You wouldn’t know it from the headlines about obesity, but Americans spend a lot of time and money on fitness — and that spending is rising every year. The aging of America, which eventually could be a drag on the fitness segment as the Baby Boom population gets extremely old, is still a net positive: doctors increasingly insist that seniors stay active, driving demand for athletic shoes and apparel from folks well into their 70s. Spending on athletic and sports clothing rose about 13% from 2009 through 2014, for example — and faster-growing segments, such as women’s activewear, are booming.
Here are two ways to play the trend:
?Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) is the world’s largest athletic-shoe retailer, with more than 3,400 stores in 23 countries as well as a robust online-retail business. In addition to its flagship brands (Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker), Foot Locker operates under the Champs Sports, Footaction, SIX: 02, Runners Point, Sidestep and Eastbay brands.
Hot Industrial Disributor Companies To Invest In Right Now: Mastercard Incorporated(MA)
MasterCard Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and related services to customers principally in support of their credit, deposit access, electronic cash and automated teller machine payment card programs, and travelers? cheque programs. Its payment solutions include payment programs, marketing, product development, technology, processing, and consulting and information services. The company provides transaction processing services comprising transaction switching, which include authorization, clearing, and settlement; connectivity services, such as network access, equipment, and the transmission of authorization and settlement messages; and other payment-related services consisting of products used to prevent or detect fraudulent transactions, cardholder services, professional consulting and research services, compliance and penalty, account and transaction enhancement services, holograms, and publication services. MasterCard Incor porated manages and licenses payment card brands, including MasterCard, MasterCard Electronic, Maestro, and Cirrus. The company?s payment programs, which are facilitated through its brands, include consumer credit, debit and prepaid programs, commercial payment solutions, and contactless payment solutions. It serves approximately 22,000 financial institutions. The company was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) is said to have made an approach to the Board of Directors of Vocalink, according to sources as reported by Sky News on Friday. A deal for the salary and benefits processor could be worth more than 拢1 billion, the sources said. Mastercard shares slipped 0.07 percent to close at $97.47 on Friday.
- [By Alex Planes]
It was from these humble beginnings that Visa (NYSE: V ) was born. BankAmericard became an independent corporation in 1970 and later changed its name to Visa in 1976 as a way to broaden its appeal internationally. By this point the Master Charge had been established as a competing credit card network, and it had actually grown larger than the former BankAmericard: In the first quarter of 1976, BankAmericard/Visa claimed 31.8 million cardholders and $2.3 billion in sales volume, while the Master Charge had 37.4 million cardholders and processed $2.9 billion in sales. Master Charge, of course, is the forerunner to MasterCard (NYSE: MA ) , but it hasn’t maintained its early lead over Visa. In 2012, Visa’s total U.S. purchase volume clocked in at $981 billion compared to $534 billion for MasterCard, and Visa’s 278 million American cardholders far outweigh MasterCard’s 180 million American cardholders.
- [By Rupert Hargreaves]
Even so, thanks to its checkered past, many companies such as Visa (NYSE: V ) andMasterCard (NYSE: MA ) have been late to the party.However, astute companies, such asDeutsche Bank (NYSE: DB ) have been active in the market since the mid 1970s.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
…given that V will equal ~7.6% of the DJIA priceweighted index (a higher absolute stock price = greater index weighting), the stock should trade up as about 2 days of ADV need to be purchased by index funds. Specifically, we estimate that around 6.5 mm shares of V need to be purchased, which is equal to two days of their average daily trading volume. Note that Vs weighting in the S&P500 is 61 bps as a comparison. Obviously, there is a prestige factor that comes along with DJIA inclusion as well. Also keep in mind that [MasterCard’s (MA)] investor day is tomorrow, so some hedge funds may have had a pair on (overweight MA/underweight V), that could arguably be a factor as well.
Hot Industrial Disributor Companies To Invest In Right Now: ConocoPhillips(COP)
ConocoPhillips operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. The company?s Exploration and Production (E&P) segment explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its Midstream segment gathers, processes, and markets natural gas; and fractionates and markets natural gas liquids in the United States and Trinidad. The company?s Refining and Marketing (R&M) segment purchases, refines, markets, and transports crude oil and petroleum products, such as gasolines, distillates, and aviation fuels. Its Chemicals segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics. This segment offers olefins and polyolefins, including ethylene, propylene, and other olefin products; aromatics products, such as benzene, styrene, paraxylene, and cyclohexane, as well as polystyrene and styrene-butadiene copolymers; and various specialty chemical products comprising organosulfur chemicals, solvents, catalyst s, drilling chemicals, mining chemicals, and engineering plastics and compounds. The company?s Emerging Businesses segment develops new technologies and businesses. It focuses on power generation; and technologies related to conventional and nonconventional hydrocarbon recovery, refining, alternative energy, biofuels, and the environment. This segment also offers E-Gas, a gasification technology producing high-value synthetic gas. ConocoPhillips was founded in 1917 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By Tyler Crowe]
Also, to comound these problems, there isn’t a clear leader of the project that can steer its investment deicisions. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A ) , Eni (NYSE: E ) , Total (NYSE: TOT ) , and Kazakh national oil company KazMunaiGas each have a16.81% working interest in the project. This has led to problems involving investment decisions and project mangement.BothExxonMobilandRoyal Dutch Shellhave been extremelydisappointedwith the results, to the point that they have threatened to pull out of the project altogether on a couple of occasions, andConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) did get out this year by selling its $5 billion stake in the project to China National Petroleum.
- [By Teresa Rivas]
Other oil majors like Exxon (XOM) and ConocoPhillips (COP) are also up today.
Update: Reuters is reporting that Chevron is considering bid for stake in a Brazil offshore oil prospect (via Briefing.com).
Top Clean Energy Companies To Own In Right Now: Stage Stores, Inc.(SSI)
Stage Stores, Inc. operates as a specialty department store retailer in small and mid-sized towns and communities in the United States. Its merchandise portfolio comprises moderately priced brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear, and home goods. The company also offers merchandise direct-to-consumer through its e-commerce Website and send program. As of January 30, 2016, it operated 834 specialty department stores in 39 states and a direct-to-consumer channel under the BEALLS, GOODY’S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES, and STAGE nameplates. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Stage Stores Inc (NYSE: SSI) shares fell 15.11 percent to $5.00 in pre-market trading after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q1 results and lowered its full-year outlook.
Hot Industrial Disributor Companies To Invest In Right Now: General Motors Company(GM)
General Motors Company designs, builds, and sells cars, crossovers, trucks, and automobile parts worldwide. The company operates through GM North America, GM Europe, GM International Operations, GM South America, and GM Financial segments. It markets its vehicles primarily under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Holden, Vauxhall, Baojun, Jiefang, and Wuling brand names. The company also sells cars and trucks to dealers for consumer retail sales, as well as to fleet customers, including daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies, and governments. In addition, it offers connected safety, security and mobility solutions, and information technology services. The company, through its subsidiary, General Motors Financial Company, Inc., provides automotive financing services. General Motors Company was founded in 1897 and is based in Detroit, Michigan.
- [By Lisa Levin]
General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Thursday.
General Motors reported quarterly earnings of $2.0 billion, or $1.24 per share, compared to $900 million, or $0.56 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, the company’s adjusted earnings came in at $1.26 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.01 per share.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
General Motors (GM) has fallen today on reports that both Canada’s national government and that of Ontario sold 30 million shares of the U.S. automaker at Tuesday’s close.
The Toronto Star has the details:
The federal and Ontario governments have sold a block of 30 million shares in General Motors valued in the neighbourhood of $1.1 billion, a portion of the equity they received when they bailed out the automaker in 2009.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in an email that the shares were sold at Tuesdays closing price of $37 (U.S.) on the New York Stock Exchange, minus a small discount.
With completion of the sale, the governments will continue to hold more than 119 million GM common shares and 16.1 million GM series A preferred stock through a federal agency.
Investors might want to keep a closer on the U.S. unemployment rate, which has been a leading indicator of U.S. auto demand. Sterne Agee’s Michael Ward writes:
Historically, employment levels have been a primary indicator for new vehicle demand. Unemployment continues to be a cautious indicator for auto demand but the recent trends have been positive. The August unemployment rate of 7.3% decreased from 7.4% in July after adding 169,000 jobs in the month. Low levels of unemployment were a positive for the auto industry in the late-90s and into 2007 (the average unemployment rate between 1995 and 2007 was 5.0%), but higher levels over the last few years have disrupted confidence and limited the pace of the recovery. The Figure below compares the employment rate against a 12-month moving total of U.S. light vehicle sales. On a positive note, auto sales have been a leading indicator for the direction of U.S. employment trends over the last 30 years, and the trend is holding up once again this time around.
Europe, too, could be a source of sales, if the head of GM’s Opel unit is to be believed. The Wall Street Journal
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Earnings from Ford Motors (F) and General Motors (GM) were pretty good. The stocks’ reactions, however, were not as investors fretted that such profits were unsustainable. In writing about General Motors, JPMorgan’s Ryan Brinkman and team call cycle fears “overblown.” They explain why:
- [By abirk]
Teslas growing valuation now stands at $20.6 billion. This has infused the company with capital to aggressively invest in Superchargers, production, and international expansion. While Tesla has 1 percent of Ford Motor Companys (F) U.S. monthly sales, the electric car company already has nearly a third of Fords $64 billion market capitalization. Tesla is now worth more than Suzuki Motor Co (SZKMF), Mazda Motor Corp (MZDAY), and Fiat, the majority owner of Chrysler Group, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock has almost quadrupled in value this year, so it’s not surprising that most analysts believe the stock is too richly valued to buy at its current levels. With a forecast of 25% for Q4, Tesla has been continually growing its gross profit margins well above, and beyond what Ford and General Motors Company (GM) are capable of.
Hot Industrial Disributor Companies To Invest In Right Now: Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (The)(IPG)
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. provides advertising and marketing services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Integrated Agency Networks and Constituency Management Group. The company offers consumer advertising, digital marketing, communications planning and media buying, public relations, and specialized communications disciplines. It also provides various diversified services, including public relations, meeting and event production, sports and entertainment marketing, corporate and brand identity, and strategic marketing consulting. The companys brands comprise McCann, MullenLowe, IPG Mediabrands, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, and The Martin Agency, as well as Foote, Cone & Belding. The company was formerly known as McCann-Erickson Incorporated and changed its name to The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. in January 1961. The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Michael Flannelly]
Jefferies analysts noted that Interpublic Group of Companies Inc (IPG) offers some upside, but certain factors will continue to weigh down the stock. As such, the analysts upgraded the marketing and advertising company on Wednesday, but only with a tepid rating.
The analysts upgraded IPG from “Underperform” to “Hold” and now see shares reaching $17.20, up from the previous target of $11. This new price target suggests a slight upside to the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $16.92.
Jefferies analyst David Reynolds commented, “There’s a lot to be said for IPG, robust earnings growth profile, plays well into a ‘growth’ ad spend market and perhaps it remains the key beneficiary of all things POG. Yet, issues around North American profitability and developing economy scale continue to weigh. Richly valued and thus only c.2% upside to the ‘old normal’ and demonstrably bullish 16.7x forward earnings, we think warrants a HOLD. We set our new PT at US$17.20, 16.7x FY14 earnings.”
Interpublic Group shares were inactive during pre-market trading on Wednesday. The stock is up 53.54% year-to-date.