3 Stock Trends for 2014
2012 was supposed to be the year that Mobile Payments really took off. We saw a little bit of progress when Starbucks announced mobile payment options with Square - but we have a long way to go.
Verifone (PAY) recently changed its mobile payments strategy. Instead of promoting its SAIL attachment, which lets smartphones accept debit and credit card payments, to merchants, VeriFone will offer the tool to banks for them to resell to their business customers.
Wall Street didn't take the news of the strategy shift very kindly. Shares of Verifone are down -21% YTD. However, fundamentals and growth prospects look decent. If this new strategy works and they get banks to do the selling for them, they may emerge as the winner in mobile payments.
Natural Gas Vehicles
There was a lot of hype earlier this year about the potential for Natural Gas Vehicles. However, since then, the talk has died down quite a bit.
Shares of Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) nearly doubled during the first 2 months of 2012 - now shares are down 12% YTD.
As Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon wrote to investors this year, "It's simply a matter of time before the U.S. meaningfully shifts from transportation systems built around consuming high-priced oil to consuming low-priced domestic natural gas."
The US in the early stages of natural gas adoption and it is evolving slower than anticipated. However, we think another pop in shares of FSYS is bound to happen in the coming years.
This was another technology that missed the mark in 2012.
Imagine taking photos without needing to hold a camera or smartphone. Need to check the time? Tap your wrist and a holographic watch will appear. Generations from now, people will look back on us with our iPhones and laugh hysterically, not unlike how we ridicule TV's from 10 years ago.
It's the technology from Minority report, and it's coming. Very slowly. Microsoft is partly there with the Kinect. However, a new player could emerge. The intention is to make the code for SixthSense technology open-source.
Unfortunately, we don't have a specific stock to recommend for this technology. Just keep your eyes peeled because when this technology becomes available, the iPhone won't know what hit it.
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