Public companies, firms that have their shares trade on an exchange, must make their financial reports available for investors to research every quarter, or four times a year. In an earnings report, a firm must supply revenue, expenses, net income, earnings per share, and all of the details in an income statement, cash flow, and balance sheet. Usually the months following the quarter-end are busiest, as this is when most companies will report their earnings.
The housing market picked up steam in July after some stalling in the first half of the year, which was negatively affected by bad winter conditions in the first quarter. Housing starts surged 15.7% to a seasonally adjusted 1.09 million units in July, the market’s highest production in eight months. This break of one million units is key. Plus, the lagging building permits number was equally strong at an annualized 1.05 million units, up 7.7% year-over-year and 8.1% sequentially versus June.
The metrics clearly indicate a housing market that is strong and growing. Low interest rates continue to be the catalyst that is driving the housing market with the help of an improving jobs market.
An area that I continue to favor going forward in the housing market is the home construction and renovation supplies sector, as homeowners move to renovate their homes.
In this segment, the “Best of Breed” is The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE/HD), which beat earnings-per-share (EPS) estimates and revenues in its second-quarter earnings season. The company also reported an increase of 5.8% on company-wide same-store sales in the quarter, including a 6.4% year-over-year rise in the U.S. housing market. The Home Depot can be a great stock for buy-and-hold investors, but with a market cap of more than $120 billion, there are alternative growth plays investors may want to consider that aren’t so expensive.
In the small-cap construction and renovation housing market, you may want to take a look at a stock like Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ/BLDR), which has a market cap of $669 million.
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Builders FirstSource focuses on the residential new … Read More
Good numbers are one thing, but stocks did go up in advance of what’s turning out to be a fairly decent earnings season.
It’s not unreasonable at all to expect the market to take a solid break, perhaps for the next two to three months. Of course, predicting corrections and/or consolidations among stocks is a difficult endeavor in an era of extreme monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve is slowly chipping it away, but it remains very committed to helping capital markets, especially as the economic data continues to be pretty soft.
Stocks are still looking stretched and this market is tired. A 10% to 20% correction would be a healthy development for the longer-run trend. Stocks need a catalyst for this to happen. It could come out of nowhere, and I’m reluctant to be a buyer with so many positions trading at record-highs.
Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), a large U.S. auto parts manufacturer, had a modestly positive third fiscal quarter with sales growing three percent to $10.8 billion due to more sales in China.
The company had some one-time restructuring charges during the quarter. Earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding restructuring and one-time items) grew a hefty 17% to $0.84. Management confirmed its full-year guidance, which pleased the Street, but the position is breaking down a bit.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company’s (DD) numbers were uninspiring and the company tried to keep investors interested with a four-percent increase to its quarterly dividend. The position’s starting to roll over and with agriculture being such an important part of the company’s business, changing preferences among farmers hurt its … Read More
It wasn’t too long ago that NIKE, Inc. (NKE) reported another great quarter of solid growth in its business.
The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter numbers beat Wall Street consensus, and its sales from continuing operations grew 11% to $7.4 billion, or 13% on a currency-neutral basis.
In this market, double-digit growth is significant no matter if it’s in the top or bottom line.
Like the last several earnings seasons, corporations are typically only beating consensus on one financial metric (either earnings or revenues). But this is enough to keep investors buying.
Under Armour, Inc. (UA) blew the doors off of Wall Street consensus and the stock shot strongly higher.
The company reported a surge in new apparel sales. Total revenues grew a whopping 34% over the second quarter of last year to $610 million.
Breaking it down, the company’s apparel revenues grew 35% to $420 million, while footwear sales grew 34% to $110 million on new product offerings. The company experienced significant sales growth of 30% in North America, while international sales doubled (representing approximately 10% of total revenues).
Previous guidance for 2014 was for sales growth of between 24% and 25% over 2013. Management boosted this guidance to between 28% and 29%, with operating income expected to grow between 29% and 30% over last year.
This time last year, Under Armour was trading around $35.00 per share. It’s doubled since then, and the position has further momentum in this market.
It is pricey, however, with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of around 60. But the stock is likely to stay this way; the business has operational momentum, and that’s what … Read More
Earnings season is always a great time of year to get up to speed on what corporations are saying about business conditions. The numbers are also useful in the sense that you can garner a lot of market intelligence regarding specific industries. And even if you aren’t interested in a specific company, brand-name earnings (or at least a summary of the numbers) can help hone your market view.
But it’s not just about how capital markets interpret corporate results. While earnings are managed, investors need to know if there is genuine sales growth taking place and in which market.
One trend that’s been evident for a number of quarters now is that many companies have been able to modestly increase their prices without materially affecting demand.
During the first-quarter earnings season, many corporations said that their operations in Europe were experiencing renewed vigor. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues this earnings season. Many times, quarterly results reflect one-time events or short spurts in either industrial or consumer demand that aren’t indicative of a new trend you can bet on.
Earnings reports are simply press releases in which companies put their best spin on what’s transpired during the quarter. The real news is the numbers themselves, and a company’s income statement and balance sheets are where I begin to look.
Also invaluable are U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, especially the Form 10-Q, which is a much more informative document. The numbers can still be unaudited in the quarterly filings, but not the Form 10-Q, which is a detailed annual report that requires fully audited numbers…. Read More
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