An equity market refers is an organized secondary financial market where shares of common and preferred stock of corporations are traded. These shares typically trade on a stock exchange, which are now mostly virtual in nature. An equity market is the same as a stock market.
Amid all the turmoil in capital markets, I’m reminded of all the good corporate earnings being released.
Of course, the stock market is a system of discounting future business conditions and the recent sell-off has been pronounced, but stocks have come so far over the last several years. If the catalysts were deflationary pressures among oil prices and global economic activity, a little haircut in share prices is well deserved.
One of the first businesses to show a real turnaround after the financial crisis sent stocks and the economy tanking was Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO).
The first thing that dries up when there’s a shock to the economy is spending on luxury items and/or non-essential products. Likewise, the recreational vehicle market is very sensitive to prevailing economic conditions. For a number of years now, however, Winnebago Industries has been on a turnaround roll.
Based in Forest City, Iowa, the company’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2014 (ended August 30, 2014) saw revenues improve a solid 15% to $246 million, up from $214 million in the same quarter last year.
The company reported that it experienced a 15% improvement in total motorhome sales. A 25% comparable gain in motorhome unit growth was offset by lower average selling prices.
Earnings came in solid with management noting particular bottom-line strength in towable recreational vehicles. Total fourth-quarter operating earnings grew 19% to $18.3 million. Net earnings grew to $12.9 million for a comparable quarterly gain of 22%, while net earnings per diluted share improved 26% to $0.48.
All in all, it was another very good financial report from Winnebago Industries and the company just reinstated … Read More
Over the past few months, I warned my readers the stock market had become a risky place to be. While I also suggested euphoria could bring the market higher than most thought possible—to the point of irrationality—the bubble has now burst. Key stock indices are falling and fear among investors is rising quickly.
Please look at the chart below of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index (VIX). This index is often referred to as the “fear index” for key stock indices. If this index rises, it means investors fear a market sell-off. If it declines, investors are complacent and not worried about the stock market falling.
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
In just the last 18 trading days (between September 19 and October 15), the VIX has jumped 122% and now stands at the highest level since mid-2012. It has also moved way beyond its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which shows strength and momentum to the upside from a technical perspective.
Sadly, the VIX isn’t the only indicator telling us that investors don’t want to be in the stock market. Below you’ll find the NAAIM Exposure Index chart, a measure of equity exposure of active money managers (the so-called smart money).
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Active money managers continue to reduce their exposure to equities as key stock indices fall. On September 2, 82% of their collective portfolios were exposed to the stock market. Now, it’s only 33%. This represents a decline of 60% in their equity market exposure.
On the fundamental front, the stock market is constrained as well. Each day, we are seeing deteriorating economic data … Read More
While corporate earnings continue to come in solid, stocks continue to be sold.
It’s not all the time that stocks follow oil prices, but they certainly have this time around and the selling momentum has gained on deflationary pressures from producer prices to declining expectations for global economic growth.
And the selling is happening to companies that beat consensus with their earnings, like J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT), which beat Wall Street estimates for sales and earnings in what was a very solid quarter for the trucking company.
For J.B. Hunt, sentiment just wasn’t strong enough to carry the stock materially higher, even in the face of declining prices for diesel fuel, which is a big bonus for that company’s bottom-line.
The autumn sell-off also flies in the face of reduced pressure on the Federal Reserve to begin raising rates as recent data shows a softening of economic activity on a global basis.
If oil was the catalyst and economic data the accelerator, it’s important to remember where stocks have come from. The equity market has been due for a material correction for a number of quarters. It didn’t even need a reason for a correction only because share prices have come so far over the last several years.
The breakdown in oil prices has been truly spectacular and is now seriously affecting the business case for many energy producers.
And the breakdown isn’t just due to increasing domestic production; it’s a breakdown in sentiment based on declining expectations for the global economy.
So stocks have sold off and they may go further, but a five to 10% price … Read More
One large-cap that always reports early is Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST). The company’s numbers came in solid.
Costco hit a wall not too long ago and was hard pressed to produce growth. But the company’s latest quarter beat the Street with considerable sales strength in the month of September.
In its most recent quarter, there was considerable growth in the company’s cash position and shareholders’ equity improved significantly.
For the 16 weeks ended August 31, 2014, Costco’s total sales grew nine percent to $35.5 billion, which is an impressive performance in retail. Of these total sales, membership fees (which are total gravy) grew 7.3% to $768 million.
Comparative store sales in the most recent quarter grew six percent in the U.S. market and the same internationally. If it weren’t for weaker gasoline prices and the stronger U.S. dollar, international comparative store sales would have improved by eight percent.
Earnings in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter grew to $687 million, or $1.58 per diluted share, representing a 13% gain on a per share basis compared to the same quarter last year.
Costco has been consistently ticking higher on the stock market since this time in 2010. The position hit a high in late 2013, then retreated commensurately with its financial growth. It’s only in the last couple of months that the company’s stock has reaccelerated.
For a new price trend, the stock needs to convincingly break out above $130.00 a share, which I think is probable.
The company’s latest quarter was very good and a reflection of solid management execution.
On the day that Costco reported, the Federal Reserve released the … Read More
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