I am eagerly awaiting earnings results from a number of companies, particularly some micro-cap and small-cap companies that I follow. The news can’t come soon enough.
Small company stock prices have been hit hard in the latest correction because investors have lost their appetite for risk. What’s interesting, however, is that, in many cases, smaller companies are more easily able to adapt to the changing economic landscape and they can adjust their business plans accordingly.
Earnings season is always an exciting time for an equity analyst because you get to look at company’s latest numbers and its immediate-term forecast, and you get a renewed sense of how the broader economy is affecting your favorite companies. I’m really interested in profitability going forward. I realize that, with a slowing economy, many companies won’t be able to grow their revenues as easily. But this doesn’t matter as much as a company’s ability to pass on higher raw material costs to customers. If the profitability is there, then the market will look favorably on the stock.
Right now, the stock market is trading on the price of oil and earnings numbers. The price of oil itself might just be the catalyst for a near-term rally in stock prices. This has already begun, so we’ll see how long it lasts.
Overall, however, we’re still very much in a bear market and this situation isn’t likely to change until next year.
I don’t have a defined sense as to where the main stock market indices might go in the near-future, but I am becoming more confident about the buying opportunities that are available right now. There are a lot of unappreciated and undervalued stocks in the marketplace.
My favorite investment analyst, Jim Rogers, said recently that he’s buying airline stocks right now. Now that’s a gutsy move! He always says that he’s usually a little early in his investment analysis. With such a great track record of investing success, however, if Jim Rogers is buying one of the weakest sectors in the market right now, a turnaround can’t be too far off.