Consumer Discretionary

  • Office Supply: That Wasn't Easy

    By David Mercer - March 26, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    As an overall sector, retail is intensely competitive. In recent years, margins decreased for even the largest behemoths, such as Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target. Unfortunately, these losses were even more widespread in the office supply sub-sector. In light of these (recent) developments, analysts predict sector consolidation. Recently, Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) and OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) announced their merger intentions. To be blunt, office supply struggled since the beginning of the more »

  • 3 Mistaken Reasons to Sell AutoZone

    By Robert Baillieul - February 19, 2013 | Tickers: AAP, AZO, ORLY

    Shares of AutoZone (NYSE: AZO) have been stuck in idle over the past year due to persistent fears of slowing industry growth and lofty valuation multiples.  But cracks are beginning to emerge in the bear thesis.  

    Let’s review the top three mistaken reasons to sell AutoZone.

    Slowing growth

    Bear Argument: The recession forced many Americans to hold on to their vehicles longer, creating a boom for the auto parts more »

  • Time for Investors to Go to the Movies

    By Frank Constantino - February 19, 2013 | Tickers: CNK, RGC

    The movie theater business is one that has always intrigued me.  I'm not a movie buff and on average I probably go to the movies four times a year.  That number seems below average from what friends and family tell me.  However, I see the power in the theater business. 

    Movie theaters are durable businesses that have high margins, generate lots of cash, and have high barriers to entry more »

  • Profiting Sideways, With the Dow at 14k

    By Adem Tahiri - February 15, 2013 | Tickers: CROX, EBIX, EPAM, SHOO

    With the stock market near all-time highs, many investors are getting defensive and buying large high yielding stocks in fear of a sell-off. This strategy makes sense, but how can you be sure the market will come to its senses?

    Mr. Market certainly didn’t sell-off in the face of the “fiscal cliff” and with the Fed determined to kill bond yields, this market may just stay sideways for a more »

  • Restaurant Stocks - Not on the Value Menu

    By Justin Carley - February 12, 2013 | Tickers: CMG, PNRA, SBUX, CAKE

    Several of the more fashionable restaurant stocks have been phenomenal investments during the recent cyclical bull market.  Investors in these stocks have been aided by the powerful trifecta of positive same store sales, increasing operating margins, and strong new store growth.  However, at least two of these tailwinds have a finite life and this does not take into account any operational missteps regarding same-store sales growth.  Below are four risks more »

  • Household Stocks: Not Exciting, but Necessary

    By Nate Wooley - February 1, 2013 | Tickers: CL, KMB, PG, CLX

    Procter & Gamble had a good quarter. Heck, the firm has had two good quarters. And the market just seemed to realize it following the company's most recent earnings statement. That's good, and the way the company's stock jumped after the earnings shows that people can see a good thing. But that's the problem with only looking backward, you're only getting some of the profit.

    That more »

  • 3 Reasons to Buy Starbucks

    By Robert Baillieul - January 29, 2013 | Tickers: DNKN, SBUX, THI

    On January 24thStarbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced solid 1st quarter results. The company reported sales of $3.8 billion and an EPS of $0.57/share representing an 11% and 14% increase respectively. Starbucks also reported 7% same store sales growth and management reaffirmed its FY 2013 guidance. The numbers obviously impressed Wall Street; traders sent the shares up 4%.

    Is the stock is still a good buy?

    You betcha.

    Starbucks is an excellent buy due to the company’s growth story, execution ability and reasonable valuation.

  • 3 Reasons to Buy Sally Beauty Holdings

    By Robert Baillieul - January 28, 2013 | Tickers: RGS, SBH, ULTA

    Consistent. Boring. Stodgy. While most of the investment chatter is about smartphone and clouds, sometimes the best growth stories are dull by comparison -- which brings my attention to Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE: SBH).

    The company is a chain of cosmetics retailers catering to woman, stylists and salons. Sally Beauty has been in business for over 50 years with 4,500 locations in over 11 different countries. The stock is a great buy due to the company’s growth story, expanding margins and reasonable valuation.

  • Royal Caribbean Earnings: Bigger is Better?

    By Matthew Frankel - January 23, 2013 | Tickers: CCL, RCL

    The second largest cruise ship company in the world, Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) operates 39 ships with a total capacity of 92,650 passengers.  The company has done well over the past several years, and is once again paying a dividend after postponing it for a few years.  For those who don’t remember, one of the side stories during the financial crisis was the questioning of the viability more »

  • The Investor's Best Brew: A Bean for Every Means

    By Paula Wendland - January 13, 2013 | Tickers: DNKN, SBUX, THI

    Coffee is an exquisite product to consume and to sell.  Millions are mildly addicted to it but can easily afford their daily fix, and unlike many other pleasures of life, moderate caffeine indulgence comes without the buzz-kill of guilt.  According to medical guru Dr. Oz, coffee is actually good for you, offering protection from Alzheimer’s disease, improving short- and long-term memory, and reducing your risk of depression, diabetes and more »

  • Are These Stocks Worth "Howling" Over?

    By David Mercer - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: MWIV, PETS, WOOF | Editor's Choice

    Anyone that knows me personally knows I love animals and everything four-legged. In recent years, a number of pet-focused companies became prominent in the financial markets, we'll examine three (3) of them. The first is PetMed Express (NASDAQ: PETS). As its name suggests, PETS or 1-800 Pet Meds, as advertised on television, caters to pet owners, more specifically as a mail order pet pharmacy. This includes pet medications as more »

  • Outfitting Your Portfolio For Growth

    By Frank Constantino - January 7, 2013 | Tickers: CAB, DKS, WMT | Editor's Choice

    Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) is a small-cap retailer with big plans.  The company already calls themselves the "World's Foremost Outfitter."  While it can't be said that Cabela's is a household name around the world, or across the country for that matter, it holds a unique place in the hearts -and wallets- of many outdoor enthusiasts.

    About Cabela's

    Cabela's was founded by Dick Cabela in 1961 more »

  • This Growth Company Continues to Execute its Game Plan

    By Justin Carley - December 13, 2012 | Tickers: NKE, PVH, RL, WRC, VFC

    V.F. Corporation (NYSE: VFC) and its iconic North Face brand have yielded a stock price that brings to mind a mountain climber reaching ever thinning air in quest for the summit.  With a market capitalization of $16 billion and sales north of $10 billion, have this company’s best growth days come and gone?  Would investing in this company after a decade of outperformance leave investors in the wake more »

  • Can Dick's Sporting Goods Keep Sprinting Ahead?

    By Frank Constantino - December 10, 2012 | Tickers: CAB, DKS, HIBB | Editor's Choice

    While investors are busy hanging on every word that comes out of Washington that even remotely rhymes with cliff, consumers have been busy filling shopping carts with gifts this holiday season.  A recent trip to my local Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) revealed to me that most consumers aren't remotely thinking of the "fiscal cliff."  Consumer confidence numbers show the U.S. consumer is pretty happy where things more »

  • Are You Bargain Hunting or Gambling?

    By Justin Carley - December 8, 2012 | Tickers: BBY, HPQ, INTC, NSC

    What is the holy grail of investing?  What is the one singular insight that can consistently lead to market-beating returns?  This article isn’t going to uncover that great mystery, but it should provide a different viewpoint that may help an investor fully understand the risks they are taking.  Often times asset classes are linked together and temporary divergences can create investment opportunities.  One example is that the value of more »

  • PetSmart Capitalizes on Natural Advantages

    By Paula Wendland - November 26, 2012 | Tickers: PETM, TGT, WMT

    Besides being one of the most successful investors in history, Peter Lynch was famous for his grassroots analysis and qualitative work on stocks.  Lynch believed potential investors should visit retail stores and try out products before committing money to a stock.  He even advocated touring factories, watching for trends and technologies in your workplace and asking people for their opinions of new products and services.  In other words, Mr. Lynch didn’t believe in armchair investing.  He believed in taking your head out of the income statement and taking your inquiry out into the street.

  • Dollar Tree: Small is Beautiful

    By Bobby Shethia - November 19, 2012 | Tickers: DG, DLTR, FDO, WMT

     Discount Stores:Five Impressive Years

    All Numbers in Percent except PE

    Forward P/E

    EPS growth past 5 years

    EPS growth next 5 years

    Sales growth past 5 years

    Return on Equity

    Total Debt/Equity

    Gross Margin

    Net  Margin

    Dollar Tree

    14.1

    26.7

    17.0

    10.8

    33.9

    17.0

    35.8

    7.6

    Family Dollar

    13.7

    17.1

    14.0

    6.4

    35.4

    42 more »

  • Why Dividend Investors should Favor Gold Stocks over Housing Stocks in the Fourth Quarter

    By Justin Carley - October 24, 2012 | Tickers: ABX, HD, KGC, MCD, WHR

    Dividend paying stocks have been emphasized in significant scale as the low interest rate environment rolls from one year to the next.  The thesis and historical evidence does support holding dividend paying stocks over non-payers.  However, I try to highlight to investors that there is more than just the dividend yield to look at when evaluating potential buys, e.g. the growth rate in dividends is more meaningful than the more »

  • One, Two, Three Strikes You're Naked

    By Liz Hoffmann - September 12, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GRPN, NWS, NWSA, VCI

    Hans Cristian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" entertains and cautions with a tale of an Emperor and two con artists.  The scoundrels promise to design a fabulous new suit of clothes for the vain, royal fashionista and proclaim that this special garb will be invisible  to anyone who's unintelligent, incompetent, or unfit to serve.  So when the new suit is finally "finished" and consists of nothing, neither more »

  • Cyclical Events Dominate WPP’s Revenue

    By Peter Pham - September 7, 2012 | Tickers: OMC, SPY, IPD, TM

    The world’s leading advertising company, Ireland’s WPP, released its first half results for the current year.  While profits increased by 12% year over year, WPP reduced its annual growth forecast from 4% to 3.5%, based on the worry that American and Western European customers are becoming increasingly cautious with their marketing budgets.

    Revenues went up by 5.5% year over year to $7.8 billion.  However, WPP more »

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