Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now


The borrowings through the RBI repo window rose to a four-month high of Rs.1.016 trillion yesterday. The comfortable liquidity in the banking system proved to be shortlived as the demand for the cash from customers in the festival season and banks’ repayment obligations are constricting liquidity in the market. Earlier in September, liquidity shortfall was observed on account of advance corporate tax outflows which soon receded later to as low as Rs.1840 cr on 5th October, as government spending picked up (as indicated in the graph with a dip).


Citing an increased pressure on the inter-bank liquidity, RBI is expected to return to open market operations sooner rather than later. The excess SLR investment of the banks is also likely to ensure success in the OMO auctions. This has also stoked speculations of further cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) in the upcoming monetary policy if not a repo cut.

Below graph shows liquidity situation in the system since July

Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now: Puget Technologies Inc (PUGE)

PUGET TECHNOLOGIES, INC., incorporated on March 17, 2010, is a development-stage company. The Company is engaged in the distribution of luxury wool bedding sets produced in Germany. The Company’s product includes Lama Wool, Camel Wool, Cashmere Wool and Merino Wool.


The Company’s Lama Wool is consists of 50% Lama Wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Camel wool is consists of 50% Camel wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Cashmere wool is blended with Merino wool.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Inscor, Inc (OTCMKTS: IOGA), Puget Technologies Inc (OTCBB: PUGE) and PTA Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: PTAH) have all been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters or investor alerts. However, two of these small caps have been the subject of paid promotions while the third is getting attention largely because its in the growing marijuana or cannabis business. With that in mind, are these stocks really all that hot or not? Here is a quick reality check:

Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now: Vitacost.com Inc (VITC)


Vitacost.com, Inc. (Vitacost), incorporated in May 20, 1994, is an online retailer of health and wellness products, including dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids and metabolites, as well as cosmetics, natural personal care products, pet products, sports nutrition and health foods. The Company sells these products directly to consumers primarily through its Website, www.vitacost.com. It offers its customers the selection of healthy living products. It offers its customers a selection of approximately 40,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), from over 2,000 third-party brands, such as New Chapter, Nature’s Way, Twinlab, Source Naturals, Jarrow Formulas, Jason, Desert Essence, Atkins, Bob’s Red Mill, BSN, Optimum Nutrition, USP Labs and MuscleTech in addition to its own brands: Vitacost, Cosmeceutical Sciences Institute (CSI), Best of All, and Smart Basics. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had approximately 2.1 million cus tomers.


The Company offers products in a range of potency levels and dosage forms, such as tablets, capsules, vegi-capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids and powders. It offers products that encompass four main categories: Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Supplements; Sports Nutrition; Beauty; and Natural and Organic Food.

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Supplements (VMHS)

VMHS products are taken to maintain or improve health and address specific health conditions. In its dietary supplements category, the Company offers its offer its Vitacost branded products as well as third-party brands such as Nature’s Way, Twinlab, Jarrow, Carlson and Rainbow Light. Vitamin and mineral products include multi-vitamins, lettered vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, D, E and B-complex, along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc.


Herbal products include whole herbs, standardized extracts, herb combination formulas and teas. S upplements include essential fatty acids, probiotics, anti-o! xidants, phytonutrients and condition-specific formulas.

Sports Nutrition

Sports nutrition products are used in conjunction with cardiovascular conditioning, weight training and sports activities. Major categories in sports nutrition include protein and weight gain powders, meal replacements, nutrition bars, sport drinks and pre and post-workout supplements. The Company offers bodybuilding and sports products from third parties, such as Optimum Nutrition, CytoSport and BSN as well as our Vitacost branded sports nutrition products.


Beauty

Natural care products consist of a variety of natural products for skin, body, hair and oral health. The Company offers hundreds of natural personal-care products from companies, such as JASON, and Kiss My Face, as well as its CSI-branded products. These products appeal to allergen-conscious and environmentally-conscious consumers seeking products that are made without harsh chemicals and additives.

Natural and Organic Food

Natural and organic food products consist of organic and specialty products such as organic peanut butter, gluten free foods and low mercury tuna and salmon. The Company offers third-party brands, such as Kashi, Eden Foods and Amy’s Organic, as well as its Best of All natural food products.


Under its Vitacost brand, the Company offers over 900 products including multivitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, anti-oxidants and others. Under its CSI brand, it markets and sells health and beauty products such as facial cleanser, facial and body moisturizing creams and lotions, and other beauty and skincare products. Under its Best of All brand, it markets and sells organic food products such as banana chips, trail mix, almonds, cashews and more. Under its Smart Basics brand, it markets and sells organic fruit juices and extracts and related dietary supplements. Under its Walker Diet brand, it markets a nd sells low carb powders used to assist in weight loss and ! managemen! t.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Margins matter. The more Vitacost.com (Nasdaq: VITC  ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Vitacost.com’s competitive position could be.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Vitacost.com (Nasdaq: VITC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now: Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS)

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (Barnes & Noble), incorporated on November 19, 1986, is a bookseller. The Company is a content, commerce and technology company that provides customers access to books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform. As of April 27, 2013, it operated 1,361 bookstores in 50 states, 686 bookstores on college campuses, and operates one of the Web eCommerce sites, and develops digital content products and software. Barnes & Noble operates in three segments: B&N Retail, B&N College and NOOK. The Company’s principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles), mass market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other popular fiction), children’s books, eBooks and other digital content, NOOK and related accessories, bargain books, magazines, gifts, cafe products and services, educational toys & games, music and movies direct to customers through its books tores or on barnesandnoble.com.


Of the Company’s 1,361 bookstores, 675 operate primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC (B&N College), a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, operates 686 college bookstores at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble Retail (B&N Retail) operates the 675 retail bookstores. Retail also includes the Company’s eCommerce site and Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (Sterling or Sterling Publishing), a leader in general trade book publishing.


B&N Retail

This segment includes 675 bookstores as of April 27, 2013, primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. These stores generally offer a dedicated NOOK area, a comprehensive trade book title base, a cafe, and departments dedicated to Juvenile, Toys & Games, DVDs, Music, Gift, Magazine and Bargain products. The stores also offer a calendar of ongoing events, incl uding author appearances and children’s activities. The B&! N Retail segment also includes the Company’s eCommerce website, barnesandnoble.com, and its publishing operation, Sterling Publishing. Barnes & Noble stores range in size from 3,000 to 60,000 square feet depending upon market size, with an overall average store size of 26,000 square feet. During the fiscal year ended April 27, 2013 (fiscal), the Company reduced the Barnes & Noble store base by 0.3 million square feet, bringing the total square footage to 17.7 million square feet. The Company’s B&N Retail segment purchases physical books on a regular basis from over 800 publishers and over 50 wholesalers or distributors. As of April 27, 2013, Barnes & Noble had stores in 162 of the total 210 Designated Market Area markets.


Sterling Publishing is a publisher of non-fiction trade titles. It is a range of non-fiction and illustrated books and kits across a range of imprints, in categories, such as health and wellness, music and culture, food and wine, crafts and photo graphy, puzzles and games, history and current affairs, as well as a children’s books.

B&N College

B&N College sells new and used textbooks in campus bookstores and online. As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operated 686 stores nationwide. The Company’s customer base, which is mainly consisted of students and faculty, can purchase various items from their campus stores, including textbooks and course-related materials, emblematic apparel and gifts, trade books, computer products, NOOK products and related accessories, school and dorm supplies, convenience and cafe items.


As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operates 651 traditional college bookstores and 35 academic superstores, which are generally larger in size, offer cafes and provide a sense of community that engages the surrounding campus and local communities in college activities and culture. The traditional bookstores range in size from 500 to 48,000 square feet. The academic su perstores range in size from 8,000 to 75,000 square feet. B&! N College! ’s three customer constituencies are students, faculty members and campus administrators.

NOOK


This segment includes the Company’s digital business, which includes the Company’s eBookstore, digital newsstand and sales of NOOK devices and accessories to third party distribution partners, as well as to B&N Retail and B&N College. Barnes & Noble’s NOOK digital bookstore and Reading Apps provide customers the ability to purchase and read their digital content and access to their Lifetime Library on a range of digital platforms, including Windows 8 PCs and tablets, iPad, iPhone , Android smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac. Barnes & Noble has implemented features on its digital platform to ensure that customers can access their NOOK content from almost all of today’s most popular devices.


The Company competes with Target, Books-A-Million, Waldenbooks, Amazon.com, Apple, Wal-Mart and Costco.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alanna Petroff]

    4. Expecting earnings: Barnes and Noble (BKS) and Burlington Stores (BURL) will report earnings before the opening bell. Krispy Kreme (KKD) is set to report after the close.

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Paul Sakuma/AP There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a few potential mergers coming undone and a maker of electronic learning toys getting schooled. Here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders. Trex (TREX) — Winner It’s summer, and apparently a lot of homeowners decided to invest in sprucing up their outdoor living space. Trex posted strong quarterly results on Monday. The leading maker of weather-resistant wood-alternative decking saw its sales climb 23 percent, and adjusted pre-tax earnings soared 62 percent. There was some weakness earlier this earnings season out of other home improvement specialists, so it’s a welcome surprise to see Trex holding up so well. The good news doesn’t end there. Trex is eyeing accelerating growth, calling for revenue to climb a better than expected 27 percent in the current quarter. Mergers — Loser In any week there seems to be a couple of acquisitions or mergers, but sometimes Cupid isn’t feeling up to the arrow-slinging task. A couple of big potential buyouts came undone this week when Rupert Murdoch pulled his offer to buy out Time Warner (TWX), and Sprint (S) nixed plans to snap up T-Mobile (TMUS). The deals fell apart for different reasons. Murdoch just didn’t have an interest in chasing Time Warner’s stock higher in a hostile buyout bid. Sprint realized that regulators weren’t going to be happy unless there were four major independent wireless carriers out there. Instant Gratification — Winner Amazon.com (AMZN) announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its same-day delivery service to six more cities. Prime shoppers in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metro areas will now be able to place an order on the website by noon and pay $5.99 to have it delivered that same day. Naturally the selection is limited to items that Amazon stocks locally, but the one knock on Amazon about having to wait a day or two at least for shipme

  • [By Mark Lin]

    What implications does this have for Amazon and peers such as Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) and Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL  ) ?

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    Penny Stock Territory: Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) traded above $46 per share in 2006, but is now worth just over $20 per share.

    Like other brick-and-mortar retailers, Barnes & Noble has had trouble keeping up with online retailers. But it’s not just online retail that has damaged BKS stock – the e-reader market has also cut into Barnes & Noble’s business model. The company did create its own e-reader, the Nook, but that hasn’t been enough to keep the stock afloat.

Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now: West Marine Inc (WMAR)


West Marine, Inc., incorporated in September 1993, is a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise for the boat and for the boater. It operates in three segments: Stores, Port Supply and Direct-to-Customer. The Company sells to both retail and wholesale customers in its Stores segment. In addition, the Company has three franchised stores in Turkey. The Company’s Port Supply segment is its wholesale segment. The Company’s Direct-to-Customer, which includes e-commerce, catalog and call center transactions. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Stores segment generated approximately 90% of its net revenues. During 2011, products shipped to Port Supply customers directly from its warehouses represented approximately 4% of its net revenues.


During 2011, its Direct Sales segment offered customers around the world more than 75,000 products and accounted for the remaining 6% of its net revenues. Priva te label products, which the Company sells under the West Marine, Black Tip, Third Reef, Pure Oceans, Lifesling, SeaVolt and Seafit brand names, usually are manufactured in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Stores Segment

During 2011, the Company opened six stores while closing 14 stores. In December 2011, it opened its Fort Lauderdale Boating Superstore, a 50,000 square foot flagship. Its flagship stores ranging in size from 21,000 to 50,000 square feet, offering an array of merchandise typically about 16,000 items, as well as displays designed to help customers make informed product selections. It also operates large format stores, standard-sized stores and smaller Express stores. Its large format stores range from 13,000 to 19,000 square feet and carry about 11,000 items. The standard-sized stores typically range from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet and carry over 6,000 items. Express stores typically range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and carry over 4,000 items, mainly hardware and other supplies needed! for day-to-day boat maintenance and repairs.


Port Supply Segment

Port Supply customers include businesses involved in boat sales, boat building, boat commissioning and repair, yacht chartering, marina operations and other boating-related activities. In addition, Port Supply sells to government and industrial customers who use its products for boating and non-boating purposes. Port Supply, the Company’s wholesale segment, serves wholesale customers seeking convenience and a larger assortment of products than those carried by typical distributors.

Direct-to-Customer Segment


The Company’s e-commerce Website provides its customers with access to a selection of approximately 75,000 products, product advisor tips and technical information, over 450 product videos and customer-submitted product reviews. This segment also provides customers with access to knowledgeable technical advisors who can assist its customers in underst anding the various uses and applications of the products it sell. It operates a virtual call center from which its associates assist its customers by taking calls from their homes or from its support center in Watsonville, California. Its virtual call center supports sales generated through its e-commerce Website, catalogs and stores and provides customer service offerings.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Interactive Buyside]

    West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) is an undervalued retailer.  The company is going through a change in focus from a bricks and mortar boat product retailer to a fully integrated retail and wholesale business through bricks and clicks, targeting the boating and water enthusiast customer.   Recent results have been affected by a severe rainy and cool spring which hurt boat usage and delayed the start of the season.  The company has accelerated cash investments to build larger more productive stores and expand its ecommerce abilities, consequently affecting free cash flow short term.  The stock lacks sponsorship as there is only one research report written on the company by a small boutique firm.  The stock trades at only book value despite the company being the leading industry player with a solid balance sheet and significant net cash position. 

Best Specialty Retail Companies To Buy Right Now: Vitamin Shoppe Inc (VSI)


Vitamin Shoppe, Inc., incorporated on September 27, 2002, is a specialty retailer and direct marketer of vitamins, minerals, herbs, specialty supplements, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products. During the fiscal year ended December 29, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company marketed over 400 different brands, as well as its own brands, which include Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech and True Athlete. The Company sells its products through two segments: retail and direct. In the Company’s retail segment, the Company had a total of 286 new stores during the fiscal 2012. As of January 26, 2013, the Company operated 579 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Ontario, Canada, primarily located in high-traffic regional retail centers. In the Company’s direct segment, the Company sells its products directly to consumers through the Internet, primarily at www.vitaminshoppe.com. On February 14, 2013, Vitamin Shoppe Mariner, Inc. acquired Super Supplements, Inc.


Retail

The Company’s retail segment includes its retail store format. Its retail stores are is located in diverse geographic and demographic markets, ranging from urban locations in New York City, to suburban locations in Plantation, Florida and Manhattan Beach, California. As of January 26, 2013, the Company leased the property for all of its 579 stores. The Company’s primary warehouse and distribution center and corporate headquarters are consolidated into a leased, 230,000 square-foot facility.

Products

The Company offers a selection of vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathic remedies, specialty supplements, such as fish oil, probiotics, glucosamine and Co Q10, sports nutrition, weight management, as well as natural bath and beauty, pet supplements and options for a healthy home. The Company’s offers includes approximately 17,500 stock keeping units (SKUs) from over 400 brands. The Company offers products to its as sortment in its Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, True Athlete and O! ptimal Pet brands, which include products, such as Ultimate Man, Ultimate Women, Whey Tech Pro 24 and Natural Whey Protein. The Company also offers an assortment from national brands, such as Optimum Nutrition, USP Labs, Garden of Life, Cytosport, Nature’s Way, Solaray and Solgar. This assortment is designed to provide the Company’s customers with a selection of available product in order to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.


The vitamin and mineral product category includes multi-vitamins, which many consider to be a foundation of a healthy regimen, lettered vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, D, E, and B-complex, along with trace minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc. Certain herbs can be taken to help support specific body systems, including ginkgo to support brain activity and milk thistle to help support liver function, as well as other less common herbs, such as holy basil for stress support and blood sugar control and black c ohosh for menopause support. Herbal products include whole herbs, standardized extracts, herb combination formulas and teas.


Categories of specialty supplements include omega fatty acids, probiotics and condition specific formulas. Certain specialty supplements, such as organic greens, psyllium fiber and soy proteins, are taken for added support during various life stages. Folic acid is specifically useful during pregnancy. Super antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q-10, grapeseed extract and pycnogenol, are taken to address specific conditions. High ORAC (oxygen radical absorptive capacity) fruit concentrates like gogi, mangosteen, pomegranate and blueberry are taken to prevent oxygen radical damage. Other specialty supplement formulas are focused to support specific organs, biosystems and body functions. The Company offers approximately 3,000 SKUs in sports nutrition.


The Company’s other category include natural beauty and personal care, diet and weigh t management supplements, natural pet food, and low carb foo! ds. Natur! al beauty and personal care products offer an alternative to traditional products that often contain synthetic and/or other ingredients that the Company’s customers find objectionable. The Company offers approximately 3,000 SKUs for its other category. The Company’s natural pet products include nutritionally balanced foods and snacks along with condition specific supplements such as glucosamine for joint health. Its variety of diet and weight management products range from low calorie bars, drinks and meal replacements to energy tablets, capsules and liquids.


The Company competes with Vitamin World, GNC, Whole Foods, Costco, Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Amazon.com, Puritan’s Pride, Vitacost.com, Bodybuilding.com, Doctors Trust, Swanson and iHerb.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Barclays upgraded share s of Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) today, expressing a confidence in management that was, well, heartwarming.

    Barclays’ analysts Meredith Adler and Sean Kras call Vitamin Shoppe’s management team “thoughtful, deliberate and disciplined” and praise their ability to diversify the business. As a result, they upgraded Vitamin Shoppe to Overweight from Equal Weight two days after Vitamin Shoppe released its earnings.

    But Adler and Kras also spent a good number of words explaining what Vitamin Shoppe isn’t–specifically, it’s not GNC Holdings (GNC):

    [Vitamin Shoppe] said it saw no fundamental change in consumer demand, nor did it feel much pressure from the bad media reports about things like multi-vitamins and fish oil, unlike GNC. [Vitamin Shoppe] has a much broader offering than GNC, however, so weakness in any one category rarely has a major impact on [Vitamin Shoppe’s] overall sales the way it does at GNC. Conversely, it benefits less when there are few very successful products. For example, diet is a far smaller part of the sales mix at [Vitamin Shoppe] than at GNC. Last year diet had some strong products, but this year there are fewer. GNC’s comps were stronger than [Vitamin Shoppe’s] last year, but we like the stability of [Vitamin Shoppe’s] business, especially in the current environment.

    Shares of Vitamin Shoppe have gained 1.8% to $43.42 at 3:24 p.m., while GNC has risen 0.8% to $37.43.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE: VSI), Books-A-Million, Inc (NASDAQ: BAMM) and Perfumania Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: PERF) have the dubious distinction of being the worst performing small cap specialty retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with losses of 4.85% and 3% and a gain of 0.61%, respectively, since the start of the year (See my previous article: This Year’s Best Performing Small Cap Specialty Retail Stocks? UNTD, TA & HZO). I should mention that the definition of specialty retail stocks might vary from one stock screener to another, but what’s clear is that these three small cap retail stocks have been heading in the wrong direction for investors for much of this year.  With that in mind, what sort of performance should investors expect from these small cap specialty retail stocks on Black Friday and for the all important holiday season? Here is what you need to be aware of:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of the Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE: VSI  ) were looking under the weather today, falling as much as 10% after a disappointing earnings report.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Sales growth this last quarter was up only about 6%, but net income per share was up 21%. They pay a $0.60 dividend which gives them a dividend yield of 1.4%. Their cash flow yield is 4.6%, so they could easily raise their dividend. They are by far the leader in a very fragmented industry. I believe both [Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE: VSI  ) ] and GNC will do well and I think they may make a fair pairing in a portfolio. Stability versus growth.

    They do have $1.1 billion in debt. But they generate about $200 million in cash flow a year and they have $174 million in cash, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Their cash flow is very high, so in my opinion, is reason enough to believe they will beat the S&P 500 over the next ten years.