury by continuing plans to pay out a dividend to investors next month. Boycott BP Bumper Sticker - British Polluters Oil Spill Decal - Environmental

Boycott BP Bumper Sticker - WTF BP - Environmental
 J. Swaie -  R. Winett

Monday, May 10, 2010

Futures jump: S&P 52.3 pts, Dow 400 pts, Nasdaq 81.25 US STOCKS-Futures soar after euro zone rescue plan

* Global leaders agree to $1 trillion emergency package

* Futures indicate S&P 500 could open up 4 pct

* Futures jump: S&P 52.3 pts, Dow 400 pts, Nasdaq 81.25

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures soared on Monday, and the S&P 500 could open 4 percent higher, after global leaders agreed to a $1 trillion emergency rescue package that sent the euro and European stocks surging.

* The package pledged 500 billion euros ($670 billion) in loans and loan guarantees to euro-zone countries, plus about 250 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund. The package is on the same scale as the $700 billion bailout launched by the United States to stave off the credit crisis. For details, see

* Also, the U.S. Federal Reserve reopened currency swap lines with several central banks in hopes of assuring markets of dollar liquidity, and the European Central Bank said it would buy government debt to steady investor nerves. A number of European central banks said they had already started. [ID:nLDE649051]

* S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 52.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc1 shot up 400 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 gained 81.25 points.

* In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares advanced 6.5 percent, rebounding from its biggest weekly drop in nearly 18 months.

* The heads of leading U.S. stock market operators were called to Washington for an emergency meeting on Monday to address whether they needed to add levers to their trading systems to halt sudden plunges in individual stocks, according to a source.

* The meeting comes on the heels of last week's dramatic intraday plunge in U.S. markets that has continued to perplex investors and regulators.

* In equities news, Boeing Co (BA.N) is on track to deliver its first 787 Dreamliner, which will compete with Airbus's (EAD.PA) A380 jet, a Boeing official said Saturday.

* Stocks turned negative for the year on Friday on fears of another credit crisis stemming from Greece's souring finances and lingering questions about what triggered last week's sudden plunge.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekly CEO Sells stocks .....

Altera Corp. (ALTR): President and CEO John Daane sold 1,500,000 Shares
President and CEO of Altera Corp. (ALTR) John Daane sold 1,500,000 shares on 04/22/2010 at an average price of $26.08. Altera Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets programmable logic devices and associated development tools, focusing on ease of use, lower risk, and fast time-to-market. Altera Corp. has a market cap of $7.61 billion; its shares were traded at around $25.36 with a P/E ratio of 21.3 and P/S ratio of 6.4. The dividend yield of Altera Corp. stocks is 0.7%.

On April 20, Altera Corporation announced first quarter sales of $402.3 million, up 10 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009 and up 52 percent from the first quarter of 2009. New product sales increased 29 percent sequentially. First quarter net income was $153.2 million, $0.50 per diluted share, compared with net income of $103.0 million, $0.34 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009 and $44.0 million, $0.15 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2009.

President and CEO John Daane sold 1,700,000 shares of ALTR stock in April, March and December. Acting CFO & CAO James Callas sold 2,729 shares of ALTR stock on 12/07/2009 at the average price of 22.08, the price of the stock has increased by 14.86% since. Sr. VP Business Dvlpmnt Lance Lissner sold 157,201 shares of ALTR stock in April. Sr VP & GM Penang Operation Jordan Plofsky sold 20,000 shares of ALTR stock on 04/14/2010 at the average price of 26, the price of the stock has decreased by 2.46% since.

Citigroup Inc. (C): CEO, Institutional Clients Grp John P Havens sold 597,177 Shares

CEO, Institutional Clients Grp of Citigroup Inc. (C) John P Havens sold 597,177 shares on 04/26/2010 at an average price of $4.68. Citigroup Inc, a financial services company, has some two hundred million customer accounts and does business in more than hundred countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citigroup Inc. has a market cap of $124.44 billion; its shares were traded at around $4.37 with and P/S ratio of 1.2.

On April 19, Citigroup Inc. reported first quarter 2010 net income of $4.4 billion or $0.15 per diluted share, and revenues of $25.4 billion.

CEO, Institutional Clients Grp John P Havens sold 597,177 shares of C stock on 04/26/2010 at the average price of 4.68, the price of the stock has decreased by 6.62% since. Director Judith Rodin sold 1,855 shares of C stock on 01/21/2010 at the average price of 3.34, the price of the stock has increased by 30.84% since.

Marriott International Inc. (MAR): Chairman & CEO, 10% Owner J W Jr Marriott sold 350,000 Shares
Chairman & CEO, 10% Owner of Marriott International Inc. (MAR) J W Jr Marriott sold 350,000 shares on 04/26/2010 at an average price of $37.86. Marriott International, Inc. operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. Marriott International Inc. has a market cap of $13.18 billion; its shares were traded at around $36.76 with a P/E ratio of 40 and P/S ratio of 1.3. The dividend yield of Marriott International Inc. stocks is 0.4%.

On April 22, Marriott International, Inc. reported first quarter 2010 results, exceeding its revenue per available room and diluted earnings per share (EPS) expectations. Net income was $83 million in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a reported net loss of $23 million in the year-ago quarter. Reported diluted EPS was $0.22 in the first quarter of 2010 compared to reported diluted losses per share of $0.06 in the first quarter of 2009.

Chairman & CEO, 10% Owner J W Jr Marriott sold 546, 350 shares of MAR stock in April and March. 13D Group Owning more than 10% David S Marriott, 10% Owner Richard E Marriott, 13D Group Owning more than 10% John W Marriott III, Pres/COO Ritz Carlton Hotel Co Simon Cooper, and Vice Chairman of the Company William Joseph Shaw together sold 505,582 shares of MAR stock in April and March.

Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC): Chmn/CEO Omnicom Media Group Daryl Simm sold 258,334 Shares
Chmn/CEO Omnicom Media Group of Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC) Daryl Simm sold 258,334 shares on 04/22/2010 at an average price of $42.19. Omnicom Group Inc. provides corporate communications services to clients worldwide on a global, pan-regional, national and local basis. Omnicom Group Inc. has a market cap of $13.24 billion; its shares were traded at around $42.66 with a P/E ratio of 16.7 and P/S ratio of 1.1. The dividend yield of Omnicom Group Inc. stocks is 2%. Omnicom Group Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 18.2% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Omnicom Group Inc. the business predictability rank of 3-star.

On April 20, Omnicom Group Inc. announced that its net income for the first quarter of 2010 decreased 0.7% to $163.4 million from $164.5 million in the first quarter of 2009. Omnicom's diluted net income per common share in the first quarter of 2010 decreased 1.9% to $0.52 per share from $0.53 per share in the first quarter of 2009.

Chmn/CEO Omnicom Media Group Daryl Simm, President & CEO TBWA Worldwide Thomas Carroll, and President & CEO DDB Worldwide Charles E Brymer together sold378,334 shares of OMC stock in March and April.

COLLECTIVE BRANDS (PSS): Chairman, CEO and President Matthew E Rubel sold 230,300 Shares
Chairman, CEO and President of COLLECTIVE BRANDS (PSS) Matthew E Rubel sold 230,300 shares on 04/27/2010 at an average price of $26.22. Payless ShoeSource, Inc. is a family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere, dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. Collective Brands has a market cap of $1.52 billion; its shares were traded at around $23.45 with a P/E ratio of 17.9 and P/S ratio of 0.5.

On Mar 09, Collective Brands, Inc. reported financial results for its 2009 fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 30, 2010. The fourth quarter 2009 net loss attributable to Collective Brands, Inc. was $10.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $144.0 million, or $2.28 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. Taking adjustments(1) into account, the fourth quarter 2009 net loss attributable to Collective Brands, Inc. was $11.6 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, driven by significant gross margin expansion. This compares to a fourth quarter 2008 net loss of $38.1 million, or $0.60 per share.

Chairman, CEO and President Matthew E Rubel sold 230,300 shares of PSS stock on 04/27/2010 at the average price of 26.22, the price of the stock has decreased by 10.56% since. Senior Vice President Michael J Massey sold 20,400 shares of PSS stock on 03/10/2010 at the average price of 22.27, the price of the stock has increased by 5.3% since.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Breaking News: SEC Charges Goldman Sachs with Fraud on Subprime Mortgages, Says Goldman Misstated, Omitted Key Facts (story developing) GS down 10 % /Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (Public, NYSE:GS)

Breaking News: SEC Charges Goldman Sachs with Fraud on Subprime Mortgages, Says Goldman Misstated, Omitted Key Facts (story developing) SEC charges Goldman Sachs with civil fraud in structuring and marketing of CDOs tied to subprime mortgages.and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product related to subprime mortgages. The SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs structured and marketed a collateralized debt obligation that hinged on the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities. However, it failed to disclose the role that a major hedge fund, Paulson & Co., played in the portfolio selection process as well as the fact that the hedge fund had taken a short position against the CDO. "Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party," said Robert Khuzami, director of the division of enforcement, in a statement.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
(Public, NYSE:GS)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jim Cramer Buy List ...


Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO)
Baltic Trading (BALT)
Intel (INTC)
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
SanDisk (SNDK)
Western Digital (WDC)
Apple (AAPL)
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG)
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Anadarko Petroleum (APC)
Costco (COST)
Imax (IMAX)
ARM Holdings (ARMH)
Yahoo! (YHOO)
Exelon (EXC)
Murphy Oil (MUR)

Merck (MRK)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Twitter will make money by advertisements ?

Twitter set to make money through advertisements

Best BUY Co., Inc.
1:40pm GMT

Starbucks Corporation
1:40pm GMT

* Co. to unveil "Promoted Tweets"

Stocks | Media | Cyclical Consumer Goods | Technology

* New ad programme targets 2-10 pct of users

* Starbucks, Best Buy will run ads -- NY Times

(Adds analyst comments)

April 13 (Reuters) - Popular microblogging site Twitter is all set to unveil its advertisement model on Tuesday, which would mark its first step towards allaying concerns about its revenue generating potential.

The advertising programme known as "Promoted Tweets" will be rolled out to two to 10 percent of users via search on beginning Tuesday, company spokesperson Sean Garrett told Reuters.

Promoted Tweets are ordinary tweets that businesses and organizations want to highlight to a wider group of users, Garrett said.

"Users will start to see tweets promoted by our partner advertisers called out at the top of some search results pages," he added.

Several companies will run ads, including Best Buy (BBY.N), Virgin America and Starbucks (SBUX.O), the New York Times said on its website.

The 2-1/2-year-old Internet start-up's short text messages or "tweets" have become a global social phenomenon and the service is used by millions of people every day.

"Twitter has great potential as a marketing and advertising channel with opportunities to create viral buzz around a product or service," said Eden Zoller, analyst at technology research firm Ovum.

"The flip side of Twitter's immediacy is that if advertising messages are not very carefully positioned users can hit back at brands and in real time, and brands will have little control over this."

Twitter, a privately held company, does not report earnings, but its website says: "While our business model is in a research phase, we spend more money than we make." (Reporting by Shrutika Verma in Bangalore, Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco and Georgina Prodhan in London; editing by Simon Jessop)

Monday, April 12, 2010

10 Small-Cap Funds going higher in 2010

10 Small-Cap Funds Surging in 2010

Heartland is one of those fund companies that quietly chalks up good results without much fanfare. The Milwaukee-based company, led by managers like Bill Nasgovitz, searches for stocks that are out of favor, lightly covered by analysts and trade at deep discounts. It’s a strategy that has worked well for the firm over the long haul.

That is evidenced by the $1 billion (assets) Heartland Value Plus fund (HRVIX). The fund stayed in the top 2% of its Morningstar category during the trailing three- and five-year time periods, and, over the last decade, it has averaged an annual return of 11%. All the while, it has kept turnover relatively low and taxes to a minimum.

The Heartland fund made the cut this week on a list we compiled of top-performing small-cap funds. Morningstar tracks 2,092 small-cap funds and share classes. We narrowed that universe by looking for funds that had performance track records over the trailing three- and five-year time periods that put them in the top third of their peer group. In addition, we looked for funds that didn’t levy a sales load and charged decent annual fees, or less than 1.5%. We were eventually left with 10 funds.

Back in February, we first called attention to the early 2010 returns of this category by highlighting small-cap value funds. Since then, the group has continued to do well. According to Morningstar, the average small-cap fund is up 11% this year. Only consumer discretionary, real estate and financial-sector funds have performed better in 2010.
Still, it’s important to note the risks with small caps — stocks we define as having market caps below $2 billion. Trading in these stocks can be volatile, and, as investors go down the market-cap spectrum, the stocks also become vulnerable to manipulation as liquidity issues pop up. Small companies can also have trouble getting access to capital to help them grow. When that funding disappears so, too, does the support for the stock price.

Of course, every company starts out as a small firm. Investors follow these stocks because they think they may stumble across the next Google (GOOG: 572.73, +6.51, +1.14%) or Microsoft (MSFT: 30.32, -0.02, -0.06%). Small caps can be acquisition targets for larger competitors, allowing shareholders to realize sizable gains when the deal is done at a premium. In addition, traditional value investors will say research shows that small caps and stocks trading at a discount offer the best returns over the long term.

We would suggest using several criteria when picking a fund in this space. Ideally, you want a fund that has a proven, long-term track record of picking out good small-company stocks. Although there is no strong correlation between returns and manager tenure, we would also suggest looking for fund managers who have been investing in small caps for many years, as their extended time on the job may help you sleep easier at night.

The criteria: The funds on our list are part of Morningstar’s “small” equity box category. They are open to new money, require a minimum investment under $5,000 and charge an annual expense ratio less than 1.5%. In addition, they had track records over the trailing three- and five-year time periods that put them in the top 33% of their peer group. As usual, we did not include funds that charge a sales load.
Small-Cap Funds on a Run

Boots & Coots up on Halliburton bid , (WELL), will be bought by ( HAL ) Halliburton

Boots & Coots up on Halliburton bid

(WEL 2.97, +0.62, +26.38%) rose 22% in premarket trade after Halliburton /quotes/comstock/13*!hal/quotes/nls/hal (HAL 31.57, -0.09, -0.28%) said it will buy the firm for $3 a share, or $1.73 in cash and the rest in Halliburton stock.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dow 11,000 ??

U.S. stocks up at the start on jobs data

Alert Email Print Share By Kate Gibson
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks opened slightly ahead on Monday after a jobs report that heightened expectations of an economic rebound. The Labor Department on Friday said employers hired 162,000 workers in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (INDU 10,964, +37.26, +0.34%) rose 3.93 points to 10,931. The S&P 500 Index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,185, +6.55, +0.56%) climbed 1.26 points to 1,179.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,422, +19.45, +0.81%) gained 2.32 points to 2,404.9.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Barack Obama Offers Health Plan Before Summit And Policies to Contain Cost and Ensure Fiscal Sustainability ?

American families would get increased tax credits to make their health care more affordable under a health-care plan released Monday by President Barack Obama. Obama's plan, released ahead of Thursday's bipartisan meeting at the White House, would also create a new agency to oversee insurance premiums; assess new taxes on unearned income; boost subsidies for working-class families; and reduce the deficit by $100 billion over 10 years.he President’s Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care.

Over the past year the House and the Senate have been working on an effort to provide health insurance reform that lowers costs, guarantees choices, and enhances quality health care for all Americans. Building on that year-long effort, the President has now put forth a proposal that incorporates the work the House and the Senate have done and adds additional ideas from Republican members of Congress. The President has long said he is open to any good ideas for reforming our health care system, and he looks forward to discussing ideas for further improvements from Republicans and Democrats at an open, bipartisan meeting on Thursday.

The proposal will make health care more affordable, make health insurers more accountable, expand health coverage to all Americans, and make the health system sustainable, stabilizing family budgets, the Federal budget, and the economy:

* It makes insurance more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps over 31 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today – and makes coverage more affordable for many more.
* It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.
* It brings greater accountability to health care by laying out commonsense rules of the road to keep premiums down and prevent insurance industry abuses and denial of care.
* It will end discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
* It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years – and about $1 trillion over the second decade – by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.

It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years -- and more than $1 trillion over the second decade -- by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.
Key Provisions in the President’s Proposal:

The President’s Proposal builds off of the legislation that passed the Senate and improves on it by bridging key differences between the House and the Senate as well as by incorporating Republican provisions that strengthen the proposal.

One key improvement, for example, is eliminating the Nebraska FMAP provision and providing significant additional Federal financing to all States for the expansion of Medicaid. For America’s seniors, the proposal completely closes the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap. It strengthens the Senate bill’s provisions that make insurance affordable for individuals and families, while also strengthening the provisions to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid to save taxpayer dollars. The threshold for the excise tax on the most expensive health plans will be raised from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500 and will start in 2018 for all such plans. And another important idea included is improving insurance protections for consumers and creating a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to review and rein in unreasonable rate increases and other unfair practices of insurance plans. Improve Medicare Advantage Payments.

Medicare currently overpays private plans by 14 percent on average to provide the same benefits as the traditional program – and much more in some areas of the country. The Medicare Advantage program has also done little to reward quality. Moreover, plans have gamed the payment system in ways drive up the public cost of the program. All of this is why Medicare Advantage has become a very profitable line of business for some of the nation’s largest health insurers. The Senate bill creates a bidding model for payment rates and phases in changes to limit potential disruptions for beneficiaries. The House proposal phases payments down based on local fee-for-service costs.

The President’s Proposal represents a compromise between the House and Senate bills, blending elements of both bills, while providing greater certainty of cost savings by linking to current fee-for-service costs. Specifically, the President’s Proposal creates a set of benchmark payments at different percentages of the current average fee-for-service costs in an area. It phases these benchmarks in gradually in order to avoid disruption to beneficiaries, taking into account the relative payments to fee-for-service costs in an area. It provides bonuses for quality and enrollee satisfaction. It adjusts rebates of savings between the benchmark payment and actual plan bid to take into account the transition as well as a plan’s quality rating: plans with low quality scores receive lower rebates (i.e., can keep less of any savings they generate). Finally, the President’s Proposal requires a payment adjustment for unjustified coding patterns in Medicare Advantage plans that have raised payments more rapidly than the evidence of their enrollees’ health status and costs suggests is warranted, based on actuarial analysis. This is the primary source of additional savings compared to the Senate proposal.
Delay and Reform the High-Cost Plan Excise Tax.

Part of the reason for high and rising insurance costs is that insurers have little incentive to lower their premiums. The Senate bill includes a tax on high-cost health insurance plans. CBO has estimated that this policy will reduce premiums as well as contribute to long-run deficit reduction. The President’s Proposal changes the effective date of the Senate policy from 2013 to 2018 to provide additional transition time for high-cost plans to become more efficient. It also raises the amount of premiums that are exempt from the assessment from $8,500 for singles to $10,200 and from $23,000 for families to $27,500 and indexes these amounts for subsequent years at general inflation plus 1 percent. To the degree that health costs rise unexpectedly quickly between now and 2018, the initial threshold would be adjusted upwards automatically. To ensure that the tax affects firms equitably, the President’s Proposal reforms it by including an adjustment for firms whose health costs are higher due to the age or gender of their workers, and by no longer counting dental and vision benefits as potentially taxable benefits. The President’s Proposal maintains the Senate bill’s permanent adjustment in favor of high-risk occupations such as “first responders.”
Broaden the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Tax Base for High-Income Taxpayers.

Under current law, people who earn a salary pay the Medicare HI tax on their earned income, but those who have substantial unearned income do not, raising issues of fairness. The House bill includes a 5.4% surcharge on high-income households to improve the fairness of the tax system and to support health reform. The Senate bill includes an increase in the HI tax for high-income households for similar reasons, an increase of 0.9% on earnings above a specific threshold for a total employee assessment of 2.35% on these amounts. The President’s Proposal adopts the Senate bill approach and adds a 2.9 percent assessment (equal to the combined employer and employee share of the existing HI tax) on income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents, other than such income which is derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business which is not a passive activity (e.g., income from active participation in S corporations) on taxpayers with respect to income above $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. The additional revenues from the tax on earned income would be credited to the HI trust fund and the revenues from the tax on unearned income would be credited to the Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) trust fund.
Increase in Fees on Brand Name Pharmaceuticals.

As more Americans gain health insurance, more will be able to pay for prescription drugs. Moreover, the President’s plan closes the Medicare “donut hole,” ensuring that seniors do not skip or cut back on needed prescriptions. Both policies will result in new revenue for the pharmaceutical industry. The President’s Proposal increases the revenue from the assessment on this industry which is $23 billion in the Senate bill by $10 billion over 10 years. It also delays the implementation of these fees by one year, until 2011, and makes changes to facilitate administration by the IRS.
Close Tax Loopholes.

Adopts two House proposals to close tax loopholes: (1) Current law provides a tax credit for the production of cellulosic biofuels. The credit was designed to promote the production and use of renewable fuels. Certain liquid byproducts derived from processing paper or pulp (known as “black liquor” when derived from the kraft process) were not intended to be covered by this credit. The President’s Proposal adopts the House bill’s policy to clarify that they are not eligible for the tax credit. (2) The President’s Proposal helps prevent unjustified tax shelters by clarifying the circumstances under which transactions have “economic substance” (as opposed to being undertaken solely to obtain tax benefits) and raises the penalties for transactions that lack economic substance. In so doing, it adopts the House’s policy, with minor technical changes.Increase Tax Credits for Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance today often costs too much and covers too little. Lack of affordability leads people to delay care, skip care, rack up large medical bills, or become uninsured. The House and Senate health insurance bills lower premiums through increased competition, oversight, and new accountability standards set by insurance exchanges. The bills also provide tax credits and reduced cost sharing for families with modest income. The President’s Proposal improves the affordability of health care by increasing the tax credits for families. Relative to the Senate bill, the President’s Proposal lowers premiums for families with income below $44,000 and above $66,000. Relative to the House bill, the proposal makes premiums less expensive for families with income between roughly $55,000 and $88,000.
Proposal Tax Credits

The President’s Proposal also improves the cost sharing assistance for individuals and families relative to the Senate bill. Families with income below $55,000 will get extra assistance; the additional funding to insurers will cover between 73 and 94% of their health care costs. It provides the same cost-sharing assistance as the Senate bill for higher-income families and the same assistance as the House bill for families with income from $77,000 to $88,000.
Reduced Cost Sharing
Close the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”.

The Medicare drug benefit provides vital help to seniors who take prescription drugs, but under current law, it leaves many beneficiaries without assistance when they need it most. Medicare stops paying for prescriptions after the plan and beneficiary have spent $2,830 on prescription drugs, and only starts paying again after out-of-pocket spending hits $4,550. This “donut hole” leaves seniors paying the full cost of expensive medicines, causing many to skip doses or not fill prescriptions at all – harming their health and raising other types of health costs. The Senate bill provides a 50% discount for certain drugs in the donut hole. The House bill fully phases out the donut hole over 10 years. Both bills raise the dollar amount before the donut hole begins by $500 in 2010.

Relative to the Senate bill, the President’s Proposal fills the “donut hole” entirely. It begins by replacing the $500 increase in the initial coverage limit with a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010. It also closes the donut hole completely by phasing down the coinsurance so it is the standard 25% by 2020 throughout the coverage gap.
Invest in Community Health Centers.

Community health centers play a critical role in providing quality care in underserved areas. About 1,250 centers provide care to 20 million people, with an emphasis on preventive and primary care. The Senate bill increases funding to these centers for services by $7 billion and for construction by $1.5 billion over 5 years. The House bill provides $12 billion over the same 5 years. Bridging the difference, the President’s Proposal invests $11 billion in these centers.
Strengthen Oversight of Insurance Premium Increases.

Both the House and Senate bills include significant reforms to make insurance fair, accessible, and affordable to all people, regardless of pre-existing conditions. One essential policy is “rate review” meaning that health insurers must submit their proposed premium increases to the State authority or Secretary for review. The President’s Proposal strengthens this policy by ensuring that, if a rate increase is unreasonable and unjustified, health insurers must lower premiums, provide rebates, or take other actions to make premiums affordable. A new Health Insurance Rate Authority will be created to provide needed oversight at the Federal level and help States determine how rate review will be enforced and monitor insurance market behavior.
Extend Consumer Protections against Health Insurer Practices.

The Senate bill includes a “grandfather” policy that allows people who like their current coverage, to keep it. The President’s Proposal adds certain important consumer protections to these “grandfathered” plans. Within months of legislation being enacted, it requires plans to cover adult dependents up to age 26, prohibits rescissions, mandates that plans have a stronger appeals process, and requires State insurance authorities to conduct annual rate review, backed up by the oversight of the HHS Secretary. When the exchanges begin in 2014, the President’s Proposal adds new protections that prohibit all annual and lifetime limits, ban pre-existing condition exclusions, and prohibit discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals. Beginning in 2018, the President’s Proposal requires “grandfathered” plans to cover proven preventive services with no cost sharing.
Improve Individual Responsibility.

All Americans should have affordable health insurance coverage. This helps everyone, both insured and uninsured, by reducing cost shifting, where people with insurance end up covering the inevitable health care costs of the uninsured, and making possible robust health insurance reforms that will curb insurance company abuses and increase the security and stability of health insurance for all Americans. The House and Senate bills require individuals who have affordable options but who choose to remain uninsured to make a payment to offset the cost of care they will inevitably need. The House bill’s payment is a percentage of income. The Senate sets the payment as a flat dollar amount or percentage of income, whichever is higher (although not higher than the lowest premium in the area). Both the House and Senate bill provide a low-income exemption, for those individuals with incomes below the tax filing threshold (House) or below the poverty threshold (Senate).The Senate also includes a “hardship” exemption for people who cannot afford insurance, included in the President’s Proposal. It protects those who would face premiums of more than 8 percent of their income from having to pay any assessment and they can purchase a low-cost catastrophic plan in the exchange if they choose.

The President’s Proposal adopts the Senate approach but lowers the flat dollar assessments, and raises the percent of income assessment that individuals pay if they choose not to become insured. Specifically, it lowers the flat dollar amounts from $495 to $325 in 2015 and $750 to $695 in 2016. Subsequent years are indexed to $695 rather than $750, so the flat dollar amounts in later years are lower than the Senate bill as well. The President’s Proposal raises the percent of income that is an alternative payment amount from 0.5 to 1.0% in 2014, 1.0 to 2.0% in 2015, and 2.0 to 2.5% for 2016 and subsequent years – the same percent of income as in the House bill, which makes the assessment more progressive. For ease of administration, the President’s Proposal changes the payment exemption from the Senate policy (individuals with income below the poverty threshold) to individuals with income below the tax filing threshold (the House policy). In other words, a married couple with income below $18,700 will not have to pay the assessment. The President’s Proposal also adopts the Senate’s “hardship” exemption.
Strengthen Employer Responsibility.

Businesses are strained by the current health insurance system. Health costs eat into their ability to hire workers, invest in and expand their businesses, and compete locally and globally. Like individuals, larger employers should share in the responsibility for finding the solution. Under the Senate bill, there is no mandate for employers to provide health insurance. But as a matter of fairness, the Senate bill requires large employers (i.e., those with more than 50 workers) to make payments only if taxpayers are supporting the health insurance for their workers. The assessment on the employer is $3,000 per full-time worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange if that employer’s coverage is unaffordable, or $750 per full-time worker if the employer has a worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange but doesn’t offer coverage in the first place. The House bill requires a payroll tax for insurers that do not offer health insurance that meets minimum standards. The tax is 8% generally and phases in for employers with annual payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000; according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the assessment for a firm with average wages of $40,000 would be $3,200 per worker.

Under the President’s Proposal, small businesses will receive $40 billion in tax credits to support coverage for their workers beginning this year. Consistent with the Senate bill, small businesses with fewer than 50 workers would be exempt from any employer responsibility policies.

The President’s Proposal is consistent with the Senate bill in that it does not impose a mandate on employers to offer or provide health insurance, but does require them to help defray the cost if taxpayers are footing the bill for their workers. The President’s Proposal improves the transition to the employer responsibility policy for employers with 50 or more workers by subtracting out the first 30 workers from the payment calculation (e.g., a firm with 51 workers that does not offer coverage will pay an amount equal to 51 minus 30, or 21 times the applicable per employee payment amount). It changes the applicable payment amount for firms with more than 50 employees that do not offer coverage to $2,000 – an amount that is one-third less than the average House assessment for a typical firm and less than half of the average employer contribution to health insurance in 2009. It applies the same firm-size threshold across the board to all industries. It fully eliminates the assessment for workers in a waiting period, while maintaining the 90-day limit on the length of any waiting period beginning in 2014.

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