Today's is somewhat timely one day after the release of Apple's (NYSE:APPL) next generation iPhone – a device that revolutionized the mobile market.
The advent of new technologies, like the iPhone and iPad, has meant that businesses now have more information at their fingertips than at any point in history.
Farmers in remote areas of the globe can access real-time pricing for food and commodities via mobile phones and tablets. Mining companies in the far reaches of Africa have up-to-the-minute pricing on gold and silver futures. And energy exploration companies can access geological data on millions of acres of prospective property.
But access to data alone isn't enough. Knowing how to collect, process, interpret and eventually act on the right data is where competitive advantages can be attained.
In the high-tech world, the top honor for data collection and dissemintation goes to International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM). Big Blue is trading near all-time highs just a few weeks before its 2012 Information On Demand annual conference.
In the commodities industry, a much smaller information company has been growing since 1959, and is also trading near all-time highs for the same reasons that IBM continues to excel.
Business demand for energy, transportation and economic data collection and analysis is at an all time high. Companies must efficiently make strategic decisions on natural resource-related topics, from capital spending to acquistions to government risk assessment.
Consider a simple example to illustrate the point. An oil and gas explorer is considering purchasing rights to two exploration blocks in Romania.
Before doing so, it must asses the political risk, government royalty and tax structure, access to labor, shiping rates and routes, prior seismic and well drilling data and access to capital equipment, to name just a few variables.
Gathering this information piecemeal isn't efficient – what this company needs is an information database through which managers can quickly gather, analyze and share information.
Right now I'm recommending this commodities consulting company to Pay Dirt subscribers.
It is a different kind of commodity-related investment. It's not a gold or silver miner, or an oil and gas driller. It's not a shipping, freight or pipeline company. And it doesn't build any equipment.
It’s a technology company that provides mission critical information to companies engaged in all of the above activities, and more. This stock won't rise and fall on the price movement of any one commodity, because it doesn't sell any. Instead, it sells information. And customers are flocking to its products.
As part of the company's energy portfolio, it owns production information on more than 90% of the world's oil and gas wells. If you’re a company that wants to drill for oil, you're more than likely relying on at least some information from this company.
Tyler Laundon, MBA
Editor, Pay Dirt
Analyst, Small Cap Investor PRO