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What"s in Store for UnitedHealth Group"s (UNH) Q4 Earnings?

UnitedHealth's (UNH) Q4 results are likely to reflect a rise in earnings and revenues on the back of solid segmental contributions. UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2021 results on Jan 19, before the opening bell.Q4 EstimatesThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share is pegged at $4.30, indicating a rise of 70.6% from the year-ago quarter's reported figure. The consensus mark for revenues stands at $73 billion, suggesting growth of 11.7% from the prior-year quarter's reported number.Key Factors to NoteRevenues from UnitedHealthcare, UNH’s largest segment that sells insurance, are likely to have risen on higher membership in community and senior programs. UNH is likely to have added members to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Medicaid. Solid insurance sales of dental and vision plans might have aided premium growth. The consensus mark for revenues from the segment indicates an upside of 11.1% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.In another segment named Optum, top-line growth is expected to have been driven by higher contribution from its sub-segments OptumHealth and Optum Insight. In its OptumHealth subsegment, revenues and earnings are likely to have gained from higher a number of people being catered to in value-based care arrangements and the growing strength of affiliated physicians. The consensus estimate for revenues from Optum indicates an upside of 12.2% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.Optum Insight is likely to have witnessed better revenues and earnings owing to growth in services and technology offerings, and improved productivity.New business wins, contract extensions and pipeline growth in comprehensive managed services are expected to have boosted the top line. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Optum Insight’s revenues hints at an upside of 11.5% from the year-ago quarter’s reported number.Operating cost ratio, which measures the expense incurred in proportion to revenues, is likely to have decreased following the cancellation of the health insurance tax and continued operating efficiency gains. This, in turn, is likely to have been partly offset by business mix, and heavy investment in growth and innovation.UNH’s bottom-line result is expected to reflect the net unfavorable impact of COVID-19 testing and treatment costs. UnitedHealth is likely to have faced an elevated expense level due to rise in medical costs and operating costs.Earnings Surprise HistoryUnitedHealth boasts a stellar earnings surprise history. Its bottom line beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 8.66%.This is depicted in the chart below:UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Price and EPS Surprise UnitedHealth Group Incorporated price-eps-surprise | UnitedHealth Group Incorporated QuoteWhat Our Quantitative Model PredictsThe proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for UnitedHealth this time around. The combination of a positive  Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.Earnings ESP: UnitedHealth has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Zacks Rank: UnitedHealth carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Stocks to ConsiderSome stocks worth considering from the medical space with the perfect mix of elements to surpass estimates in their upcoming quarterly releases are as follows:Teladoc Health, Inc. TDOC has an Earnings ESP of +5.97% and is Zacks #3 Ranked, currently.HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA is currently a #3 Ranked player and has an Earnings ESP of +1.21%.Tenet Healthcare Corporation THC has an Earnings ESP of +0.96% and a Zacks Rank of 3, currently. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC): Free Stock Analysis Report HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Dillard"s (DDS) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Dillard's (DDS) closed the most recent trading day at $231.26, moving +0.85% from the previous trading session. In the latest trading session, Dillard's (DDS) closed at $231.26, marking a +0.85% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 1.89% loss on the day. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 1.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.17%.Heading into today, shares of the department store operator had lost 8.16% over the past month, lagging the Retail-Wholesale sector's loss of 6.12% and the S&P 500's loss of 1.79% in that time.Dillard's will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $8.75, up 155.1% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $2.02 billion, up 28.38% from the prior-year quarter.DDS's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $31.91 per share and revenue of $6.49 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +1268.86% and +50.83%, respectively.Any recent changes to analyst estimates for Dillard's should also be noted by investors. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. Dillard's currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).Digging into valuation, Dillard's currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 7.19. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 6.59, so we one might conclude that Dillard's is trading at a premium comparatively.We can also see that DDS currently has a PEG ratio of 0.49. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. DDS's industry had an average PEG ratio of 0.49 as of yesterday's close.The Retail - Regional Department Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 15, putting it in the top 6% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.To follow DDS in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Dillard's, Inc. (DDS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Signet (SIG) Stock Gains 129% in a Year: How 2022 Unfolds

Signet (SIG) continues to benefit from solid digital efforts. Moreover, SIG's Inspiring Brilliance growth strategy appears promising. Signet Jewelers Limited SIG appears promising this year, thanks to its sturdy growth efforts and sound fundamentals. SIG is benefiting from e-commerce growth and advancements in the Inspiring Brilliance strategy. SIG is focused on evolving its channel-agnostic retailer capabilities and combining digital with in-store experiences to gain a substantial competitive edge.This renowned jewelry retailer’s shares have surged a whopping 129.2% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Retail - Jewelry industry’s 97.6% rally. Currently, the industry ranks in the top 2% of all the Zacks classified industries. An expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8% with a VGM Score of A for this presently Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock further speaks volumes. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.More on StrategiesDigital business is the key driver. Signet remains focused on enhancing the data- analytics capabilities with higher precision. It has also been adding product assortments. Management looks forward to taking a connected commerce approach to the next phase of growth. During third-quarter fiscal 2022, e-commerce sales jumped 14.4% from the prior-year quarter’s level to $273.1 million.Signet’s digital commerce strategy bodes well. The strategy helps combining customer experiences, leveraging in store and online traffic as well as mobile and delivery services. Management is consistently integrating its physical stores with advanced virtual experiences through data-driven in-store consultations and services like buy online pickup in-store and curbside options. Such efforts are constantly aiding SIG to aptly cater to customers’ needs.SIG’s Inspiring Brilliance strategy has been significantly contributing to its performance for sometime now. This growth strategy focuses on expanding big banners, boosting service revenues, broadening the Accessible Luxury and Value segments as well as accelerating digital commerce. As part of this strategy, Signet makes use of data-driven insights for targeting new and existing customers.SIG is working toward evolving its Customer First strategy into a consumer-inspired experience, which includes tailored merchandise assortments and expanded services, offering more innovative and personalized experiences. Signet steadily broadens assortments across its Zales, Kay and Jared brand lines.Signet also acquired Diamonds Direct USA Inc., in an all-cash transaction valued at $490 million. Diamonds Direct is known for unique bridal-focused collections and shopping experience. This now became SIG’s highly-personalized bridal destination, offering customers valuable bridal experiences.Wrapping UpWe note that Signet’s brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses have been solid to date. SIG is expected to gain from the robust jewelry category as well. Its merchandise categories and banners have been experiencing growth for a while.Given all the factors discussed above, Signet is well-poised for growth in 2022 and appears a lucrative investment bet now.Other Hot Stocks in RetailSome other top-ranked stocks are Ulta Beauty ULTA, Costco COST and Capri Holdings CPRI.Ulta Beauty, the leading beauty retailer, presently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1. ULTA has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 76%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s fiscal 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 6.9% and 5%, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago levels. ULTA has an expected EPS growth rate of 16.5% for three-five years.Costco, a general merchandise retailer, has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. COST has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.3%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s fiscal 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.6% and 9.5%, respectively, from the year-ago corresponding figures. COST has an expected EPS growth rate of 8.8% for three-five years.Capri Holdings, a global fashion luxury group, currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. CPRI’s bottom line outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average being 1,024.9%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Capri Holdings’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 33.2% and 181.1%, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago numbers. CPRI has an expected EPS growth rate of 32.2% for three-five years. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG): Free Stock Analysis Report Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Here"s Why Macy"s (M) Appears a Solid Investment Bet for 2022

Macy's (M) has been benefiting from efforts undertaken as part of the Polaris Strategy. The year 2022 might be a bit challenging for the stock market, thanks to rising inflation, supply chain bottlenecks and the new Omicron variant that may decelerate the speed of the economic recovery at least in the first half. So, you need to be smart when it comes to investment. The right choice of stock may fetch you higher returns even amid changing market dynamics. We present you with one such stock, Macy's, Inc. M, that looks well-poised, given its sound fundamentals and growth efforts.Macy's, one of the nation’s premier omnichannel retailers, has exhibited a decent run on the bourses in the past year. Thanks to its operational initiatives — strengthening of omni-channel solutions, expanding customer reach and focus on brand innovation — the stock has outpaced the Zacks Retail - Regional Department Stores industry. In the said period, shares of this New York-based company have risen about 92.1% compared with the industry’s rise of 63.1%.Additionally, an uptrend in the Zacks Consensus Estimate echoes the same sentiment. The consensus estimates for the current and next financial year have increased about 1% and 3.3% to $4.87 and $4.08, respectively, over the past 30 days. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock’s long-term earnings growth rate of 12% highlights its inherent strength. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Key Growth DriversMacy's has been benefiting from efforts undertaken as part of the Polaris Strategy including boosting assortments, strengthening customer relations, accelerating digital growth, optimizing store portfolio and reducing costs. The company has been witnessing sturdy growth across all three brands namely, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.Management is on track to strengthen its omni-channel capabilities with investments toward online shopping experiences, data and analytics, technology infrastructure as well as better fulfillment capabilities. Macy’s expanded omni-channel offerings such as curbside, store pickup and same-day delivery bode well.During the third quarter of fiscal 2021, the company’s digital sales increased 19% from the year-ago quarter’s figure. The metric was up 49% from third-quarter fiscal 2019 levels. Digital sales represented 33% of net sales. Approximately, 60% of digital demand sales came from mobile devices. Stores fulfilled 24% of the digital sales in the quarter. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company has come up with a host of initiatives to deliver customers a seamless shopping experience. Its tie-up with DoorDash for expediting delivery service is yielding results. It also collaborated with Sweden-based buy-now, pay-later group — Klarna — to offer financial ease and payment flexibility to online customers. It has added PayPal and Venmo payment options. The company is constantly improving its mobile and website features to enhance the shopping experience.Macy’s plans to launch a curated digital marketplace to strengthen its omni-channel retailing capabilities. The new marketplace will expand Macy’s assortment significantly, and help introduce new categories and brands, by enabling third-party merchants to sell products on macys.com and bloomingdales.com. To power the platform, Macy’s has partnered with Mirakl — a leading enterprise marketplace technology company. The platform is anticipated to be launched in the second half of 2022.Management cited that the marketplace platform will accelerate Polaris Strategy and help tap new opportunities. Macy’s foresees its digital business to generate $10 billion in sales by fiscal 2023, and the new digital marketplace platform is expected to produce incremental revenues on top of that target.Meanwhile, Macy’s continues to invest in physical stores to support the digitally-led omnichannel business model and added five off-mall, smaller format stores (Market by Macy’s, freestanding Macy’s Backstage locations, and Bloomingdale’s new off-mall, smaller store format concept, Bloomies) across Dallas, Atlanta and Washington D.C. markets in the third quarter.3 More Stocks Looking Red HotHere are three more favorably ranked stocks — Kohl's Corporation KSS, Costco COST and Capri Holdings CPRI.Kohl's Corporation, an omnichannel retailer, flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 114.5%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kohl's Corporation’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 24.1% and 704.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period. KSS has an expected EPS growth rate of 8% for three-five years.Costco, which operates membership warehouses, carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.3%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 10.8% and 13.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period. COST has an expected EPS growth rate of 8.8% for three-five years.Capri Holdings, a global fashion luxury group, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s bottom line has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a wide margin in the trailing four quarters.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Capri Holdings’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 33.2% and 181.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period. CPRI has an expected EPS growth rate of 32.2% for three-five years. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Macy's, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Macy"s (M) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Macy's (M) closed at $26.84, marking a +0.83% move from the previous day. In the latest trading session, Macy's (M) closed at $26.84, marking a +0.83% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 1.42%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.49%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.47%.Coming into today, shares of the department store operator had gained 6.44% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector lost 3.85%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39%.Investors will be hoping for strength from Macy's as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, Macy's is projected to report earnings of $1.97 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 146.25%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $8.44 billion, up 24.54% from the prior-year quarter.M's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.87 per share and revenue of $24.22 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +320.36% and +39.6%, respectively.Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Macy's. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 1.01% higher. Macy's is holding a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) right now.Investors should also note Macy's's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 5.46. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 6.56, which means Macy's is trading at a discount to the group.We can also see that M currently has a PEG ratio of 0.46. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. Retail - Regional Department Stores stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 0.55 based on yesterday's closing prices.The Retail - Regional Department Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 2, which puts it in the top 1% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Macy's, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Kohl"s (KSS) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Kohl's (KSS) closed at $48.71 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.52% move from the prior day. Kohl's (KSS) closed at $48.71 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.52% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 1.42% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.49%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.47%.Coming into today, shares of the department store operator had lost 2.44% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector lost 3.85%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39%.Kohl's will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. On that day, Kohl's is projected to report earnings of $2.15 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.15%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $6.86 billion, up 11.68% from the year-ago period.For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $7.31 per share and revenue of $19.79 billion, which would represent changes of +704.13% and +24.05%, respectively, from the prior year.Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Kohl's. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.08% higher. Kohl's currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).Looking at its valuation, Kohl's is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 6.56. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 6.56, which means Kohl's is trading at a no noticeable deviation to the group.We can also see that KSS currently has a PEG ratio of 0.82. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Retail - Regional Department Stores industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 0.55 as of yesterday's close.The Retail - Regional Department Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 2, putting it in the top 1% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

The TJX Companies" (TJX) HomeGoods Unit Aids Amid Cost Rise

The TJX Companies' (TJX) HomeGoods segment has been seeing robust demand. Also, the company is undertaking several initiatives to strengthen its e-commerce business. The TJX Companies, Inc. TJX is benefiting from strength in its HomeGoods segment. The company is undertaking initiatives to enhance offline and online businesses. Moreover, its marketing strategies along with robust loyalty programs are noteworthy. That said, supply chain bottlenecks as well as rising freight and labor costs is a concern for the company.Let’s delve deeper.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Working Well for The TJX Companies?The TJX Companies’ HomeGoods segment has been seeing robust demand for a while now. Owing to store closures amid the pandemic, management came up with a temporary new sales measure — open-only comp store sales — to offer a better view. During third-quarter fiscal 2022, open-only comp store sales surged 34% in the HomeGoods (U.S.) segment from the fiscal 2020 level.The upside can be attributed to solid growth in every major category as well as geographic regions for HomeGoods and Home Sense. The TJX Companies launched homegoods.com in the fiscal third quarter. With this launch, the company expects to offer impressive home fashion products at great value on its digital platform. With an increasing number of consumers resorting to online shopping, The TJX Companies has undertaken several initiatives to boost online sales and strengthen its e-commerce business.The TJX Companies has fast expanded its footprint in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. During the fiscal third quarter, management increased its store count by 19, taking the total to 4,684 stores. This reflects square footage growth of 0.3% versus the previous quarter.The company had highlighted that it expects to incur capital expenditures in the range of $1.2-$1.4 billion for fiscal 2022. This will be spent on opening new stores, remodeling, relocating as well as its distribution network and infrastructure. Well, The TJX Companies’ off-price model, along with its strategic store locations, impressive brands and fashion products are likely to aid its performance.The TJX Companies remains committed toward boosting growth, through effective marketing initiatives and loyalty programs. The TJX Companies’ aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns through multiple mediums have been adding to its growth. Apart from this, The TJX Companies’ gift-giving initiatives, unique among off-price retailers and loyalty card program (which offers consumers a non-credit card choice and soft benefits such as early shopping hours) have been helpful in improving customer engagement.Hurdles on the WayThe TJX Companies’ performance in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 was affected by pandemic-led temporary closure of a few Australian stores, which were shut for almost 57% of the quarter. In total, the company’s stores were closed for nearly 1%.During the quarter, incremental freight expense of 1.6 percentage points as well as significant investments to expand distribution capacity, higher incentive accruals, and wage growth hurt the company’s pretax margin to an extent. Net COVID costs adversely impacted pretax margin by an additional 0.5 percentage points. Management cautioned that fourth-quarter pretax margin will continue to face significant expense headwinds. The company expects incremental freight costs of about 80-90 basis points higher than the third quarter.That said, we believe that the aforementioned upsides are likely to help this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company stay afloat amid such hurdles. The company’s stock has gained 13.2% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 8.9%.Some Solid Retail PicksHere are three better-ranked retail stocks — Kohl's Corporation KSS, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST and Capri Holdings Limited CPRI.Kohl's Corporation, an omnichannel retailer, flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 114.5%, on average.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kohl's Corporation’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 24.1% and 704.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period. KSS has an expected EPS growth rate of 8% for three-five years.Costco, which operates membership warehouses, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.3%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 10.8% and 13.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period. COST has an expected EPS growth rate of 8.8% for three-five years.Capri Holdings, a global fashion luxury group, carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company’s bottom line has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a wide margin in the trailing four quarters.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Capri Holdings’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 33.2% and 181.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period. CPRI has an expected EPS growth rate of 32.2% for three-five years. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX): Free Stock Analysis Report Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

4 Stocks From Prospering Retail Home Furnishing Industry

Although supply chain issues and rising raw material prices are concerns for the Retail-Home Furnishing industry, focus on digitization, e-commerce, product innovation as well as new marketing techniques raise hopes for WSM, TPX, LOVE, and ETD. Although continued investments in e-commerce, supply chain bottlenecks and higher raw material costs might keep margins under pressure, consumers’ increasing desire for shopping, continued housing market momentum, efficient cost management as well as persistent focus on product innovation are expected to drive the Zacks Retail-Home Furnishings industry. Also, efforts to redesign the supply chain network and rationalize product offerings as well as investments in merchandising of brands and digital marketing should lend support to Williams-Sonoma, Inc. WSM, Tempur Sealy International, Inc. TPX, The Lovesac Company LOVE, and Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. ETD.Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Retail-Home Furnishings industry comprises retailers offering home furnishing products under various categories. The merchandise assortment includes furniture, garden accessories, framed art, lighting, mirrors, candles, tableware, lamps, picture frames, bathware, accent rugs, artificial floral products, and child and teen furnishing. The industry players also develop, manufacture, market and distribute bedding products. The companies also provide home and security products for residential home repair, remodeling, new construction, and security applications. They are involved in manufacturing, assembling, and selling faucets, accessories, kitchen sinks, and waste disposal.3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Retail-Home Furnishings IndustrySolid Residential & R&R Markets, Higher Consumer Spending: The industry, which is highly dependent on economic and U.S. housing market conditions, is expected to gain from the solid momentum of the U.S. housing market. Lower mortgage rates have been driving new home sales, which in turn should continue providing a boost to home furnishing activity in the near term. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged consumers to take on more do-it-yourself or DIY projects and other home improvement projects. So, the industry stands to benefit from a solid rise in repair and remodeling activities.Despite the resurgence in COVID-19 infections and reduced fiscal stimulus, U.S. consumer confidence improved further in December 2021. This suggests that the economy is expected to continue to grow in 2022 amid headwinds like rising prices and the emergence of the Omicron variant.Strong Digital Platform, Product Reinvention & Marketing Moves: Optimization of the supply chain and improvement of e-commerce channels are expected to drive the top line. In fact, e-commerce came to the rescue for the retail sector amid this pandemic-induced uncertainty. This digital platform will continue to play a major role in the long term, as people are finding it more comfortable and safer to shop online. Product innovation plays a key role for market share gain in this industry. Companies aim at coming up with products and collaborating with celebrated brands as well as designers to maintain exclusivity. Also, customer experience is being enhanced by innovative marketing techniques, with emphasis on digital marketing, better merchandising, store remodeling and loyalty programs.Supply-Chain Issues, Stiff Competition & Labor Expenses: Industry players have been grappling with supply chain bottlenecks. Due to supply issues across the world, the companies have been witnessing some inventory delays, product shortages and manufacturing delays. Accelerating raw material and freight costs (including e-commerce shipping) as well as higher employment-related expenses have been putting pressure on the companies’ margins.Meanwhile, the home furnishings industry is highly competitive, with interior design trade and specialty stores, antique dealers, national and regional home furnishing retailers as well as department stores giving a hard time. Online retailers focused on home furnishing also pose a threat. Competitive product pricing has been eating into margins. Even though sales-building initiatives of the industry participants have been reaping positive results, these involve high costs.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright ProspectsThe Zacks Retail-Home Furnishings industry is a nine-stock group within the broader Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector. The industry currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #61, which places it at the top 24% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates impressive near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Outperforms Sector, Lags S&P 500The Zacks Retail-Home Furnishings industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector but has lagged the Zacks S&P 500 composite over the past year.The industry has risen 15.8% compared with the S&P 500’s growth of 25%. The broader sector has declined 11.9% over this period.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio, which is commonly used for valuing retail home furnishing stocks, the industry is currently trading at 12.6 compared with the S&P 500’s 21.5 and the sector’s 25.6.Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 22.7X and as low as 11.4X, with the median being 15.7X, as the chart below shows.Industry’s P/E Ratio (Forward 12-Month) Versus S&P 5004 Retail-Home Furnishings Stocks to Watch We have selected two stocks from the Zacks retail home furnishing sector that currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). We have also highlighted two other stocks carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with solid prospects. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Lovesac: This Stamford, CT-based company retails home furnishing products like alternative furniture stores, sectionals, bean bags, bean bag chairs and other accessories. Lovesac has been experiencing profitable growth across all sales channels. For third-quarter fiscal 2022, showroom sales grew nearly 70% and internet sales increased almost 40%. Its recently launched Mobile Concierge service and unique business model with a concentrated sku count and manufacturing spread across multiple geographies bode well.LOVE currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 and has an expected earnings growth rate of 42% for fiscal 2023. Its shares have advanced 10.7% over the past year. Lovesac has seen an upward estimate revision of 57.9% for fiscal 2023 earnings over the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: LOVETempur Sealy International.: Headquartered in Lexington, KY, this company is involved in the development, manufacturing and marketing of bedding products. Strong industry demand, its worldwide leadership position in the industry and the omni-channel distribution strategy’s success have been boosting Tempur’s presence.TPX currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 and has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.2% for 2022. Its shares have advanced 55.3% over the past year. Tempur has seen an upward estimate revision of 0.8% for 2022 earnings over the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: TPXEthan Allen Interiors Inc.: This Danbury, CT-based company operates as an interior design company and manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings. Its wide array of offerings, strong network of retail design centers, and focus on interior design services as well as technology enhancement have been benefiting the company.Earnings of Ethan Allen, a Zacks Rank #3 company, are expected to grow 30.8% for fiscal 2022. It has gained 14.6% over the past year.Price and Consensus: ETDWilliams-Sonoma: This is a San Francisco, CA-based multi-channel specialty retailer. Williams-Sonoma has been benefiting from a solid housing market, focus on digital initiatives, higher e-commerce penetration and product introductions. E-commerce penetration accounted for 67% of total revenues for third-quarter fiscal 2021. In addition to continued enhancement of the e-commerce channel, optimization of the supply chain and disciplined cost control are expected to drive growth.Williams-Sonoma, a Zacks Rank #3 company, has gained 21.2% over the past year. Earnings estimates for the current year have moved 3% north over the past seven days.Price and Consensus: WSM Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report WilliamsSonoma, Inc. (WSM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tempur Sealy International, Inc. (TPX): Free Stock Analysis Report The Lovesac Company (LOVE): Free Stock Analysis Report Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

4 Consumer Products Stocks to Watch Amid Industry Hurdles

The Zacks Consumer Products - Staples industry players are seeing cost inflation and supply-chain disruptions. Nonetheless, solid online sales and saving efforts keep Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Newell Brands (NWL), Albertsons Companies (ACI) and Tupperware Brands (TUP) well positioned. Players in the Zacks Consumer Products – Staples industry are seeing margin pressure on account of cost inflation, which in turn is resulting from escalated costs of inputs, transport and labor. Supply-chain disruptions are also posing as deterrents for some companies. Apart from this, moderating demand from the year-ago period’s spike is weighing on year-over-year sales comparisons of some industry players.Nevertheless, strategic saving measures, robust e-commerce operations, and focus on portfolio enhancement and innovation have been working well for Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s KMB, Newell Brands Inc. NWL, Albertsons Companies, Inc. ACI and Tupperware Brands Corporation TUP.About the IndustryThe Zacks Consumer Products – Staples industry consists of companies involved in marketing, producing and distributing a wide range of consumer products. These include personal care items, cleaning equipment, stationery, bed and bath products and household goods like kitchen appliances, cutlery and food storage. Some industry participants also provide batteries and lighting products – whereas some offer pet food and treats, pet supplies, pet medications and pet services.  Companies in the Consumer Products – Staples universe offer products to supermarkets, drug/grocery stores, department stores, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers and other retail outlets. Some companies sell products to the manufacturers of perfumes and cosmetics, hair and other personal care products. Products are also sold through other distributors and the fast-growing e-commerce channel.3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Consumer Products Staples IndustryEscalated Costs: Several industry players are encountering cost inflation, arising from increased input costs. The companies are also seeing increased labor and transportation costs due to tough market conditions. Several companies are bearing the brunt of supply-chain disruptions. Apart from this, higher advertising, e-commerce and other growth-related investments are a threat to margins. That said, the companies’ solid saving and restructuring plans along with pricing actions should offer some respite.Tough Sales Comparison With the Year-ago Period: Some companies are seeing tough sales comparisons with the year-ago period, which had benefited from a major spike in demand due to the pandemic-led at-home consumption. Although at-home consumption and consumer demand remain elevated compared with the pre-pandemic periods, both have tapered off from the exceptional growth witnessed last year.Revenue-Driving Initiatives: Consumer product players are focused on concerted revenue-boosting initiatives to squeeze out more from their operations. To this end, companies’ solid focus on boosting e-commerce and digital operations has been a major driver, especially amid the pandemic. Also, innovation in areas that are witnessing increasing consumer interest has been adding to the portfolio strength of several companies. Industry players have been optimizing portfolios through meaningful buyouts and divestitures, which enable them to increase focus on areas with higher growth potential.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Drab ProspectsThe Zacks Consumer Products – Staples industry is housed within the broader Zacks Consumer Staples sector. It currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #231, which places it in the bottom 9% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates dull near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s position in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a negative earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gradually becoming less confident on this group’s earnings growth potential. Since the beginning of July 2021, the industry’s earnings estimate for 2022 has tumbled 16%.Let’s look at the industry’s performance and current valuation.Industry Versus Broader MarketThe Zacks Consumer Products – Staples industry has lagged the S&P 500 Index as well as the broader Zacks Consumer Staples sector over the past year.The industry has dropped 17.1% over this period against the S&P 500 Index’s growth of 23.4%. Meanwhile, the broader sector has risen 7.4%.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of forward 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E), which is commonly used for valuing consumer staples stocks, the industry is currently trading at 22.59X compared with the S&P 500’s 21.34X and the sector’s 20.66X.Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 21.62X, as low as 16.47X, and at the median of 19.44X, as the chart below shows.Price-to-Earnings Ratio (Past 5 Years) 4 Consumer Products Stocks to Keep a Close Eye onAlbertsons Companies: This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s shares have increased 46.4% in the past six months. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Albertsons Companies’ current fiscal-year earnings per share (EPS) has climbed 1.5% to $2.63 in the past 30 days.This food and drug store company has been gaining on its efforts to improve the store as well as e-commerce operations. With regard to fueling e-commerce operations, the company is making notable progress across pickup and delivery. Additionally, Albertsons Companies’ focus on enhancing efficiency and expanding product assortment is noteworthy. Apart from this, ACI has been committed toward curtailing costs. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Price and Consensus: ACIKimberly-Clark: This manufacturer and marketer of personal care and consumer tissue products has seen its shares increase 6.6% in the past six months. Kimberly-Clark has been gaining on its commitment toward key strategic pillars, which include a focus on improving its core business in the developed markets; speeding up growth of the Personal Care segment in developing and emerging markets, and enhancing digital and e-commerce capacities.Apart from this, Kimberly-Cleark’s 2018 Global Restructuring and Focus on Reducing Costs Everywhere programs have been generating savings. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s pricing actions also bode well amid the cost inflation. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KMB’s current fiscal-year EPS has remained stable at $6.16 over the past 30 days. Shares of the company have rallied 29.7% in the past six months.Price and Consensus: KMBNewell Brands: Newell Brands is benefiting from favorable consumption trends for a while now. Increased online sales given consumers’ rising shift to the online platform are also working well for this Zacks Rank #3 company. Apart from this, Newell Brands’ focus on Project FUEL is noteworthy.Newell Brands is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of consumer and commercial products. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NWL’s current fiscal-year EPS has remained stable at $1.73 over the past 30 days. Shares of the company have dropped 12.8% in six months.Price and Consensus: NWLTupperware Brands: Tupperware Brands is a provider of design-centric preparation, storage, and serving solutions for home and kitchen along with cookware, microwave products, microfiber textiles and water-filtration-related items, among others. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #3 company’s current fiscal-year EPS has remained stable at $3.50 in the past 30 days.The company has been focused on solidifying its core business across geographies. Tupperware Brands has been making investments to fuel growth in its direct selling business as well as other expansion endeavors. Tupperware Brands’ strategies like expanding product categories, increasing distribution and access points and undertaking efficient pricing have been working well. Shares of TUP have declined 30.2% in the past six months.Price and Consensus: TUP Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report KimberlyClark Corporation (KMB): Free Stock Analysis Report Newell Brands Inc. (NWL): Free Stock Analysis Report Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI): Free Stock Analysis Report Tupperware Brands Corporation (TUP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) to Market Squid Game Line of Products

JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) and its costume division Disguise will design, market, manufacture and distribute the official licensed version of Squid Game apparels and accessories. JAKKS Pacific, Inc. JAKK and its costume division Disguise recently inked the deal to launch the officially-licensed version of costumes and accessories associated with the Netflix’s hit series Squid Game.Per the agreement, Disguise will design, market, manufacture and distribute a range of costumes and costume accessories featuring characters from the show. Based on characters from the Korean series, the styles include a red Triangle Guard jumpsuit and teal ‘Player 456’ Track Suit as well as a Squid Games Front Man mask and masks for Square and Triangle Supervisors.Tara Hefter, EVP and GM of Disguise, Inc., stated, “Squid Game is a perfect addition to our vast array of costumes and offerings that cater to fans demanding a higher quality and a more detailed design that fully embodies the characters. The show sets the stage for the perfect Halloween group dress up opportunity and we anticipate the sell in for this line to be incredible.”The company is optimistic in this regard on account of solid craze for the show and an increased adoption of its costumes in fan conventions and Halloween. The company intends to launch the products in store and online across North America and the APAC by the fall of 2022.Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchComing to the price performance, shares of JAKKS Pacific have surged 90.7% in the past year against the industry's 13.7% decline. Notably, the company is benefiting from strategic acquisitions, a solid international footprint, fa ocus on innovation and collaborations with popular brands and movie franchises. Moreover, the company realized the importance of online retailing and shifted its focus to boosting online sales. It also continues to modify its sales and logistics capabilities to support the same.However, coronavirus-related woes persist. During third-quarter 2021, the company’s operations were affected by the pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions. Although the company has undertaken significant measures to overcome the same, extra transportation and storage expenses are a headwind. The company is actively monitoring the global situation and the impact of the same on its financial condition, liquidity, operations, suppliers, industry, and workforce. Earnings estimates for 2022 have remained unchanged in the past 30 days, limiting the upside potential of the stock.Zacks Rank & Key PicksJAKKS Pacific currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector include Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV, Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation BVH and Century Casinos, Inc. CNTY.Hilton Grand Vacations sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 411.1%, on average. Shares of the company have increased 62.1% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Hilton Grand Vacations’ 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 27.7% and 154.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Bluegreen Vacations flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 695%, on average. Shares of the company have surged 158.7% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Bluegreen Vacations’ 2022 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 7.6% and 0.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Century Casinos carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 758.9%, on average. Shares of the company have increased 87.1% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Century Casinos’ 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 16.9% and 44.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (JAKK): Free Stock Analysis Report Century Casinos, Inc. (CNTY): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis Report Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (BVH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 6th, 2022

Best Buy (BBY) Boosts Shoppers Experience With Best Buy Ads

Best Buy (BBY) launches Best Buy Ads to help shoppers discover products and offers. BBY's Totaltech membership program is also quite encouraging. Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY is among those players who are making cogent efforts to offer the best to their guests. In a latest development, management launched Best Buy Ads, BBY’s new in-house media company, which will aid shoppers in discovering products, services and offers. Best Buy Ads is a modern concept in advertising. This launch will ease customers’ way to shop by BBY’s insights and research.BBY will collaborate with relevant brands with the help of its consumer-insights capabilities to deliver key messages at right time. It will also share information on a brand selling products at Best Buy, or provide complementary products on its own channels like BestBuy.com or in-store. Also, BBY will help them with research on external sites with a robust portfolio of product offerings.Best Buy Ads will deepen BBY’s relationship with shoppers via quick and meaningful information, and consumer insights. This coupled with Best Buy’s data-analysis skills and consumer-engagement efforts will enrich shoppers’ experience and tap higher sales.What’s More?Best Buy’s stupendous efforts to serve the society with respect to fulfilling consumers’ technological wants are commendable. Its Totaltech membership program to cater to all tech support needs by a group of experts is worth mentioning here. This program provides customers with tech support from Geek Squad agents, exclusive member prices on merchandise, up to 24 months of product protection on most purchases, free delivery and installation, and an extended 60-day window for returns and exchanges, among other features.In addition, Best Buy continuously focuses on improving digital capabilities and omni-channel services, such as buy online, pickup in store services. BBY leveraged stores to drive fast and convenient fulfillment of online orders. Management is focused on making significant investments in fundamental technology capabilities, such as data and analytics as well as cloud migration to drive scale, efficiency and effectiveness.Best Buy continues making solid endeavors to become a more customer-centric, digitally focused company. Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player have increased 11.2% in a year compared with the industry’s 15.3% rally.Solid Bets to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks are Zumiez ZUMZ, Costco COST and Target TGT.Zumiez, a global lifestyle retailer, currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of ZUMZ have surged 30.3% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Zumiez’s fiscal 2022 sales suggests growth of 1.1% from the year-ago reading. ZUMZ has a significant trailing four-quarter earnings surprise, on average.Costco, a general merchandise retailer, has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. Shares of COST have jumped 51.2% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s fiscal 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 7.6% and 9.5%, respectively, from the year-ago corresponding figures. COST has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.3%, on average.Target, a renowned omni-channel retailer, presently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. TGT has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 19.7%, on average. The stock has rallied 28.7% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Target’s fiscal 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 2.3% and 0.1%, respectively, from the corresponding year-ago levels. TGT has an expected EPS growth rate of 14.4% for three-five years. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 5th, 2022

Walgreens (WBA) to Report Q1 Earnings: What"s in the Cards?

Faster adoption of digital health and recent partnerships are expected to have contributed to Walgreens' (WBA) first-quarter performance. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA is slated to release first-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Jan 6, before market open.In the fiscal fourth quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 13.6 %. WBA’s earnings outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 24.13%.Let’s look at how things have shaped up prior to this announcement.Factors at PlayIn recent months, Walgreens’ Find Care platform and Boots Health Hub have shown continued expansion accelerated by the pandemic, and is witnessing a significant increase in online visits. During the fiscal fourth quarter, the company expanded to nationwide same-day home delivery across multiple marketplace platforms, bringing the total same-day home delivery and pickup transactions to more than 23 million. This is expected to have accelerated the company’s digital platform growth in the fiscal first quarter, thus adding to the top line.In September 2021, Walgreens, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Walgreen Co., completed majority investment in Shields -- an industry leader in integrated, health system-owned specialty pharmacy care. Further, during the fiscal fourth quarter, Walgreens Boots and Blue Shield of California announced a new strategic collaboration to expand access to healthcare, lower costs and bring innovative services to enhance the consumer experience for individuals, families and communities throughout California. These developments are expected to have contributed to the Walgreens’ fiscal first-quarter top line.Retail Pharmacy USAIn the fiscal first quarter, Walgreens is expected to have witnessed growth in retail pharmacy business banking on an improved business environment. The company is currently engaging customers through the mass personalization strategy that boosted retail sales during the last-reported quarter. Walgreens' advertising group continues to expand its offerings and has now executed more than 900 campaigns and activated over 200 brands. During the fourth quarter, Walgreens announced the launch of Walgreens Health, which brings equitable, personalized, whole-person healthcare to local communities across America, wherever and however it’s best for consumers – in-store, at home, at the doctor’s office and via mobile app. This development is expected to have driven customer adoption rate in the to-be-reported quarter.Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. QuoteIn the earlier-reported quarter, Walgreens noted growing strength in health and wellness. In its October 2021 update, the company confirmed the launch of more than 60 new beauty brands in the last 18 months, including Anastasia Beauty Beverly Hills, Uoma Beauty and Bic Beauty. This is likely to have contributed to Walgreens’ health and beauty businesses in the to-be-reported quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Retail Pharmacy USA’s revenues is pegged at $28.26 billion, suggesting a rise of 3.9% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.Retail Pharmacy InternationalIn the earlier-reported quarter, international business witnessed a rebound in sales and profitability due to focused execution across Boots UK, Boots Ireland and Opticians, led by strong growth across all e-commerce businesses. The economy's reopening and faster digital platform adoption are expected to have accelerated international businesses in the to-be reported quarter.During the company’s October 2021 update, Walgreens noted that as part of the Health Hub, the company recently launched Boots ONLINE DOCTOR -- a new innovative and market-leading service that connects physicians and patients online. Boots.com is likely to have continued with its stellar performance on increasing digital transactions and the launch of a new platform, thus driving revenues in the to-be-reported quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Retail Pharmacy International’s revenues is pegged at $5.41 billion, suggesting a surge of 108% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.Pharmaceutical WholesaleWithin the Pharmaceutical Wholesale division in the last-reported quarter, the segment registered robust growth, including the higher sales from the formation of wholesale joint venture in Germany.  This is expected to have continued during the to-be reported quarter as well, thus adding to the top line. However, slow recovery across international markets is expected to have partially affected growth.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Pharmaceutical Wholesale’s revenues is pegged at $5.88 billion, suggesting a fall of 17.3% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.What Our Model SuggestsPer our proven model, a stock with the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has higher chances of beating estimates. That is not the case here as you can see:Earnings ESP: Walgreens has an Earnings ESP of -26.90%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Zacks Rank: The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).Stocks With Favorable CombinationsHere are some companies that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:McKesson Corporation MCK currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.99% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.McKesson’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 9%. MCK’s earnings yield of 9.1% compares favorably with the industry’s 3.3%.ModivCare Inc. MODV currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.25% and sports a Zacks Rank #1.ModivCare long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 12%. MODV’s earnings yield of 5% compares favorably with the industry’s (1.4%).Doximity, Inc. DOCS currently has an Earnings ESP of +44.30% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.Doximity long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 8%. DOCS’ earnings yield of 1.1% compares favorably with the industry’s (1.4%). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA): Free Stock Analysis Report ModivCare Inc. (MODV): Free Stock Analysis Report Doximity, Inc. (DOCS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

BD (BDX) Partners With Retailers for At-Home COVID-19 Test

BD (BDX) collaborates with retail partners and distributors to make the BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test widely accessible. Becton, Dickinson and Company BDX, also popularly known as BD, recently announced that the BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test can now be purchased through several retail partners. These retail partners include Everly Health, Southeastern Grocers (parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores. Apart from this, the test is available for purchase on Amazon.com.It is worth mentioning that the BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test has not been cleared or approved by the FDA but has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) only for identifying proteins from SARS-CoV-2 and not for any other viruses or pathogens. Interestingly, this test is the first at-home COVID-19 test to utilize a smartphone camera and app to capture and elucidate results, thereby removing the human subjectivity in other visually read at-home antigen tests.This announcement is likely to provide a boost to BD Life Sciences business.Few Words on the Retail PartnersEverly Health provides tests to businesses, government agencies and consumers via their subsidiaries — Everlywell and Everly Health Solutions. Per management at Everly Health, the introduction of the BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test on its site and platform will now enable the company to provide organizations the capability to send rapid at-home tests to their members and keep track of the results on a single all-inclusive platform.Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores currently provides tests to consumers in all in-store pharmacy departments at more than 230 grocery store locations. By collaborating with BD, these stores will play a crucial role in curbing the spread of the virus and safeguarding their communities.More on the NewsPer management at BD Life Sciences, trustworthy and widely available testing continues to be one of the most crucial measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Rapid test results will lend support to decision making by healthcare providers.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPartnering with aforementioned retailers and distributors is likely to provide a further boost to efforts in combatting the pandemic through wide access to at-home tests.Market ProspectsPer a report by Data Bridge Market Research published on GlobeNewswire, the global at-home testing kits market is expected to reach $8,154.74 million by 2028, witnessing a CAGR of 5.3% between 2021 and 2028. Factors like growing health awareness among people, as well as convenience and rapid results are likely to drive the market. Hence, this announcement is well-timed for BD.Recent DevelopmentsThis month, BD completed the acquisition of privately held Scanwell Health Inc. However, the terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Following the closure of the buyout, Scanwell is expected to become the foundational digital platform upon which BD plans to develop at-home diagnostic tests for various infectious diseases, including COVID-19/influenza A+B, group A strep, and an additional menu for detecting infections and managing chronic diseases.Again, this month, BD announced that it has expanded the BD COR System to include a new MX instrument for high-throughput molecular testing for infectious diseases.Price PerformanceShares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 0.3% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 15.5%.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space include Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, McKesson Corporation MCK and NextGen Healthcare, Inc. NXGN.Thermo Fisher surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 9.02%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14%. The company’s earnings yield of 3.7% compares favorably with the industry’s (3.6%).McKesson beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.9%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.McKesson’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 8.9%. The company’s earnings yield of 9.9% compares favorably with the industry’s 3.2%.NextGen Healthcare surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 16%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2.NextGen Healthcare’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 8.5%. The company’s earnings yield of 5.9% compares favorably with the industry’s (4.1%). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX): Free Stock Analysis Report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report NEXTGEN HEALTHCARE, INC (NXGN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 27th, 2021

Here"s Why Investors Should Retain Planet Fitness (PLNT) Stock

Planet Fitness (PLNT) consistent focus on strategic partnership and international expansion to drive growth. Planet Fitness, Inc. PLNT is benefiting from the reopening of stores, rise in membership sign-ups, strategic partnerships and international expansion. Focus on digitalization initiatives also bodes well. Consequently, the company’s shares have gained 9% in the past six months, against the industry’s decline of 24.1%. Let’s delve deeper.Growth DriversThe company is benefiting from the reopening of stores. As of Sep 30, 2021, 2,189 stores have reopened. Of the total, 2,083 were franchisee-owned stores and 106 were corporate-owned stores. The company stated that the last group of reopenings are returning to pre-pandemic levels faster than stores that reopened in 2020. Meanwhile, Planet Fitness anticipates new store openings for 2021 in the range of 110-120, up from the prior expectation of 75-100.In an effort to expand its presence, Planet Fitness has been focusing on strategic partnerships and international expansions. The company collaborated with iFit, a leader in online streaming home workouts. With this partnership, the company initiated a series of new workouts with minimal or no equipment, thereby making it available to everyone on the Planet Fitness App. It will be available for both members and non-members free of cost. Despite the coronavirus crisis, management informed that several private-equity-backed franchise groups have expressed interest in further investments in the Planet Fitness brand.The company is gaining from a rise in membership levels and positive system-wide same-store sales growth. As of Sep 30, 2021, the company had approximately 15 million members as well as 2,193 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia.Given solid customer engagement in its fitness content, the company is currently testing a digital only subscription membership for $5.99/month through its mobile app “PF plus.” Through this, the company intends to provide more premium content apart from the free content. This includes live daily workouts, digital fitness classes (accessible through home and gym) and aggressive workout series to help customers advance over time. Markedly, with this initiative, Planet Fitness is optimistic regarding the future conversion of non-members as well.The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company raised its guidance for 2021. For 2021, the company expects revenues to be $570-$580 million, up from the prior estimate of $530-$540 million. Adjusted EBITDA for 2021 is estimated between $210-$220 million, up from the prior expectation of $200-$210 million range. Adjusted net income per share for 2021 is expected between 75 cents and 80 cents, up from the prior estimate of 65-70 cents.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchConcernsThe coronavirus pandemic has affected the company’s business on a wide scale. Although the company has implemented enhanced sanitation measures and social-distancing protocols upon reopening, traffic is still below pre-pandemic levels. A slowdown in new store developments and remodels, and lower replacement equipment sales due to the pandemic remain concerns.Key PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector include Churchill Downs Incorporated CHDN, Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation BVH and Camping World Holdings, Inc. CWH.Churchill Downs sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.7%, on average. Shares of the company have gained 13.5% in the past six months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Churchill Downs’ current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 51.4% and 684.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period.Bluegreen Vacations flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 695%, on average. Shares of the company have surged 28.4% in the past three months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Bluegreen Vacations current financial year sales and earnings per share indicates growth of 27.5% and 199.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period.Camping World carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has been benefiting from the launch of a new peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace and a mobile service marketplace. It has been investing heavily in product development.Camping World has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 70.9%, on average. Shares of the company have appreciated 3.8% in the past three months. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CWH’s current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 25.9% and 77.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Camping World (CWH): Free Stock Analysis Report Churchill Downs, Incorporated (CHDN): Free Stock Analysis Report Planet Fitness, Inc. (PLNT): Free Stock Analysis Report Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (BVH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 17th, 2021

Avoiding financial conflicts in Congress takes work. These lawmakers put in the extra effort — and wish more colleagues would, too.

Members of Congress can place their assets in a blind trust. Only 10 have done it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat of Massachusetts, is an anticorruption advocate.Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images The STOCK Act is designed to ensure lawmakers are financially transparent and accountable. Some use qualified blind trusts or exchange-traded funds or abstain from playing the market. Congress has considered, but not implemented, stricter stock-trading rules for its members.   Though several investment scandals have rocked the US Capitol, few lawmakers aggressively seek to ward off any specter of insider trading by handing their finances over to impartial money managers. Only 10 sitting members of Congress — nine Democrats and one Republican — have reported using what's known as a qualified blind trust, a formal arrangement, requiring congressional approval, in which a lawmaker officially transfers management of their financial assets to an independent trustee. While congressional guidance suggests the trusts provide the "most comprehensive approach" to avoiding "potential conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts," they can be expensive and time-consuming to establish.As part of the exhaustive Conflicted Congress project, in which Insider reviewed nearly 9,000 financial-disclosure reports for every sitting lawmaker and their top-ranking staffers, Insider identified only six senators and four House members with qualified blind trusts.The senators were Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Mark Kelly of Arizona, and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, and Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota.The House members were Democratic Reps. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, and Tom Malinowski of New Jersey.The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission has investigated pandemic-related moves by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North CarolinaSusan Walsh-Pool/Getty ImagesSuspicious stock trading is rampantDuring the past decade, suspicious stock-trading activity has plagued members on both sides of the aisle. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission has investigated pandemic-related moves by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina. Investigators also inquired about the trading activities of Feinstein, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and former Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia. And the Office of Congressional Ethics has investigated trades made by the wife of Republican Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, as well as allegations of financial-crisis profiteering by former Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama. The Bachus scandal bolstered the enactment of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, a 2012 law designed to hammer home that it is illegal for members of Congress and their top aides to engage in insider trading. Just over half of members of Congress (55%) did not report owning or trading individual stocks in their 2020 annual disclosures. Some opted for broad-based investments such as mutual funds, or conservative holdings such as government bonds. A few even said they kept their cash in old-fashioned savings accounts. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, and House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana were among the 277 lawmakers who reported no individual stock investments, indicating they avoid directly buying and selling shares of companies that often spend millions of dollars lobbying the federal government and vying for government business.Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Alphabet, and Amazon are the most popular stock holdings among members of Congress, an Insider analysis indicates. But Kedric Payne, a former congressional investigator intimately familiar with Capitol Hill culture, said the STOCK Act's legacy wasn't looking too good. "I can't remember any other ethics rule that has been violated by so many members so consistently," Payne, a former deputy chief counsel at the Office of Congressional Ethics who's now a director of ethics at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, told Insider. He added that disclosure without meaningful enforcement wouldn't change anything. "You can't X-ray a patient back to health," Payne said.Hands offInsider in March reported that Malinowski had violated the STOCK Act by failing to disclose dozens of stock trades together worth at least $671,000. Malinowski remains under investigation by the House Committee on Ethics after the independent Office of Congressional Ethics said it found "substantial reason to believe" that he had violated federal rules or laws designed to promote transparency and defend against conflicts of interest. That flurry of stock trades predates Malinowski's blind trust, which he began establishing in March and which congressional administrators signed off on in July. "He supports making a blind trust mandatory for all members of Congress who have investments in the stock market and has cosponsored legislation to that effect," a Malinowski spokeswoman, Naree Ketudat, told Insider, citing his support for the bipartisan, bicameral Ban Conflicted Trading Act, which has languished since its introduction in March.Qualified blind trusts aren't necessarily a panacea for lawmakers wanting to avoid conflicts or legal transgressions.While Manchin established a blind trust in 2012, it doesn't include all his assets. Notably, Manchin doesn't include his earnings from his family's coal company, which could be significantly affected by President Joe Biden's clean-energy proposals, The Washington Post reported this week. Likewise, Feinstein's blind trust doesn't include all her reportable assets. Earlier this year, she acknowledged being months late to disclose one of her husband's stock purchases that was worth up to $50,000.Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, an author of the Ban Conflicted Trading Act who doesn't have a qualified blind trust but exclusively invests in broad-based exchange-traded funds, sees room for improvement among his colleagues, his communications director, Trudy Perkins, told Insider."Senator Brown deeply believes that public servants should focus on serving the American people, not lining their own pockets," Perkins said. Some Capitol Hill newcomers couldn't agree more. "Eliminating conflicts of interest is an important step to make Washington work better," Mark Kelly told Insider, adding that he'd engaged in the "rigorous, multi-step process" of setting up his Ethics Committee-approved blind trust earlier this year. He'd previously violated the STOCK Act by failing to submit a timely disclosure of his exercising of a stock option on an investment in a company developing supersonic passenger aircraft.Kelly also said he's developing legislation with Ossoff that would require all senators to adopt qualified blind trusts. Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, a grocery-store scion and family-trust beneficiary, said that retooling stock-ownership guidelines made sense, to an extent. "A hard-and-fast rule is not reflective of where we are," Meijer, who said he had no control of or input over his financial trust, told Insider. He added that many members have spouses who might invest as part of a job or receive shares as part of employment compensation. Meijer said that "as a general rule" lawmakers shouldn't actively trade individual stocks, and he encouraged colleagues to avoid giving financial advisors instructions beyond desired growth goals and acceptable risk tolerance.Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, does not own individual stocks.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images'It's just wrong' Sen. Bernie Sanders told Insider that he decided long ago against owning individual stocks. "Obviously, you don't want conflicts of interest here," the Vermont independent said while walking through the tunnels beneath Capitol Hill. There was one exception: Sanders recounted spending about $500 on IBM stock while he was serving in the House of Representatives so he could rail against proposed changes to the company's retirement program during a shareholders' meeting. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts turned Insider's Conflicted Congress findings into a call to action, blasting colleagues "who think it's OK to be in a position of trust to represent the people of this country and at the same time to be working to advance your own financial interests." "It's just wrong," Warren, a two-term lawmaker and anticorruption advocate, told Insider.Warren's comments stood in stark contrast to those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in response to Insider's questions defended congressional lawmakers' right to buy and sell individual stocks.  "We are a free-market economy," Pelosi said on Wednesday. "They should be able to participate in that."Democratic Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey urged leadership to clamp down on congressional stock trading, not embrace it. —Andy Kim (@AndyKimNJ) December 15, 2021 "Americans are losing trust in government and we need to show we serve the people, not our personal/political self-interest," the two-term lawmaker tweeted after a video of Pelosi's remarks went viral. Kim added that lawmakers, presidents, and senior administration officials should be barred from trading individual stocks. Cracking down appeals to Payne of the Campaign Legal Center. He said that while his group was not limiting its own efforts, it endorsed ethics tweaks in the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, as well as those woven throughout the more comprehensive Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act previously introduced by Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington.Otherwise, Payne said, the status quo will produce more scofflaws. "If members of Congress who are currently doing the right thing continue to see other members violate the law with impunity," he said, "you're going to have more noncompliance."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2021

4 Reasons to Bet On Mid-Cap Value Today

These mid-cap stocks are on sale. Mid-cap stocks are a relatively small group compared to large or small cap. And there’s a very good reason for this. For the most part, small-cap stocks display strong growth characteristics, but of course this comes at high risk. The small business owner doesn’t have the resources to get through economically challenging times or deal with stiff competition. Nor is he able to generate efficiencies from scale. His success depends primarily on the product and the relationships he is able to develop. So there’s a huge incentive to keep investing in the business until some sort of scale is achieved. There are as many small businesses as there are entrepreneurs. And these days, with relatively easy VC money, the small-cap segment is growing strongly.On the other hand, once a company grows into a large-cap stock, it generally has steady cash flows from a proven business model. This is a low-risk situation. However, the size normally leads to slower growth (we aren’t talking big tech here). This could be fine for more mature investors who don’t have that many working years left. Or it could be a good balancing act for a portfolio weighted toward high-risk high-growth names.Briefly between these two stages, a company passes through the mid-cap stage when you’re generating relatively strong growth at relatively lower risk. So with mid-caps, you have the best of both worlds.Second, if you’ve been trading for a while, you would have already discovered that its generally the large-caps, or really hot stocks that have a lot of analyst coverage. And often slipping through the cracks are the mid-caps, which while being good investments, don’t receive the deserved attention. Which means that there’s a good chance they haven’t been bid up. So there’s a better chance of finding value in the mid-cap category.Third, the Fed has turned hawkish of late (the Labor Department's CPI climbed by 6.8% in November, the fastest increase rate since June 1982), which means tapering, and therefore, imminent pressure on stocks as more money moves to higher-yielding bonds. So growth stocks that have been bid up too much, or stocks that are more risky depending on their specific circumstances, could see some pressure over the next year. While the right growth stocks are not to be shied away from, it’s important to load up on a bit of value as well. And the mid-cap segment may be just the place to find it.Fourth, labor shortage has affected different companies in different ways. But the JOLTS report for October indicates that mid-sized companies may be better off-Job openings are up across the board, but quitting has increased in small establishments with 1-9 employees and large establishments with 5,000 or more employees. Layoffs and discharging have also increased in these large establishments.On the other hand, in middle-level establishments with 1,000 to 4,999 employees, job openings may have increased but hiring has decreased. So these establishments are likely at a more optimum level of employment.  This is further confirmed by BLS wage data. And so, we see a significant increase in total wages in 2020, as employment reflected higher-paying jobs, because many of the lower-paying services type of jobs making up a smaller part of the total. With this segment returning in 2021, we see a decline in wage rates this year. So it’s the small establishments that are doing most of the hiring now while the large ones are still reducing workers to get to an optimum level. At the middle is where you see the best-balanced players.Given the above factors, here are a few stocks that you may want to consider-Asbury Automotive Group ABGAsbury Automotive is one of the largest automotive retailers offering new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts through their owned and franchised stores.Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) ranked Asbury has a Value Score A and belongs to the Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry (top 9% of Zacks-classified industries).Asbury’s revenue is expected to grow 12.0% in 2022 when its earnings are expected to grow 13.2%. Its 2022 estimates have been moving up consistently in the last 90 days. They are up $2.70 (10.3%) in the last 30 days.Asbury shares are undervalued. They currently trade at 5.96X F2 earnings, 0.42X sales and its PEG ratio is 0.36.Kohl's KSSKohl’s Corp. is a U.S. based department store chain offering moderately-priced apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and children; as well as beauty and home articles. As of Oct, Kohl’s had more than 1,100 stores across 49 states. It also sells through its ecommerce site and the Kohl’s app.In the year ending Jan 2023, Kohl’s is expected to grow revenue and earnings by 2.2% and -5.6%, respectively. The analyst estimate for the year is expected to grow 88 cents (14.6%).Kohl’s shares carry a Zacks Rank #1. They have a Value Score of A and belong to the Retail - Regional Department Stores industry top 2%).However, they remain cheap at a valuation of 7.50X earnings, 0.38X sales and a 0.89 PEG.The Chemours Company CCThe Chemours Company is a leading provider of performance chemicals that are key ingredients in end-products and processes including plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining and general industrial manufacturing and electronics.Chemours, with its Zacks #1 rank and Value Score of A belongs to the Chemical – Diversified industry (top 35%).Chemours is currently expected to grow its revenue by 6.4% and earnings by 8.2% in 2022. Estimates for the year are up 42 cents (10.6%) in the last 60 days.Chemours shares look pretty attractive right now, trading at 7.43X 2022 earnings, 0.88X sales and its PEG is 0.23.Berry Global Group BERYBerry Global manufactures and distributes nonwoven specialty materials, engineered materials and consumer packaging products for personal care, healthcare, beverage and food markets in South America, North America, Asia and Europe.#2 (Buy) ranked Berry Global has a Value Score of A and belongs to the Zacks-classified Containers - Paper and Packaging industry (top 42%).In the year ending Sep 2022, Berry Global is expected to grow its revenue and earnings by a respective 4.4% and 2.6%. The following year, revenue and earnings will grow 0.7% and 6.3%, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the two years are up $1.12 (17.8%) and $1.02 (14.9%).The shares are trading cheaply at 9.15X earnings, 0.70X sales and its PEG ratio is 0.97.Arrow Electronics ARWArrow Electronics is one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and enterprise computing products. Arrow provides one of the broadest product ranges in the space, as well as a wide range of value-added services.Arrow has a Zacks Rank #2 and Value Score A. It is part of the Zacks-classified Electronics - Parts Distribution industry (top 9%).Arrow’s 2022 revenue and earnings are currently expected to grow 1.5% and 6.5%, respectively. Earnings estimates for the year are up $1.29 (9.0%).Arrow shares trade at 8.14X earnings, 0.26X sales and its PEG ratio is 0.32. So they are worth considering.3-Month Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment Research 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report Arrow Electronics, Inc. (ARW): Free Stock Analysis Report Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG): Free Stock Analysis Report Berry Global Group, Inc. (BERY): Free Stock Analysis Report The Chemours Company (CC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 15th, 2021

Bonhoeffer 3Q21 Commentary: Case Study – Millicom

Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a […] Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a broad-based index returned -0.7% and the DFA International Small Cap Value Fund, our closest benchmark, returned -2.5%. Year to date, the Bonhoeffer Fund has returned 22.9% net of fees. As of September 30, 2021, our securities have an average earnings/free cash flow yield of 14.3% and an average EV/EBITDA of 4.7. The DFA International Small Cap Value Fund had an average earnings yield of 11.1%. These multiples are lower than last quarter primarily due to increasing earnings and declining share prices. The difference between the portfolio’s market valuation and my estimate of intrinsic value is greater than 100%. I remain confident that the gap will close over time and the portfolio quality will continue to increase as we increase allocations to faster-growing firms. Bonhoeffer Fund Portfolio Overview Our investment universe has been extended beyond value-oriented special situations to include growthoriented firms using a value framework, including companies that generate growth through consolidation. There have been modest changes within the portfolio in the last quarter in line with our low historical turnover rates. We have sold Cambria Automotive which is in the process of being acquired and used the proceeds to increase our holdings in Asbury Automotive, Countryside Properties, and Millicom. As of September 30, 2021, our largest country exposures include: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, and Philippines. The largest industry exposures include: distribution, telecom/media, real estate/infrastructure, and consumer products. We added to some smaller positions within the portfolio and are investigating additional consolidation plays with modest valuations in industries that have nice returns on invested capital such as fiber rollouts, convenience stores, and IT services. Compound Mispricings (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -8%) Our Korean preferred stocks, the nonvoting share of Telecom Italia, Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and some HoldCos all feature characteristics of compound mispricings. The thesis for the closing of the voting, nonvoting, and holding company valuation gap includes evidence of better governance and liquidity. We are also looking for corporate actions such as spinoffs, sales, or holding company transactions and overall growth. Throughout the year, Net1 UEPS has been accumulating cash from the sale of its non-core assets including a Korean transaction processing network and its stake in a crypto bank. This cash, in addition to issuing some debt, was used to purchase Connect, a merchant transaction processor catering to small and medium businesses. This acquisition will complement its consumer fintech EasyPay transaction and ATM network and expand Net1 UEPS’s total addressable market to include small and midsized businesses and lead to profitability. The Korean preferred discounts in our portfolio are still large (25% to 73%). The trends of better governance and liquidity have reduced the discount in names like Samsung Electronics, and more preferred names trade at a premium to common shares. We continue to like the prospects for LG Corp preferred post LX Holdings spinoff from both a business and discount perspective. The current discount to NAV is 74% for the LG Corp preferred. In addition, this discount is based upon a base value of LG Corp with reasonable implied EV/EBITDA multiples of LG Corp subsidiaries of 4.7x for LG Electronics, 13.6x for LG Chemical (including LG’s EV battery division), and 16.7x for LG Household & Health Care. Public LBOs (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -1%) Our broadcast TV franchises, leasing, building products distributors, and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping fall into this category. One trend I’ve noted in these firms is growth creation through acquisitions which provide synergies and operational leverage associated with vertical and horizontal consolidation and the subsequent repurchasing of shares with debt. The increased cash flow is used to pay the debt and the process is repeated. Millicom, this quarter’s case study, is a public LBO that has financed many of its investment opportunities with debt. The recently announced buyout of its Guatemalan JV partner illustrates this. The debt, when used in situations like this, has been paid down over time as Millicom generates a lot of free cash flow and can increase returns like leveraged rollups, as described below. Distribution Theme (41% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance +3%) Our holdings in car and branded capital equipment dealerships, convenience stores, building product distributors, and capital equipment leasing firms all fall into the distribution theme. One of the main KPIs for dealerships and shopping is velocity or inventory turns. We own some of the highest-velocity dealerships in markets around the world. There have been challenges in some markets hit by COVID, like South Africa and Latin America; but there should be recovery now that vaccines have been approved and distributed. GS Retail, the second largest convenience store operator in Korea (with 14,600 convenience stores and 320 grocery stores), is the security we received for the buyout of GS Home Shopping. We have applied our growth methodology described in the last quarterly report. The following is a summary: The convenience store business is growing and consolidating worldwide. As a result of the acquisition, management is planning on using the younger customer data from GS Retail, the older customer data from GS Home Shopping, and the GS distribution network (42 logistics centers supporting convenience, grocery, and home shopping customers) to provide older and younger customers their products instore (convenience store) or next-day home delivery across Korea. Management expects 10% growth overall, composed of underlying convenience store growth of 4-5% and 5% from cross selling and digital commerce from the merger. Given the fixed costs in the convenience store network and distribution infrastructure, management expects cost synergies to generate net income margins of 5.0%. If these revenue and growth rates are realized, then a P/E closer to comparable convenience stores BGF Retail (Korea), Seven & I, and Alimentation Couche-Tard of 15-20x is not unreasonable. This range has significant upside from current P/E multiple of 5.9x and five-year forward P/E of 4.3x. Telecom/Transaction Processing Theme (36% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -2%) The increasing use of transaction processing in our firms’ markets and the rollout of 5G will provide growth opportunities. Given that most of these firms are holding companies and have multiple components of value (including real estate), the timeline for realization may be longer than for other firms. Telecom Italia continues to work with the Italian government and Fiber Corp to merge their telecommunications infrastructures together. Vivendi has called an emergency board meeting to ensure Telecom Italia will retain control of the combined telecommunication infrastructure after the merger. We view this action as a positive despite the decline in Telecom Italia’s share price. The updated sum-ofthe- parts analysis (as detailed in previous letters) implies an upside of 80–100%. In my opinion, much of the recent decline is due to concerns that Telecom Italia will give up control of the combined telecommunications infrastructure. Consumer Product Theme (10% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -7%) Our consumer product, tire, and beverage firms comprise this category. The defensive nature of these firms has led to lower-than-average performance due to the stronger performance from more recoverycorrelated names. One theme we have been examining is the increase in sales of adult products (tobacco, alcohol, and lottery) in convenience stores as other stores are removing these products from their product offerings. GS Retail is taking advantage of this trend in Korea. Real Estate/Construction Theme (23% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -3%) In my opinion, the pricing of our real estate holdings has been impacted by both a recession and the communist takeover in Hong Kong. The current cement and construction holdings (in US/Europe via BFS and Countryside and in Korea via Asia Cement) should do well as the world recovers from COVID shutdowns and governments start infrastructure programs. Asia Standard also declined during the quarter due to the concern over the decline in its Chinese real estate developer bond holdings. Asia Standard holds a large number of Chinese real estate developer bonds, including those of Evergrande and Kaisa. The Evergrande bonds have declined to about 20% of face value as of September 30 (they were at 40% of face value on July 31, 2021, the last market-to-market valuation date for Asia Standard’s bond portfolio) while the Kaisa bonds have declined to 85% of face value. I ran a stress test assuming a 25% decline in the bond portfolio from July 31, 2021. This is 2x the 13% decline in the portfolio from Evergrande and Kaisa bond prices between July 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The resulting NAV/share is $8.09 versus the $10.09 NAV as of July 31, 2021. The September 30 stock price of $0.85 is at a 91% discount to the stressed NAV and 92% to the July 31, 2021, NAV. Consolidation Frameworks In our Q1 letter, we described how we are examining growth opportunities associated with consolidation in fragmented industries. Growth from consolidation can be a resilient form of growth as it is dependent upon the availability of target firms and associated cost and revenue synergies versus overall market growth. When consolidation growth is combined with modest industry growth, some exciting growth can be realized. If the firms also exhibit operational leverage from economies of scale/scope, then the combined effect can be significant growth in earnings or free cash flows. The advantage of this type of growth is that it is realized over time and not recognized by the market in advance. This can be seen in the price charts of many of these firms moving from the lower left to the upper right over time as the growth is realized. Fragmented markets can have long runways associated with consolidation and economies of scale and scope which can lead to cash flow growth in excess of the market growth for many years. We try to identify these markets and firms that can ride the consolation wave over a long timeframe. Some of these firms have valuations reflecting some of the future growth and some have little to no premium reflecting future growth from consolidation. Currently, the internet (an innovation) is providing more consolidation via additional fragmentation of retail demand from offline, online, and omni-channel selling channels. An example is traditional auto dealers using an omni-channel sales approach and Carvana who is exclusively online. Bonhoeffer is looking for businesses that are adopting the innovation (internet distribution) which will enhance growth going forward but where it is not recognized by the market yet, as evidenced by the current stock price. Some analysts have developed useful frameworks to evaluate consolidation or serial acquirer situations. Scott Capital has developed a useful framework1 for categorizing consolidators, shown below: Scott has categorized these types of firms depending upon the level of target integration. Most of the firms we have been examining recently have been rollups (firms in the same industry) with scale-driven synergies and operational leverage. We also hold one platform (Wilh. Wilhelmsen) and one holding company (LG Corp). Another way to look at these firms is cross-sectionally based on total addressable market (TAM) size and integration of operations, as described by Canuck Analysts Substack2 below: Using this framework for our current areas of interest (rollups), I have been monitoring acquisition multiples in the car dealers (Asbury Automotive), local TV and radio firms (Gray Television), building supply distribution (Builders First Source), Latin American telecommunications (Millicom), cement firms (Asia Cement), equipment leasing firms (Ashtead), and network processing (Net 1 UEPS). In each of these segments, multiples have been modest. None of these firms have done international “diworsifying” deals to date and some have recently divested unrelated firms (Net 1 UEPS, Daelim Industrial and LG Corp). In each of these markets, the market share of the top firms is less than 10% except for GS Retail, where itself and FRB have a dominant share of 31% each, and Millicom, where it has a leading or number two position in eight of its nine markets where it competes. The small market shares provide a large runway for consolidation in its existing industry for years to come. Also, none have made international expansion into new markets outside their existing footprints. A return benchmark developed by the Canuck Analysts Substack3 is shown below: This framework, used in combination with calculating return on incremental capital, can illustrate where the invested capital returns can be modest. As an example, we will look at Asbury Automotive. Asbury’s returns on invested capital averaged 13%, and the return on equity averages 31% over the past 10 years plus an organic growth rate of 2 to 3% per year based upon US auto sales and maintenance service costs. This results in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 15%. The size of Asbury’s acquisitions has been about $1.4 billion over the past five years. Below is Asbury’s return on incremental invested capital over the past 10 years which has averaged in the upper teens during that period. For other serial acquirers like Ashtead, the organic growth rate is 6% and its ROICs over the past 10 years is 14% resulting in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 17%. The size of Ashtead’s acquisitions has been about $2.0 billion over the past five years. Conclusion As always, if you would like to discuss any of the philosophies or investments in deeper detail, then please do not hesitate to reach out. Until next quarter, thank you for your confidence in our work and have a safe and warm year-end holiday season. Warm Regards, Keith D. Smith, CFA Case Study: Millicom International Cellular SA (TIGO) Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO) provides mobile and broadband telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) and South America (Columbia, Bolivia, and Paraguay). TIGO provides legacy voice, wireless and data services, and fiber-based services to firms and individuals. Currently, TIGO has 43.1 million wireless subscribers, including 20.3 million 4G subscribers and 4.9 million home customers, including 8.4 million revenue generating units (RGUs) and 4.1 million broadband subscribers. In addition, TIGO’s network includes 5,400 points of presence and 300,000 business customers. TIGO is the number one or two broadband and wireless provider in eight of the nine markets in which TIGO competes. Recently, TIGO announced the purchase of its joint venture (JV) partner’s share of its JV in Guatemala for $2.2 billion. This transaction will be financed by debt and a shareholder friendly common stock rights offering. TIGO provides mobile money/banking services for five million customers in six countries. TIGO also has 10,000 towers and 13 data centers which can be sold and leased backed. TIGO is in the process of separating its towers and data centers (like Telefónica and América Móvil) and its mobile money/banking service to facilitate sales or investments by third parties. In 2017, TIGO sold 3,410 towers in Columbia, El Salvador, and Paraguay for $417 million or $122,287 per tower. Historically, TIGO operated in both Africa and Latin America. Over the past five years, TIGO has divested its African telecommunications assets and purchased additional assets in Latin America. TIGO’s network passes over 12.2 million homes (24% penetration of total homes) and covers 80% of mobile phones. The firm is in the midst of rolling out fiber to homes to provide broadband connectivity to Latin American customers. This rollout is being funded by cash flow from operations. The firm has been described as building a Charter Communications under a wireless Verizon umbrella. This is similar to our Consolidated Communications play with the additional benefit of having a wireless network and a mobile money business. In most countries in which TIGO operates, they have joint ventures or minority interest local partners. TIGO currently has an average high-speed internet (HSI) penetration rate (a take rate of HSI for homes passed) of about 39% across the countries it serves. This has increased by 1.4% since year-end 2020. To put this in context, most cable broadband penetrations are in the 50% plus range. In seven of the nine countries they serve, TIGO is the number one or two competitor in wireless and broadband in two-player markets (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, and Paraguay) and number three in two markets (Nicaragua and Costa Rica). The Q3 2021 mobile average revenue per RGU was $6.40 per month, and the broadband revenue per RGU was $28.10 per month. The largest shares of proportional EBITDA are from Guatemala (38%), Bolivia (11%), Paraguay (11%), Panama (10%), and Columbia (9%). In terms of regions, 70% of EBITDA is from Central America and 30% from South America. TIGO has developed a customer-focused culture at the corporate and country level using NPS as a metric which is collected and used as a management incentive to increase customer satisfaction. In addition, the countries that TIGO serves have stable currencies versus the US dollar. Since 2000, the EBITDA weighted average currency movements have been only 0.7% per year. Another positive trend is the movement of suppliers to US-based firms moving from China to a closer location with political and currency stability—Central America. If we look at the index of economic freedom for the Central American countries in which TIGO primarily operates, they have a moderately free ranking. For the subcategories most of interest to suppliers (tax burden and trade and business freedom), they all are ranked free or mostly free (highest ratings). Millicom and Fiber-optic Rollout The Latin American telecommunications services market is a local, fragmented market. Consolidation has occurred over the past 10 years amongst these local players, and the next generation of technology (fiber-optic connections) is being rolled out. Fiber-optic rollouts are generating organic growth and economies of scale with high incremental user profitability. Millicom has created economies of scale depending upon the geography of the acquired telecommunications firm. There is also the vertical integration across telecommunications services (like wireless, voice, data, cable, and hosting) in a given geography which can create additional economies of scale. With these rollouts, telecommunications companies compete with the local cable companies—and in some cases wireless providers—to provide HSI and other services to customers in their local footprints. Historically, telecommunications and cable firms have had poor customer service, as evidenced by low net promoter scores (NPSs). Keith Rabois, a founder of PayPal, has tweeted, “Formula for startup success: Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product.” Part of simplifying the solution is providing multiple services and good customer service. The telecommunication services market fits this description. The new fiber rollouts are analogous to organic startups and thus can also be successful in the vertical integration into these markets. Business and Service Analysis One way to look at telecom business is to divide it into slowly growing (wireless) and quickly growing segments (HSI). The slower-growing wireless business is mature and is growing about 2% per year. The HSI business is growing at an 8% annual rate driven by fiber rollouts in TIGO’s countries. Millicom’s overall mix of wireless and HSI revenue is 33% HSI and 67% wireless, with 67% recurring subscription revenue (HSI and post-paid wireless) but varies by country. The current revenue growth rate is 4.3% and will increase to 5%, by the end of 10 years and the HSI/wireless mix approach 50%/50%. If we look at unit economics of the fiber rollout, it is also quite favorable. According to management, the estimated cost to pass each new customer is about $150; and the cost to connect a customer is $100. This is similar to the cost reported by Oi, a telecommunications firm rolling out a fiber-optic network in Brazil. If you have a final penetration rate of 45% using the current HSI monthly charge of $28/month, and a steady-state EBITDA margin of 45% (which management believes are both achievable at scale; the current margin is 40%), then the payback time is between six and seven years, and the unlevered IRR is 26% and a levered return of 52%. See Exhibit A for details. Latin America Broadband Telecommunications Market The broadband telecom business in Latin America is a fragmented market on an international basis and a concentrated market on a country-by-country basis. The market is a local market, so the smaller country markets only have a few competitors. This leads to less price competition for TIGO than in larger, more urban markets where there are more competitors. Gig speed internet and wireless are core infrastructure services that will be required in the internet service economy. Currently, broadband usage is growing at a 30-40%/year rate and is expected to increase going forward, as more bandwidthintensive applications are developed and rolled out over time. Since most of TIGO’s competition is from cable companies and incumbent telecom firms (that have low NPSs), TIGO has an opportunity to provide improved customer service versus the cable companies. This highlights the importance of the decentralized management system, incentivized and shareholding country managers, and including NPSs in management’s incentive compensation at the corporate and country levels. Of the other publicly traded Latin American telecommunications firms, TIGO has the largest potential to increase HSI organic revenue growth (by 8%) via a fiber rollout in its incumbent territories. This can be seen in the projections based upon the currently planned and financed fiber rollout shown in Exhibit B. The tilt toward the faster-growing Central American countries (which should get some opportunities to replace China as exporters to the US) versus the slower-growing South American countries will also add a nice tailwind. The countries TIGO services had an average real GDP growth rate of 3.2% per year over the past five years versus the overall 0.7% GDP growth rate for all of Latin America. Downside Protection TIGO has been reducing debt over the past few years with a current proportional debt/EBITDA of 2.7x and a goal of 2.0x. TIGO has a bond rating of Ba2 and yields 3.5% for five- to 10-year bonds. TIGO is in a defensive business—telecommunications services—which has a large amount of recurring revenue. HSI data revenues are increasing, while wireless revenues are increasing at a slower rate. See below for projections and Exhibit B for more detailed projections. Below is the proportional historical and projected revenue, EBITDA, and FCF since 2016 when the Guatemalan and Honduran JVs were deconsolidated. Management and Incentives One of the risks in emerging-markets investing is management, as they may have different incentives than those to which Western investors are accustomed. In this case, you have a management team based in the US (Miami) that has been historically influenced by the firm’s domicile, Sweden. TIGO is led by a former Liberty Latin America executive, Mauricio Ramos. He brings the Liberty Media playbook (a successful leveraged rollup strategy of cable-related properties and associated shareholder friendly corporate actions) to the markets that TIGO serves. TIGO is listed in Sweden and the United States and brings the corporate governance practices, capital allocation, and shareholder renumeration approaches to its operations throughout Latin America. In many countries, TIGO has local JV partners which provide TIGO with access to the local connections. TIGO has management incentives, including TIGO stock (with minimum levels for country managers) at both the corporate and country levels. The capital allocation is also done at both the corporate and country levels. This country-level capital allocation, incentives, and stock ownership is unusual for a Latin American company. The major categories of capital allocation for TIGO are: 1) purchasing minority interests from partners, 2) investing in the HSI broadband rollout described above, 3) selective acquisitions, 4) repurchasing shares, or 5) distributing dividends. Categories 1, 2, 3 and 4 have the most well-defined and highest returns and have been used by management in the past. In 2020, the CEO’s management compensation was 20% base salary and 80% incentive-based bonus, of which short-term incentive (STI) is 50% equity based (TIGO shares) and 50% cash based and long-term incentive (LTI) is 100% equity based (TIGO shares). The 2020 STI compensation was based on service revenue growth, EBITDA growth, operational cash flow growth, NPS, and other operational goals. The 2020 LTI compensation is based upon service and EBITDA growth and relative total shareholder return versus peers. The 2020 equity-based shares were issued at $38.09 per share, and the 2019 shares were issued at $42.70 per share. Overall, 700,000 shares were granted in 2020 (about 0.7% of shares outstanding per year). The management team owns 0.7% of TIGO common stock. TIGO has stock ownership guidelines of 5x the salary for the CEO, 3x for other senior managers, and 1x for country managers. Valuation The valuation of TIGO is an interesting exercise because its expected growth rate is accelerated by the fiber rollout and share buybacks described above. The implied growth using the Graham Formula, adjusted to today’s interest rates ((8.5 + 2g)*(4.4/AAA bond rate)) and the current P/E, is -1.8%, clearly implying that the market expects TIGO’s cash flows to continue to decline. Some benchmarks for growth are the projected sales growth rates of 4.5% per year (based upon the fiber rollout), an EBITDA growth rate of 6% per year, and an adjusted free cash flow growth of 12%. The question is whether this growth rate is sustainable over the next seven years. Given the key penetration, margin, investment, and timing assumptions in the projection model, I believe it is. TIGO is the only Latin American publicly traded telecom firm that has a rollout of this magnitude (adding 18% to revenue) scheduled over the next five to seven years. One firm that also has a Latin American footprint is Liberty Latin America (LILA). LILA has grown revenues and EBITDA at about 8% per year since 2015. The EBITDA margin is similar to TIGO, but historically the conversion to FCF from EBITDA was 50% less than TIGO—25% for TIGO and closer to 12% for LILA. The current FCF multiple of LILA is about 16x. If that multiple is applied to TIGO’s FCF, it yields a value of $74 per share, which I believe is a reasonable 12-month target. If, over the five to seven years, a 12% FCF growth is attained, then the earnings will be $8.19. Applying a 23.8x multiple to these earnings (implying a 4% growth rate over the subsequent seven years) means a value of $195 per share is obtained. Another way to look at valuation is on an enterprise basis. If we value TIGO on a forward EBITDA basis of 9x EBITDA (the current multiple of cable overbuilder WOW!), then the resulting value is $200 per share. If we consider both benchmarks, then a $200 price target is not unreasonable. See Exhibit B for details. This results in a five-year IRR of about 42%. In addition to the core assets, TIGO has about 10,000 towers (with an additional 2,000 under construction), 13 data centers, and a mobile banking division. According to management, these non-core assets are being prepared for either sale-leasebacks or investments by third parties. The estimated value of the towers and data centers is about $2 billion—$1.1 billion for the towers and $900 million for the data centers. The tower valuation of $1.4 billion is based upon an estimated value per tower of $120k based upon tower transaction values (TIGO’s historic transactions averaged $122k/tower and a 2021 Telxius transaction was $110k/tower, 9,300 Latin American towers for €900 million) and Telesites’s current valuation of $252k/tower times 12,000 towers. The data center valuation of $750 million is based upon an estimated value per data center of $58k which is based upon Latin American data center transactions (Anxel data centers were purchase by Equinix for $58k/center, three data centers for $175 million, and Telefónica data centers were purchased by Asterion for $58k/data center, nine data centers for €550 million) times 13 data center. Adding together the towers and data centers, the total valuation of these assets is $2.1 billion. The mobile banking division (TIGO Money) can be valued using a range of values based upon the value of African mobile banking firms and Latin American neobank firms. The mobile banking business had 5 million customers and 48 million transactions in 2020. If we use African mobile banking transactions (20 million Airtel customers were purchased for $2.6 billion and 46 million MTN customers were purchased for $5.0 billion), the average value per user is $121. If we use $121/customer times 5 million transactions, it implies a $600 million value for TIGO Money. If we use recent Latin American neobank transactions (40 million Nubank (Brazil) customers were purchased for a $30 billion valuation and 3.5 million Ualá (Argentina) customers were purchased for a $2.45 billion valuation), the average value per user is $750. If we use the midpoint of the African mobile banking and Latin American neobanks of $435, we get $435 times 5 million customers, and the resulting value is $2.2 billion. This is additional value of $2.7 to $4.2 billion ($27 to $42 per share) in addition to the core business value estimated above. So, for example, if you assume a 12% FCF growth rate and the value of non-core assets, you get a total value of $255 to $270 per share. Comparables Given the fiber rollout and the size of TIGO, the comparable firms include US and Italian small-cap telecommunications firms. One of the larger issues in Latin American firms versus developed markets is currency risk, however; as described above, TIGO’s currency risk is similar to developed markets’ risk. The following are the comparable firms in the US and Italian telecommunications markets. The smaller Italian telecom firms have smaller floats than the US firms and are majority controlled (70%+) by the original owners. There have been some private equity acquisitions in the US rural local exchange carriers (RLEC) space, namely Cincinnati Bell and Alaska Communications. These firms have a similar dynamic associated with their respective fiber rollouts, and private equity firms have invested in these firms for similar reasons that make CNSL attractive. Cincinnati Bell has been purchased by the private equity firm Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, which outbid an original offer from Brookfield Asset Management. Alaska Communications is also in the process of being purchased by ATN International and Freedom 3 Capital. The EV/EBITDA paid by these buyers was 6.5 to 6.9x EBITDA for assets with lower margins than the current price of TIGO (4.6x EBITDA). Benchmarking In comparison to other US and Italian firms, TIGO has above-average (but good) FCF ROE and a high EBITDA margin. With TIGO’s fiber rollout and customer take-up, the fixed asset turns and ROEs should increase. With these favorable operational metrics, TIGO has one of the lowest current and 2021 P/FCF ratios of either group. Risks The primary risks to achieving a target valuation of $72 per share for TIGO include: a lower-than-expected broadband penetration of fiber rollout communities; and a quicker-than-expected decline in the legacy telecom lines. Potential Upside/Catalysts The primary upsides/catalysts include: faster-than-expected penetration of uptake of broadband services; operational leverage due to economies of scale; and re-rating to reflect higher growth. Timeline/Investment Horizon The short-term target is $72, which is more than double today’s price. I think the investment thesis can play out over the next three to five years. By that time, TIGO’s net income and earnings should have appreciated by 75%, and the fair multiple could triple with a 4% increased growth rate. If that is the case, then TIGO will attain a 6.7x return to $235 over five years or 46% annualized. This is similar to a “Davis double,” where both underlying earnings increase along with the fair value multiple. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

Buy These 2 Stocks Before December Earnings?

Investors likely want to remain on the hunt for strong stocks as we enter the final month of 2021. Here are two modern retail stocks that investors might want to consider buying... Stocks bounced back on Monday following Friday’s big Omicron variant-focused selloff. The quick pullback was driven by real fears and lower holiday volume. Investors began pouring back into the markets to start the week as Wall Street appeared to determine that the new covid strain likely won’t have as significant of an impact as initially feared.Covid and new strains are likely here to stay and investors and consumers have largely proven they are willing to focus on signs of progress in favor of fears. It is also worth constantly remembering that selling is a healthy aspect of all well-functioning markets, especially one that’s soared for over a year and a half.Looking back, investors helped wash away all of the losses from the September and early October downturn in a matter of weeks. And the bulls appear to be in control, at least for now, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both trading well above their 50-day moving averages despite Friday’s big drops.There could certainly be more selling and profit-taking in December. Luckily, the positive backdrop for stocks remains in place even in the face of continued supply chain bottlenecks, rising prices, and difficulty filling millions of open jobs.First off, interest rates will remain historically low for the foreseeable future no matter when the Fed starts to lift its core rate. Secondly, the S&P 500 earnings picture remains strong. And U.S. consumer spending was solid in October, which is a great sign for the entire pivotal holiday shopping period.With this in mind, investors likely want to remain on the hunt for strong stocks as we enter the final month of 2021. Here are two modern retail stocks that investors might want to consider buying…Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLululemon LULU– (Q3 Financial Results Due Out Thursday, December 9)Lululemon has transformed from a small high-end yoga clothing maker 20 years ago into a global apparel powerhouse. The company currently sells an array of athletic apparel for women and men, alongside clothing that can be worn to work, dates, the golf course, and beyond. LULU has also rolled out self-care items, more outwear such as coats, and other accessory-style products.The athletic retailer expanded beyond clothing and apparel last year when it bought digital-focused at-home fitness company Mirror. The purchase has already outperformed LULU’s expectations and it’s adding additional live and on-demand digital workout content and putting more Mirror ‘shop-in-shops’ within Lululemon locations—200 excepted by the holiday season.Lululemon closed last quarter with 534 total company-operated stores, up from 506 in the prior-year period. LULU is focused on expanding in Asia and Europe, while continuing to improve its digital offerings. The company topped our Q2 estimates and raised its guidance, with e-commerce accounting for 42% of revenue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLooking ahead, Zacks estimates call for fiscal 2021 revenue to surge 42% to $6.26 billion, with FY22 projected to come in another 17% higher to hit $7.33 billion. This growth, which is driven in part by Mirror, follows 11% top-line expansion last year and FY19’s 21%. Meanwhile, its adjusted earnings are projected to soar 60% and 21%, respectively during this stretch.Lululemon has beaten our EPS estimates by an average of 25% in the trailing four periods, including a 36% beat last quarter. The company’s consensus earnings estimates have climbed recently and its Most Accurate estimates (or the newest) are higher. This bottom-line positivity helps LULU land a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) right now. Plus, 15 of the 21 broker recommendations we have for Lululemon are “Strong Buys,” with none below a “Hold.” The athleisure firm also boasts a strong balance sheet and its Textile-Apparel space sits in the top 20% of over 250 Zacks industries.LULU hit records in mid-November, with shares up 45% in the last six months. This run helped end an up-and-down stretch that saw the stock move roughly sideways for nearly a year. Longer-term, Lululemon stock has skyrocketed over 700% in the last five years to crush its industry’s 75% and the S&P 500’s 120%. Despite sitting near its records, LULU trades at a 20% discount against its own year-long highs in terms of forward earnings and sales. And the recent market pullback has it near neutral RSI levels at 56, which could give it room to run if it’s able to impress Wall Street next week.Chewy CHWY – (Q3 Financial Results Due Out Thursday, December 9)Chewy is an e-commerce pet store that went public in 2019. The company has expanded rapidly as consumers gravitate toward convenience in the form of delivery and beyond. CHWY sells pet food, supplies, treats, medications, and more for a variety of animals. Chewy has found success by adding loyal pet owners to its ranks, with roughly 70% of sales coming from its Autoship business that allows people to have food and more delivered at regular intervals.Chewy posted a banner year in 2020 on the back of the pandemic. The firm added 43% more users in 2020 to close the year with 19.2 million. The company, which has been in business for over a decade, has also moved far beyond food and toys. Its offerings include a telehealth service called Connect with a Vet and a beefed-up pet pharmacy platform.Unfortunately for Chewy, the near-perfect backdrop to succeed in business and on Wall Street is over as people return to their normal lives. The firm fell short of revenue estimates last quarter—which it rarely does—and it reported a larger-than-projected quarterly loss. Chewy did close Q2 with 20.1 million customers, up 21% from the year-ago quarter and its revenue climbed 27%. But Wall Street has continued to dump the stock amid rising costs and slowing growth.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks estimates call for CHWY’s FY21 revenue to climb 25% to $8.95 billion and then pop 19% higher in 2022. These estimates would follow a 47% climb last year and 37% expansion in FY19. Meanwhile, its adjusted earnings are projected to slip 11% this year to $0.08 a share, with its FY22 figure expected to skyrocket 320% to $0.33 a share.Chewy’s overall consensus earnings estimates have trended lower since its last report to help it grab a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at the moment. And it’s part of a group that’s in the bottom 11% of all Zacks industries. That said, nine of the 15 brokerage recommendations Zacks has are “Strong Buys” and it operates a business that isn’t going out of style anytime soon, even though its days of huge 40% growth might be over.CHEWY shares dipped on Monday as the market climbed and it has now fallen over 20% this year, including a 23% drop since its Q2 release. Taking a step back, Chewy is still up 190% in the last two years and its current Zacks consensus price target of $98.33 a share represents 45% upside to Monday’s levels.The pullback has Chewy trading at over a 50% discount to its own year-long highs at 2.8X forward 12-month sales. And the nearby chart shows CHWY attempting to return to its 50-day moving average. That said, some investors might want to wait for more signs of a comeback, especially given that Wall Street is currently betting somewhat heavily against the stock—short interest at roughly 20% of the float. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0% You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report lululemon athletica inc. (LULU): Free Stock Analysis Report Chewy (CHWY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 29th, 2021

I Tried Buying Only Used Holiday Gifts. It Changed How I Think About Shopping

Pre-owned or vintage gifts are often better for the environment, and won't run into the supply chain issues facing new goods made overseas. I love the double dopamine hit that comes from buying something new—the rush when you click “purchase,” and the second one when it arrives at your door and you tear open the box. And there are plenty of real benefits to our incredibly efficient online shopping network: grocery shipping is shrinking food deserts, rural communities with few store options can quickly and easily get items they otherwise couldn’t have, and the time we used to spend driving to stores and searching for things that may have been out of stock we can now spend more productively. But over the last few years, I’ve had a front-row seat to all the problems created by Americans’ obsession with shopping. I’ve seen cargo ships idling off the coast of Long Beach because the ports are so backlogged, containers stacked high as apartment buildings, the horizon a smoggy cloud of emissions. I’ve talked to truckers who spend weeks living out of their vehicles, prohibited from using the bathrooms at the warehouses where they’re waiting for hours to unload goods, all to get paid barely minimum wage. I’ve interviewed Amazon workers about the physical demands of packing goods in the fast-moving warehouses that provide much of the stuff we buy, and I’ve even undertaken the stressful toll of delivering Amazon packages myself. I’ve tried to look away as we devour resources like trees, water, and rare earth minerals in the pursuit of making more, more, more. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] This year, I was feeling too guilty to buy my family new holiday gifts from Amazon. COP26 reminded me that nearly half—45%—of greenhouse gas emissions come from the way we make and use products and food, meaning that this consumption that drives our economy is also choking the planet. And even as scientists try to capture our attention about the urgency of reducing emissions, we’re consuming more and more. U.S. shoppers spent a record $638 billion in October at stores and restaurants, up 22% from October 2019. Forecasters are predicting even more spending in a holiday season where some families may be seeing each other for the first time in two years. Read More: How American Shoppers Broke the Supply Chain Was there a way, I wondered, to keep getting that nice little feeling I get when I buy something without also ruining the planet? Advocates talk of a Circular Economy where, instead of buying things, using them, and throwing them away, we reduce what we buy and reuse a lot more stuff. Even big companies are eyeing the practice; Apple announced last week that it would allow customers to repair their own iPhones, a giant shift in how they approach devices. ThredUp, an online resale company was valued at $1.3 billion in its IPO in March, after GlobalData projected the market for secondhand goods would double to $64 billion by 2024. ThredUp says that if everyone bought one used item instead of a new one this holiday season, we’d save 4.5 billion pounds of carbon, the equivalent of planting 66 million trees, and 25 billion gallons of water. I’ve long tried to buy used clothes and acquire toys and other household items from sites like NextDoor, Craigslist, and Buy Nothing, a Facebook group where members of your community post things they no longer need and anyone can claim them. (Buy Nothing recently launched an app, too.) But gifting used is a whole new arena. Still, the U.S. drives the world’s largest share of consumption-related emissions, and many of the things we buy are purchased for the sake of giving a gift and will sit languishing in a closet, unused. Maybe it was time to expand the circular economy to gifting, too. Jeremy M. Lange for TIMENovember 20, 2021. Carrboro, North Carolina. Sarah Urquhart browses the aisles at CommunityWorx Thrift Shop. Sarah tries to avoid buying new items and typically shops for herself and friends at thrift stores throughout the area. The rise of pre-owned I’m not the only person thinking this way. TheRealReal, a luxury resale site, saw a 60% increase in orders with gift boxes from 2019 to 2020. Poshmark, a secondhand clothing site, has seen a 31% increase in vintage sales in men’s clothing from last year. ThredUp has seen orders increase 28% from the third quarter in 2020 to the same period this year. And eBay reported $19.5 billion in sales in the last quarter, up 9% compared to the same period in 2019. This is all happening at the same time that younger generations are embracing “vintage” and “pre-owned” and buying clothes on online resale sites like Depop, which was acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billon earlier this year. Buy Nothing groups now have 4.3 million participants across the country, having grown by about 2 million people during the pandemic. Stress about the supply chain has also contributed to this turn toward used stuff, says Jordan Sweetnam, eBay’s general manager of the North Americas market. “People who may have been on the fence about shopping pre-owned are going to go to a traditional retailer and just see empty shelves,” he says. Already, on eBay, sales of certified refurbished products are up 25% since June, he says. Baby Boomers may still balk at the idea of using someone’s old blender, he says, but Generation Z has no qualms buying used goods, whether it be clothes or electronics. Read More: Why Is Everything More Expensive Right Now? Let This Stuffed Giraffe Explain Supply chain bottlenecks coupled with a growing disgust with rampant consumerism motivated Maria Patterson to accelerate her practice of not buying anything new for the holidays. Patterson, a 29-year-old mom in Austin, Tex., usually makes a craft like hot sauce or recipe books or beeswax wraps and gives them to many of the people on her gift list. She used to buy some new items around the holidays, but this year, she’s trying to not buy anything at all. It’s easy to bake treats or give a friend a sweater of yours they’ve always admired, she says, or just give less stuff overall. “The world cannot continue with the level of consumption that it currently has,” she says. I don’t mind receiving used gifts: for my November birthday, I asked my parents to gift me a used hiking Deuter backpack in mint condition from Craigslist, saving hundreds of dollars in the process. I’m always scouring the “finds” section of NextDoor for free kid stuff that’s being given away so I don’t have to buy clothes that my son will outgrow in a matter of months; I got a giant Fisher Price Jumperoo on Buy Nothing that my son loved until we couldn’t tolerate the space it took up, and we gave it to the next family. But giving used stuff to other people seems different. Spending less money on a used gift somehow feels like indicating the receiver is less valuable to you, which of course is not the intent. People who grew up wearing used clothes for financial reasons say they don’t want to revisit the stigma of having old stuff. Plus I’ve gotten accustomed to the ease of buying something on Amazon, not having to pay for shipping, and knowing it will arrive in time for a birthday or special event. A few gifts were easy to find used. I got my brother a Red Sox collectible Monopoly set from eBay because he loves sports and playing board games. From Facebook Marketplace, I found a used bamboo balance board for a standing desk for my husband, who has been half-jokingly asking for a treadmill under his home standing desk. I found a toy wooden dinosaur at a neighbor’s “free store”—they put out stuff to give away daily—and resolved to wrap it for my son in an old Amazon box, which he would probably enjoy as much as the toy. Read More: Price Hikes Will Likely Continue Through the End of 2021, Fed Signals But when I started looking for specific items, shopping used started to get a lot harder. My dad’s sweaters are always getting holes, but buying a used sweater would probably just mean they’d get holes even more quickly. My husband needed new sleepwear, but even I felt a little weird about getting him used pajamas. My mom likes painting, but I didn’t think there was such a thing as used paint. My son needed some shoes because he had outgrown the old ones, but kids’ shoes take such a beating I wondered if I’d be able to find any used that weren’t falling apart. Besides, after years of shopping on Amazon, where items are listed with multiple pictures, from many angles, and now even include videos, the presentation on sites like ThredUp and eBay left me feeling a little cold. On ThredUp, sweaters are poised on white headless mannequin torsos, and bizarrely, the site doesn’t seem to have a Men’s section. I know free shipping is bad for the environment, since it incentivizes people to buy, buy, buy, but I couldn’t help but balk at the shipping rates on some items. One eBay seller wanted me to pay $21.15 for shipping alone, which probably accurately reflects the environmental cost, but was more than the item itself. I settled with what seemed to me like a compromise—I found some RockDove Memory Foam slippers for my husband, whose old ones came from Amazon and are currently in shreds—on eBay, but they were in new condition, according to the seller, with the tags still on. I bought them for less than they cost on Amazon, paid $2.99 for shipping, and tried not to think about whether they had fallen off the back of a truck. Jeremy M. Lange for TIMESarah Urquhart browses the aisles at CommunityWorx Thrift Shop. Sarah tries to avoid buying new items and typically shops for herself and friends at thrift stores throughout the area. What will happen to the U.S. economy? Of course, if Americans stop buying so much new stuff, the economy could crater, which is exactly what happened at the beginning of the pandemic when people hunkered down and didn’t go out. GDP growth fell 31% in the second quarter of 2020, as Americans stopped spending. Millions of people lost their jobs as economists wondered how bad things could get. If Americans stopped buying so much new stuff, a very similar situation could unfold, says William Emmons, the lead economist in the division of Supervision, Credit, and Learning at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of economic growth in the U.S., and while much of that is spending on services like meals out or massages, a big chunk of it is also all the stuff we buy for our homes and loved ones. With less consumer spending, there would be fewer jobs; Amazon alone employed 1.3 million people at the end of 2020. There would be less money created in the economy, and since so many government programs like the recent infrastructure bill are funded by taxing earnings, there might be less money for those programs, too. There’s a reason that federal policy in recessions has often been to give people stimulus money to spend—the government knows that increasing consumer spending will jumpstart the economy. Read More: 6 Things to Know (About Yourself) to Have a Successful Black Friday “The big rise in consumer spending we’re talking about may not be the best from its environmental consequences, and it is exacerbating distributional questions,” says William Emmons, the lead economist in the division of Supervision, Credit, and Learning at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “But it may be the most feasible way to keep the motor running.” Sweetnam, of eBay, argues that if people started buying more used goods, other businesses would spring up to create value for the economy. There could be new businesses that sell used goods, that refurbish old clothes, that collect old products to make them new again. There are already companies that have succeeded in embracing the circular economy—Lehigh Technologies in Atlanta takes old tires and rubber waste and turns it into a type of rubber powder that can be used in construction. But economists say that just switching to a circular economy outright could be catastrophic in the short term because so much of economic growth right now depends on people buying lots and lots of new stuff. They say the best way to get people to stop buying so much wasteful stuff is to levy a carbon tax, which would make goods that have larger carbon footprints more expensive. Read More: ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Apps Are Taking Over Holiday Shopping Season. Here’s What to Know About the Risks Right now, says Mark Zandi, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, we’re not paying the true cost of the products we’re consuming. Since it is often cheaper to buy a new toy made from virgin materials in China and then shipped across the ocean than it is to buy a high-quality used toy from a stranger, that’s become the default way to shop, he says. A carbon tax could change that equation, by making people pay not just for the cost of the toy, but for the environmental cost of all the carbon its production generated. People will think twice about buying flights if they cost $600 instead of $300, he says, and the planet will benefit if the money raised is invested in new technology. A carbon tax would also save shoppers like me the headache of trying to figure out what gifts are more and less environmentally friendly. Buying your kid a used car might be worse for the planet than buying a new one, because older cars tend to have higher carbon emissions. “We just have to price carbon and if you do, the cost of things we spend money on that have a high carbon footprint will cost more, we will buy less of it,” Zandi says. “That’s the magic of our system: prices work.” Changing the way we shop Apple may be changing its approach by allowing customers to reuse and repair its devices, but there still isn’t a huge economy for buying high-quality used stuff. I felt guilty that I couldn’t find much used stuff that I felt comfortable gifting, but a nanny named Sarah Urquhart helped me realize that until companies fully embrace the circular economy, I would have to change how I bought gifts. Urquhart wasn’t always a nanny. She used to work at an Amazon call center. Saddened by the amount of waste she saw—of people endlessly buying things and returning them—she decided to change the way she shops. American affluence has meant most of us go into the holiday season in November and start thinking about what specific things our family members want and how to acquire them. It’s always been easy to make a list, and then tick the items off one by one, and online shopping has made it even easier. “It was just a culture I didn’t want to be a part of anymore,” Urquhart says. This year, she’s holding what she calls “Merry Thriftmas.” Buying used, she says, won’t work if you start shopping with specific gifts in mind. “If you’re only looking for that thing, you’re not going to be successful,” she says. Instead, she keeps an eye out year-round for used stuff that might appeal to a friend or family member, and then she sets it aside until the holidays. She doesn’t shop with a list of things her family members need; she keeps an open mind for things that might make her family laugh, or smile, or might make their life easier. Jeremy M. Lange for TIME. Urquhart bought a coffee mug that she says looks like her father in law. Sheet music that Ms. Urquhart collects to make wrapping paper with. She’s found some good gifts recently. There was a mug that looks exactly like her father-in-law, and a like-new Buzz Lightyear doll for the kids she nannies. She sanitized the doll, she says, “and it was the happiest kid I’d ever seen.” Her mother-in-law plays the piano, so she found some old sheet music to wrap her gift in—Urquhart hasn’t yet thrifted the right gift, though. Urquhart, who is also a member of her local Buy Nothing groups, says that giving used gifts can be much more satisfying than buying new. When she gives away and picks up things from Buy Nothing, she makes a connection to her neighbors that has much more longevity than her connection to a random box that arrives at her doorstep. She can now point to the houses where she’s picked something up or dropped something off. Finding the just the right unique used gift gives her even more of a dopamine hit than buying something new, she says. So does giving away something on Buy Nothing and learning that the person you gave it to really loves it. The day I talked to Urquhart, I gave away an agility ladder on my local Buy Nothing group that my husband bought to get in shape before our wedding, but had been sitting in our closet for a year. I dropped it through a gate on the way to pick up my son from daycare, and I got a message from the recipient telling me she works at a nursing home and was going to use it to help residents relearn how to step over things for fall prevention. Now, every time I pick up my son from daycare, I imagine elderly people gingerly stepping through my old bright yellow agility ladder—improving their fitness and unknowingly reducing carbon emissions all at once. It still makes me smile, which, you could argue, is the point of the holiday season.    .....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 24th, 2021

Casey"s General Stores (CASY) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.60 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.32% move from the prior day. In the latest trading session, Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.60, marking a +0.32% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.17%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.55%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.4%.Prior to today's trading, shares of the convenience store chain had gained 3.34% over the past month. This has outpaced the Retail-Wholesale sector's gain of 1.41% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.19% in that time.Casey's General Stores will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be December 7, 2021. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.78, down 7.33% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $3.15 billion, up 42.05% from the year-ago period.Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $8.68 per share and revenue of $12.02 billion. These totals would mark changes of +3.58% and +38.05%, respectively, from last year.Any recent changes to analyst estimates for Casey's General Stores should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. Casey's General Stores currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Digging into valuation, Casey's General Stores currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 23.05. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 20.49.The Retail - Convenience Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 3, putting it in the top 2% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.To follow CASY in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

6 Stay-at-Home ETFs Likely to Gain on Renewed Lockdown Fears

COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe once again stirred fears of further spread of infections. This raises the chances of another wave of COVID-19 in other parts of the world, which could boost the demand for stay-at-home stocks and ETFs. Nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe once again stirred fears of further spread of infections. New restrictions beyond the continent weighed on the broader U.S. market as travel restrictions have been easing slowly.This raises the chances of another wave of COVID-19 in other parts of the world.The United States may be more vulnerable in winter than many European countries, as per Jim Reid, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, as quoted on Yahoo Finance. Going by recent history, Reid said that the United States has a higher bar for economic restrictions related to COVID-19. Then again, it has a lower rate of vaccination rate than its European peers.Stay-at-home ETFs and technology ETFs should stay strong if the fears sustain. As we all know, Internet stocks are pandemic winners as these have less to do with human contact. The coronavirus scare favored    the online retailing industry as any kind of lockdown and self-imposed quarantine boost the demand for online shopping and other kinds of Internet activities.This puts the spotlight on ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF GAMR, Direxion Work From Home ETF WFH, Global X Cloud Computing ETF CLOU, VanEck Semiconductor ETF SMH and Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY and iShares Biotechnology ETF IBB.The coronavirus-led restrictions last year resulted in an e-commerce boom and stay-at-home activities. The new restrictions are expected to lead to the same trend. As such, people will again choose to stay indoors, which in turn would boost demand for cloud computing, gaming, e-sports, streaming services as well as online shopping. Additionally, investors will continue to pile up software shares, which are apparently more insulated from the impacts of the virus.ETFs in Focus ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF The video game industry has been a winner in the ongoing health crisis. For nine months, the total consumer spending on gaming rose 12% year over year to $42.28 billion. It is impressive to observe that the video gaming industry is witnessing strong sales growth despite tough year-over-year comparisons, highlighting the strength in the space (read: Bet on These Video Gaming ETFs to Gain From Surging Sales).The underlying EEFund Video Game Tech Index tracks companies actively involved in the electronic gaming industry, including the entertainment, education and simulation segments. ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF charges 75 bps in fees.Global X Cloud Computing ETF Cloud computing and storage are expected to stay in vogue in 2021. The space has received quite a push amid the coronavirus outbreak with a vast population working from home across the globe. Considering the renewed COVID-19 fear, demand for cloud computing is set to stay robust in the coming days.The underlying Indxx Global Cloud Computing Index provides exposure to exchange-listed companies in developed and emerging markets that are positioned to benefit from the increased adoption of the cloud computing technology. The Zacks Rank #2 Global X Cloud Computing ETF charges 68 bps in fees.Direxion Work From Home ETF The underlying Solactive Remote Work Index comprises U.S.-listed securities and ADRs of companies that provide products and services in at least one of the following business segments that facilitate the ability of people to work from home: remote communications, cyber security, online project and document management, and cloud computing technologies. The Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) Direxion Work From Home ETF charges 45 bps in fees.VanEck Semiconductor ETF The semiconductor space has been on a tear as the pandemic has bolstered the demand for chips, leading to the worst global shortage in many years. Corporate earnings from the likes of Nvidia (NVDA), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have been upbeat. The recent upsurge in the electric vehicle industry and increased awareness for clean energy have also made the semiconductor industry an investors’ darling (read: 4 ETF Areas Near One-Year High With More Room for Growth).The underlying MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in semiconductor production and equipment. The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) VanEck Semiconductor ETF charges 35 bps in fees.Amplify Online Retail ETF According to the National Retail Federation (“NRF”), holiday season sales in 2021 are projected to surpass all existing records during November and December and rise 8.5-10.5% year over year to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. Holiday sales increased 8.2% in 2020 to hit a record of $770 billion. The NRF projects online and other non-store sales increase of 11% to 15% to between $218.3 billion and $226 billion compared with $196.7 billion in 2020.The underlying EQM Online Retail Index utilizes a rules-based methodology to select a globally diverse group of companies with 70% or more of revenues from online and virtual sales. Amplify Online Retail ETF charges 65 bps in fees.iShares Biotechnology ETFWith the spread of COVID-19 resuming all over again, all focus will shift to the booster shots of vaccines and antiviral therapies. Hence, iShares Biotechnology ETF, which has considerable exposure to Moderna, should prevail.The underlying ICE Biotechnology Index contains securities of NASDAQ-listed companies that are classified as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals. iShares Biotechnology ETF charges 45 bps in fees. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB): ETF Research Reports VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH): ETF Research Reports Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR): ETF Research Reports Global X Cloud Computing ETF (CLOU): ETF Research Reports Direxion Work From Home ETF (WFH): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 22nd, 2021