Lombardi: Stock Market Commentary & Forecasts, Financial & Economic Analysis Since 1986

Posts Tagged ‘stock analysis’

Why I’m More Excited About the Food Sector Than Apple’s Latest Products

By for Profit Confidential

This Food Company More Deserving of Your Attention Than AppleWhile the entire world was waiting for and anticipating the next-generation “iPhone 6” from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) on Tuesday, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE/GIS) announced it was acquiring organic and natural food company Annies, Inc. (NYSE/BNNY).

Okay, the launch of the iPhone 6 was clearly more exciting, but so what? The launch was more hype than substance, unless you consider a new and bigger iPhone earth-shattering.

But I’m not here to talk about Apple. What I will discuss is the food sector, especially the makers of organic and natural food products, which appear to be in play, based on my stock analysis.

If you owned Annie’s before it was acquired by General Mills, congratulations on your 38% jump in stock price on the news! Go treat yourself to some fine wine and a great meal. If you didn’t get to profit from this deal, there are still some stocks in the same sector as Annie’s that have great potential.

One small-cap natural food products company that I like based on my stock analysis, and this is one that I have been covering for a few years now, is Inventure Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ/SNAK). The small company produces and markets specialty food brands, concentrating on the snack food market. Some of its product lines include nutritional and natural snacks.

Inventure Foods sells products under its own brand and other licensed brands, including the following: “Boulder Canyon Natural Foods,” “Jamba,” “Seattle’s Best Coffee,” “Rader Farms,” “T.G.I. Friday’s,” “Nathan’s Famous,” “Vidalia Brands,” “Poore Brothers,” “Tato Skins,” “Willamette Valley Fruit Company,” “Fresh Frozen,” and “Bob’s Texas Style.” The company’s manufacturing plants are located in Arizona, … Read More

Coffee Wars Intensify on Stock Market as Coffee Prices Rise

By for Profit Confidential

Top Three Stocks to Profit as Coffee Prices RiseIf you cannot get through the day without that cup of coffee, you may need to prepare to spend a little more to get it.

Coffee prices have been surging, up more than 30% year-over-year. The cost to have that morning cup of java has edged higher, but not at the same rate as the cash price of coffee.

The coffee industry is a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States and is a competitive marketplace, but at the top of the coffee heap is Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ/SBUX), which has developed into an iconic brand both domestically and worldwide. In Asia, Europe, and Latin America, no matter where you are, it seems there’s a Starbucks near you. In China, the brand is rapidly growing, and the company plans to expand in this region with thousands of outlets.

Starbucks has also expanded into providing more menu alternatives and is involved in the tea market via its acquisition of the Teavana chain. The company is also marketing juices and operates a small chain of hamburger outlets in California.

For long-term investors, you cannot go wrong with Starbucks, which could serve as a good core holding in your portfolio.

 Starbucks Corp Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

However, in the traditional coffee and donut market, the top player at this time is the “Dunkin Donuts” chain, operated by Dunkin Brands Group, Inc. (NASDAQ/DNKN). The company also operates the “Baskin-Robbins” ice cream chain. Unlike Starbucks, Dunkin is primarily a U.S. brand that doesn’t have much recognition outside American borders; albeit, the company is looking to expand to the United Kingdom via the planned opening of 50 outlets in Greater … Read More

My Top Stocks in the Mobile Gaming Sector

By for Profit Confidential

Why I Believe There Are Better Mobile Gaming Investments Than King Digital If you have ever played the Candy Crush Saga game on your mobile device, you’d realize that the game, along with others like Flappy Birds, are merely a mobile phenomenon that could easily fade away over time once the addiction washes away, based on my stock analysis.

Yet for King Digital Entertainment plc (NYSE/KING), the maker of Candy Crush Saga, the company is clearly jumping with glee that it’s valued at more than $6.0 billion. The stock debuted with its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday priced at $22.50 per share, but it quickly fell to $19.17 after the open.

Make no mistake about it: my stock analysis is that King Digital is not worth $6.0 billion—or even half of that. The company generates about three-quarters of its revenues via the Candy Crush game. There are other games, but none have taken off to the degree Candy Crush has. While King Digital says it will look hard at developing another major game, there’s no guarantee that this will happen before interest in Candy Crush fades, based on my stock analysis.

What I suggest you do is look at more established developers of mobile games and applications that are much cheaper and not pumped up like King Digital, as my stock analysis suggests.

Based out of San Francisco, Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ/GLUU) is an interesting small-cap gaming play that holds promise in the growing area of mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets, as my stock analysis indicates. Spending on mobile applications is estimated at around $56.0 billion by 2016, according to Forrester Research. With a market cap of … Read More

My Top Stock Pick in the Innovative Alternative Energy Sector

By for Profit Confidential

This Alternative Energy Company Has Great UpsideThe price action and euphoria towards battery-powered carmaker Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA) clearly shows the demand for innovative companies that deliver a great story, as my stock analysis suggests.

Investors want to see less demand for energy produced by fossil fuels and more demand for the green energy movement, whether its wind, water, solar, or another form of green energy, according to my stock analysis.

A small company that I have been following for a while in the alternative energy space is FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ/FCEL), which has a market cap of $421 million.

My stock analysis indicates that the company is very innovative, which is what we want to see in high-potential stocks.

FuelCell Energy, Inc. Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

FuelCell provides alternative fuel cell solutions via its stationary “Direct FuelCell” power plants that are built to deliver ultra-clean, efficient, and reliable green power. The process involves harnessing the use of renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing.

As my stock analysis indicates, the company’s clients include commercial, industrial, government, and utility companies. Sectors served include the food and beverage, manufacturing, hospital and prison, college and university, hospitality, utilities, and wastewater treatment areas.

According to the company, the energy produced is up to two times as efficient as fossil fuel plants. The plants range from smaller 300-kilowatt to larger 2.8-megawatt plants, and they are expandable to above 50 megawatts. FuelCell said the power plants it has built have generated more than 300 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in more than 50 installations worldwide.

A major and growing market for FuelCell is in Southeast Asia, specifically in South Korea. The company … Read More

Could Thousand-Dollar Stock Be a Bargain?

By for Profit Confidential

What Makes a High-Priced Stock a BargainGoogle Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG) is showing why I think it’s one of the top technology growth plays at this time…and going forward.

No longer simply a web site and online advertising marketing company, Google has been spreading its wings into software and hardware, as it moves to the next level as a company, based on my stock analysis.

The stock may be trading above $1,100, but my stock analysis indicates that in the years ahead, Google may be one of those high-priced stocks that you may look back on as a bargain at $1,100. (See “When High-Priced Stocks Become Attractive Investment Opportunities…”)

No one seems to care that the shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (NYSE/BRK-A) trade above $169,000 a share, so what’s the big deal with Google at $1,100?

What I continue to like about Google is its constant tinkering of its strategy and business operations.

Google developed a self-driving car that has already driven itself some 300,000 miles or so and has only been in one accident—which Google claims occurred while the self-driving vehicle was being manually driven. Can you imagine self-driving cars on the streets of New York City or the crazy highways of Beijing? The company is all about innovation, based on my stock analysis.

Considering buying Google, according to my stock analysis, is akin to buying a technology-based private equity fund due to its constantly being on the lookout for innovative technologies and spreading out its technological patents.

In 2012, Google acquired the handset unit of Motorola for $12.5 billion; but after watching how competitive the smartphone market is, Google made the decision to … Read More

Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard Bound to Be a Success Story?

By for Profit Confidential

stock analysisA year ago, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE/HPQ) was an $11.00 stock that was struggling to turn around its fortunes and become relevant again.

The company, under then-new CEO Meg Whitman, made a bold and strategic decision to focus less on its declining personal computer (PC) business and more on its areas showing growth opportunities, such as its mobile and enterprise businesses. So far, this has been the correct decision for Hewlett-Packard, according to my stock analysis.

The company had already exited the consumer tablet market after realizing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) had a death-grip on the market and would not be easy to catch.

Fast-forward a year, and Hewlett-Packard is now flying high at the $24.00 level, up more than 100% over the past year and still the company continues to reinvent itself, as my stock analysis indicates. Hewlett-Packard has streamlined its product line, resulting in a leaner and more efficient technology company, suggesting Hewlett-Packard was a buying opportunity at its lower prices just one year ago.

Hewlett-Packard Company Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

My stock analysis suggests that while the company still has far to go to return to its former glory days, there is now hope that this could happen—it just might take a few more years of fine-tuning.

Annual revenues are in excess of $100 billion, but a period of adjustment is expected due to the company’s new direction, according to my stock analysis.

Revenues are estimated to contract in both fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 by 2.9% and 0.6%, respectively, but earnings are estimated to grow to $3.67 and $3.88 per diluted share, respectively, according to Thomson Financial consensus estimates…. Read More

Best Buy’s New Strategy a Buying Opportunity?

By for Profit Confidential

stock analysisThe sector that will be the topic of focus for the stock market over the next month is, of course, the retailers as we march on from Black Friday and Cyber Monday toward the key holiday shopping season.

To tell the truth, I’m not much of a shopper. I hate going to the malls and fighting the congestion of other shoppers scrambling for deals, especially on the crazy shopping days, like Black Friday.

I did, however, happen to venture out to Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE/BBY) recently and noticed the store looked fresh, the workers were energetic and eager to help, and there were excellent discounts.

Now I must admit that based on my stock analysis, I really believed Best Buy would have been privatized by now, especially following the previous attempt to do so by former CEO and founder Richard Schulze. Now, the company is under the leadership of Hubert Joly, who has had decades of success working at Electronic Data Systems Corporation, Vivendi Universal, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Joly, who took hold of the reins in August 2012, appears to be getting Best Buy back on track, as my stock analysis suggests.

This former darling of Wall Street and the “Best of Breed” in electronic retailing has been hurt by the rise of fierce competition from both physical and online rivals, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ/AMZN), according to my stock analysis. The threat of extreme competition and the intense pressure on margins has forced Best Buy to rethink its strategy, based on my stock analysis.

Armed with an aggressive pricing strategy and offensive attack, … Read More

Why the Small Home Supplies Stocks Offer Good Potential

By for Profit Confidential

Stocks Offer Good PotentialThe housing market looks like it may be ready to fall. While the homebuilders may face some hurdles, the area of housing that I feel is a buying opportunity is the home supplies and services stocks. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE/HD) is the “Best of Breed” in the housing market, with Lowes Companies, Inc. (NYSE/LOW) trailing in second.

While I like the Home Depot in the housing market, the reality is that the company is too big for my liking, with its market cap at a whopping $112 billion. Even Lowe’s, with a market-cap of $53.0 billion, is too large for my liking and the current valuations are fair.

A small-cap stock that I would look at as an alternative in the housing market supplies sector is Dallas-based Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ/BLDR), with a much smaller market cap of $728 million. But unlike the Home Depot and Lowe’s, Builders FirstSource primarily deals with the residential new homes construction housing market as a manufacturer and seller of structural and related building products. The company’s products include roof and floor trusses, wall panels, stairs, aluminum and vinyl windows, custom millwork, and pre-hung doors.

The company runs 53 distribution centers along with 47 manufacturing facilities in nine states that are situated mainly in the southern and eastern United States housing market.

Builders FirstSource has outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year with a 29.91% advance, versus 23.52% by the S&P 500.

The company recorded sequential annual revenue growth from 2004 to 2006, but then struggled on the charts with three straight down years. Builders FirstSource appears to be on the right path … Read More

Small Game Developer Set to Generate Short-Term Gains

By for Profit Confidential

Small Game Developer Set to Generate Short-Term GainsThere’s some buzz surrounding the video gaming market again with the pending releases of the “PlayStation 4” by Sony Corporation (NYSE/SNE) and the “Xbox One” by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT).

As I recently discussed, the release of new gaming and entertainment consoles generate excitement and drive up the demand for games. (Read “Why the Gaming Sector Should Be on Your Radar.”) In this column, I wrote about Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ/EA) and Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ/ATVI), but a much smaller gaming software maker that I expect could deliver some impressive numbers, based on my stock analysis, is Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ/TTWO).

If you are a fan of the infamous “Grand Theft Auto” series, you also probably know that the creator is Take-Two Interactive. The recent launch of its latest version, “Grand Theft Auto V,” is breaking all records for the series, as the company said it has already sold 29 million copies in the first six weeks of sales. That’s impressive and will generate well over $1.5 billion in revenues, which is more than the company’s trailing 12 months of sales, according to my stock analysis.

In addition to Grand Theft Auto, Take-Two Interactive publishes games under two labels: Rockstar Games and 2K. The 2K label publishes under three more labels: 2K Games, 2K Sports, and 2K Play.

My stock analysis suggests that the stock should be doing better with the projected sales. Take-Two Interactive is still up 61% over the past 52 weeks, easily beating the 25.5% return of the S&P 500. But in comparison, over the same period, Electronic Arts is up 95%!… Read More

Why the Gaming Sector Should Be on Your Radar

By for Profit Confidential

Gaming Sector Should Be on Your RadarWith the upcoming release of new video consoles from Sony Corporation (NYSE/SNE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT), the video game sector appears to be set to experience a revival, as my stock analysis indicates.

According to NPG Group, the U.S. sales of video game-related hardware, software, and accessories surged by 27% year-over-year to $1.08 billion in September. (Source: The NPD Group, Inc. web site, last accessed October 22, 2013.) The sale of software, specifically, surged 52% to $754 million, accounting for 70% of total sales. Yet with the debut of two new consoles in November (Sony’s “PlayStation4” and Microsoft’s “Xbox One”), my stock analysis indicates that sales in the hardware sector will pick up, giving a boost to the share prices of Microsoft and Sony.

In the hardware area, Microsoft has done well with its Xbox console in spite of its lag in sales compared to Sony’s PlayStation console, based on my stock analysis. Yet the move by Microsoft into the gaming and entertainment console market is a big selling point for the company, as my stock analysis points out. (Read “Why Microsoft May Finally Be Set to Turn Its Fortune Around.”)

I know my son is anxiously anticipating the release of the PS4 and, in particular, the “NBA Live 14” game that is made by one of the top games developers Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ/EA). Electronic Arts (EA) develops games for the Xbox, PlayStation, and “Nintendo Wii” consoles. The company also develops games for mobile phones and tablets.

EA games are broad in scope and include action, military, sports, racing, simulation, strategy, family, kids, music, and puzzle-based games. … Read More

The McDonald’s Alternative for Small-Cap Investors

By for Profit Confidential

The McDonald’s Alternative for Small-Cap InvestorsThe restaurant and fast food sectors are fickle, and can easily turn lower without much warning. It happened to burrito maker Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE/CMG), when it got hammered between April and early October 2012 following its reports of soft results. The stock has since staged a steady rally back to above its previous high in April 2012.

The same thing happened to Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE/RT), with the stock plummeting around 16% after reporting a soft first quarter that saw continued declines in many key metrics, according to my stock analysis. Ruby could and will likely rally, based on my stock analysis, but it’s not in the same ballpark as Chipotle, so be careful if you are looking to trade the stock.

If you are looking for small-cap growth in the restaurant and fast food sector, you may want to consider a play like Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ/DENN), as my stock analysis suggests. This sit-in family diner is known for its “Grand Slam” breakfast. The company has superior valuation to its peers, as my stock analysis indicates.

Take a look at the table below, and see how Denny’s sizes up:

Forward P/E P/S PEG
Denny’s 16.69X 1.17 1.15
Ruby Tuesday 33.16X 0.36 13.98
McDonald’s 15.41X 3.35 2
Burger King 20.77X 4.56 1.49

The big Wall Street shops focus on the big-name stocks that bring up tons of investment banking and advisory fees. While McDonalds Corporation (NYSE/MCD) is clearly the “Best of Breed” in the restaurant and fast food group, my stock analysis suggests smaller companies, like Denny’s, offer an alternative for investors along with better upside potential; albeit, … Read More

How BlackBerry Could Reemerge as a Viable Company

By for Profit Confidential

BlackBerry Could Reemerge as a Viable CompanyThe news broke out right after I wrote the first draft of this commentary on BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ/BBRY): a surprise takeover bid emerged from Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX/FFH) offering $9.00 per share, or $4.7 billion, for the struggling smartphone maker.

It appears to be the correct timing for BlackBerry. (See “Research In Motion Had Better Be Right.”) And for BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Gerhard Heins, he could get a $20.0-million send-off for selling the company.

This was the situation prior to the takeover announcement to take BlackBerry private:

BlackBerry reported a massive fiscal second-quarter loss of $1.0 billion, highlighted by the write-off of about $930–$960 million of its inventory. The company also announced plans to axe 4,500 jobs, or 40% of its workforce, as my stock analysis indicates.

The inventory adjustment is frightening, based on my stock analysis. It implies the company cannot sell its “Z10” and “Q5/Q10” devices. Again, this isn’t a surprise, as my stock analysis notes that BlackBerry has consistently screwed up in its execution over the past few years to the point that it allowed rivals, such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to bulldoze over BlackBerry, leaving just a pile of scraps.

BlackBerry said it sold about 3.7 million smartphones in the quarter. Honestly, that number really stinks, based on my stock analysis, especially considering Apple announced it had sold nine million units of its new “iPhone 5S” and “iPhone 5C” in the first weekend.

The numbers are telling, but this has been the issue for BlackBerry for years, according to my stock analysis. In a never-ending battle to regain … Read More

Consider This Surging Automotive Company

By for Profit Confidential

Surging Automotive CompanyI recall my first time seeing the electric sports car marketed by Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA). While my son thought it was cool, I thought it was gimmicky.

If I had listened to my son, it would have been a great investment because Tesla was trading around $33.00 at that time in November 2012. The stock spiked to $133.26 on July 15 this year, up a whopping 272.64% over the past 52 weeks, according to my stock analysis.

Even as Tesla moved higher (as you can see in the stock chart above), I was still not convinced, as my stock analysis suggested that General Motors Company (NYSE/GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE/F) made more sense.

The reasoning behind my stock analysis was simple: the comparative metrics between Tesla versus General Motors (GM) and Ford easily favored the old Detroit icons. But I clearly underestimated the future expectations of the company.

Tesla Motors Inc Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Tesla fell 14% the day following its high after Goldman Sachs suggested the stock was worth only $85.00, based on the company’s stock analysis.

The stock rallied $16.00 after analyst Andrea James of Dougherty & Co. announced that it had estimated Tesla was worth at least $200.00 and perhaps as much as $300.00 if the company executed. (Source: Rosenberg, A., “Tesla will double again: Analyst,” CNBC web site, July 17, 2013.)

So while I was previously thinking of a short trade with Tesla, I’m now thinking the company—which is the brainchild of Elon Musk, who made hundreds of millions via tech ventures—may be worth a closer look, based on my stock analysis. The man is … Read More

Now That the Video Streaming Wars Have Begun, Who Will Win?

By for Profit Confidential

110713_PC_leongThe battle in the video streaming market is on, and based on recent developments, it will intensify, which ultimately is better for the consumer. As my stock analysis indicates, now is the time to take advantage.

No longer is Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ/NFLX) safe as the current market leader, but the aggressive moves made by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ/AMZN) to drive its streaming video business is already changing the landscape. (Read “Online War Begins: Netflix vs. Amazon.com.”)

And if you don’t believe me, consider that there is currently a bidding war for video-streaming provider Hulu and its three million subscribers. The company will sell for over $1.0 billion on bids from the likes of private equity AT&T Inc. (NYSE/T) and DIRECTV (NASDAQ/DTV).

My stock analysis suggests that while Hulu is interesting, the company is still largely a U.S.-only business with no international exposure, unlike Netflix and Amazon.com. Hulu is much smaller than Netflix, which has more than 36 million subscribers worldwide (source: Netflix, Inc. web site, last accessed July 10, 2013), and Amazon.com, which has 10 million users. (Source: Thomas, O., “Amazon Has An Estimated 10 Million Members For Its Surprisingly Profitable Prime Club,” Business Insider, March 11, 2013.)

But in the event of a takeover, Hulu will gain access to significant capital, with which it could expand its services to markets within and outside of the U.S. And if the AT&T partnership or DIRECTV bid wins, Hulu will have instant access to tens of millions of subscribers, based on my stock analysis. DIRECTV has about 35 million subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America.

The price points are … Read More

Why the Best Companies Expand Internationally

By for Profit Confidential

Best Companies Expand InternationallyThere are only two methods to drive revenues: a company can increase its price to the consumer (but this doesn’t always come across as being prudent, especially given the current low interest rate and inflation period), and then there’s the more viable way, which is to expand into foreign markets.

Companies can expand nationwide or internationally like many of the world’s multinational companies. Just take a look around and see how many American companies are found outside of our borders and spread across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ/WFM) has the majority of its stores in the United States, but also has a small presence in Canada and the United Kingdom. The company just made its first foray into Detroit, Michigan. Now at first glance it doesn’t seem odd but, as my stock analysis suggests, given that the “Motor City” has a massive unemployment rate of 17.5% (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, last accessed June 18, 2013) and Michigan has more people looking for work than the national average, you have to wonder why the company has decided to expand there. While there may be more economically viable places for expansion, the reality is that the company is searching far and wide for places to expand, as it doesn’t want to face growth issues down the road, as my stock analysis indicates.

The need to expand internationally has made many American companies into global brands and has rewarded shareholders along the way, as my stock analysis suggests.

Expansion is what companies need to do in order to grow and become much bigger companies. Maintaining a … Read More

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