Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now

Even as Dow Chemical  (NYSE: DOW  )  agreed to follow through on one of the recommendations made by activist investor Daniel Loeb following his declaration last week that he had amassed a sizable $1.3 billion stake in the speciality chemicals maker, it couldn’t help but tweak him a bit while also rejecting the thrust of his larger proposal to spinoff its petrochemical business.

The specialty chemicals company said it will triple its stock buyback program, which Loeb believed could be a defensible action to take following the separation of the petrochemical unit as an overall plan to enhance shareholder value. It then went further by saying it will raise it’s quarterly dividend by 15%, to $0.37 per share, a measure that the hedge fund operator didn’t ask for, but no doubt appreciates nonetheless. But when it comes to spinning off the petrochemical business, Dow drew the line in rejecting it, and even scoffed that anyone could even consider the company as a petchem company, because it’s already exited more than $10 billion in commodities. 

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Control4 Corp (CTRL)

Control4 Corporation, incorporated on March 27, 2003, is a provider of automation and control solutions for the connected home. The Company provides its consumers with the ability to integrate music, video, lighting, temperature, security, communications and other functionalities into a unified home automation solution. The Company’s solution functions as the operating system of the home, making connected devices work together to control, automate and personalize the homes of its consumers. Control4 Home Operating System (C4 OS) is one of the product line of the Company. It embeds its C4 OS in a range of products, including controller appliances, interfaces and connected devices that interact with various music, video, lighting, temperature, security, communications and other devices. The Company offers its 4Sight subscription service, which allows consumers to control and monitor their homes remotely from their smartphone, tablet or laptop, and allows its dealers to perfo rm remote diagnostic services. The Company’s 4Sight allows consumer to remotely unlock the front door to let in a repairman, to turn on the air conditioning on the way home, and to monitor the home security cameras from a smartphone. In addition, its 4Store application marketplace offers a range of third-party applications for use with the Company’s products. The Company’s solution provides consumers with access to over 6,400 third-party devices.

Software Platform

At the center of the Control4 product line is the Control4 Home Operating System, and the associated application software and software development kits (SDKs). The high-level software components include Director, Navigator, Composer Professional Edition, Composer Home Edition and Composer Media Edition, DriverWorks SDK, and Navigator SDK and Application SDK. Director is a real-time, extensible home operating system kernel that is responsible for monitoring and receiving events from numer ous devices and services, processing those events according ! to consumer personalized settings, and then dispatching commands to the appropriate devices to perform predefined actions. Navigator displays intuitive and rich graphical user interfaces on televisions, in-wall and table-top touch panels, smartphones and tablets, as well as list-based devices, such as a remote controls with LCD text-displays. Composer Professional Edition is a software application that enables trained and certified Control4 dealers and installers to design, configure and personalize a Control4 home automation system for consumers. Composer Home Edition and Media Edition enable consumers to view and configure their Control4 managed devices. These drag-and-drop programs provide the ability to manage digital media and create and modify simple programs and policies (such as changing lighting scenes, modifying custom buttons and controlling behaviors among devices based on schedules or times of the day). DriverWorks SDK is a software development kit that enables dealers, programmers and device manufacturers to independently develop and test custom two-way interface drivers to support the integration of a new device or device model into its system, or to customize and enhance an existing driver. Navigator SDK and Application SDK are software development kits that enable third-party dealers and programmers to customize and deliver new application functionality within Navigator user interfaces on Control4 interface devices through the development of applications.

Products with Embedded Software and Services

The Company’s controller appliances run its Director software to monitor, process and automate events, statuses and actions for numerous devices and services, creating a connected home experience. It offers the HC-800, a whole home controller appliance, and the HC-250, a single-room controller appliance. It also licenses its Director software on the new Sony ES 5800 and 2800 receivers, transforming them i nto controller appliances with home theater audio and video ! capabilit! ies. The Company offers touch panels, handheld remote controls and keypads as interface devices. It also develops and delivers software applications for Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets that enable these personal devices to become control interfaces to Control4 connected homes, both on-premise and remotely. The Company offers network-enabled 4×4 and 8×8 zone audio amplifiers, and a 16×16 audio matrix switch for versatile multi-room and whole-home audio distribution. It also offers an integrated digital media player for integration of local digital audio and video, as well as Wi-Fi and Ethernet amplified speaker points for streaming digital audio to speakers in areas without an audio receiver.

The Company offers a suite of lighting products that provide personalized control and energy management. Its suite of wireless light switches and dimmers can replace devices in an existing home or be installed in new homes. It offers in-wall wireless switches and dimmers for 120V, 240V and 277V electrical loads, which meet the requirements of North America and many international markets. The also plan to offer panelized systems, where all of the lighting control will be done on a remote panel. Its new Control4 lighting products will have the ability to measure how much energy each load is using and provide suggestions to the consumer on how to conserve energy and reduce costs. The Company offers devices that provide energy savings, convenience and efficiency for temperature control. Its wireless multi-stage thermostat is completely programmable with up to six set points per day and, using its 4Sight subscription service, is remotely accessible and controllable. The Company provides a set of products and software services created by the Company, as well as distribute certified third-party products, including deadbolts, door and window sensors, motion sensors, garage access systems and water leak detection systems, from its securit y partners, such as Baldwin, Card Access, Kwikset and Yale. ! The Compa! ny offers full motion video and hi-fidelity audio intercom capability through its in-wall and tabletop touchscreens, as well as its exterior weather-resistant door stations. 4Sight is a subscription service that enables 24×7 home monitoring and control from virtually anywhere, remote home programming and support, and instant email alerts based on home events so that homeowners are always in-the-know.

The Company offers a subscription service called 4Sight that enables remote access to the connected home without exposing the installer or consumer to the complexities of communicating around firewalls and private Internet Protocol addresses. This service facilitates connections between remote client devices and its systems through a cloud-based service. Using 4Sight, consumers can remotely monitor and control their Control4 systems as if they were at their homes.

The Company competes with AMX, Crestron, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, Savant, L ogitech, Lutron, Nest, Roku, Sonos and Universal Remote Control, ADT, Comcast, Verizon and Vivint.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jason Moser]

    In this edition of The Motley Fool’s “Ask a Fool” series, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Brendan Mathews take a question from a reader who asks, “Is there any specific reason why Control4 (NASDAQ: CTRL  ) is pretty volatile? Seems like it’s up or down over 5% everyday!”

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Alamy You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From food giants to tech bellwethers, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street. Monday — Organic Growth: The market for organic foods has never been hotter, and Annie’s (BNNY) is there to cash in on consumers craving more natural edibles. It makes organic pastas, crackers, frozen pizzas, and other food products. Annie’s reports after the market closes on Monday. It should be another quarter of healthy growth. Analysts see revenue and earnings growing by roughly 20 percent for the quarter that ended in December. The one thing that investors will need to watch out for is that Annie’s has missed Wall Street’s profit targets in the previous two quarters. Tuesday — In Control: One of last month’s big winners was Control4 (CTRL). Shares of the home automation specialist soared 29 percent in January, bucking the market, which took a bit of a tumble. And you don’t have to look too hard to spot the catalyst behind its rally. Google’s (GOOG) acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest drew attention to Control4 as another play on automated home technology. The thinking here is that if Google is buying into the niche of Web-fueled home automation, other dot-com giants may consider acquiring Control4 to establish a presence in this new battlefield. Control4 reports on Tuesday. It’s unlikely to admit that it’s receiving buyout interest on the heels of Google’s move, but you know it’s going to be asked. Wednesday — The Cisco kid: It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time when Cisco (CSCO) was this country’s most valuable company. Just before the dot-com bubble popped, the leading provider of routers, switches, and other networking gear commanded the market’s largest market cap. Then again, at the time we thought that anything Web-related was worth a whole lot of money, and Cisco was the co

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Control4 Corp. (NASDAQ: CTRL) was started as Buy at Canaccord Genuity on a likely late Tuesday call. This one was started as Buy at BofA/Merrill Lynch on Tuesday as the broker quiet period ended.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Control4 Corp. (NASDAQ: CTRL) was started as Buy with a $26 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch.

    Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was reinstated as Buy with a $62 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch, and remember this one we recently dubbed the current king of the stock buybacks.

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Wolverine World Wide Inc.(WWW)

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. designs, manufactures, sources, markets, licenses, and distributes branded footwear, apparel, and accessories. It offers industrial work shoes, boots, uniform shoes, outdoor sports footwear, rugged casual footwear, lifestyle footwear, sandals, and closed-toe products. It also provides outdoor apparel, and work and rugged casual apparel; and accessories, such as packs, bags, and luggage, as well as eyewear, gloves, handbags, socks, watches, and plush toys. The company offers its products under various brand names, including Bates, Cat Footwear, Chaco, Cushe, Harley-Davidson Footwear, Hush Puppies, HyTest, Merrell, Patagonia Footwear, Sebago, Soft Style, and Wolverine. It sells its products to a range of retail customers, which comprise department stores, national chains, catalogs, specialty retailers, mass merchants, Internet retailers, governments, and municipalities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The company also markets its products in approximately 190 countries and territories through company-owned wholesale operations, licensees, and distributors. It also licenses its brands for use on non-footwear products. As of December 31, 2011, the company operated 101 retail stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; and operated 42 consumer-direct Websites. Further, it markets pigskin leather, and purchases raw pigskins from other source. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. was founded in 1883 and is based in Rockford, Michigan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Suravi Thacker]

    Skechers has also been able to outpace its peers such as Wolverine World Wide (WWW) and Crocs (CROX). Skechers has provided a return of 88.8%, in terms of stock price appreciation, in the last year. On the other hand, Wolverine World Wide’s stock price dropped by 1.1% and Crocs’ price declined 15.1%. This highlights Skechers’ attractiveness and its outperformance against its peers.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Deckers Outdoor have dropped 13% to $73.90, while Crocs (CROX) has gained 0.8% to $15.24, Steve Madden (SHOO) has dropped 0.1% to $36.52, Wolverine World Wide (WWW) has fallen 1.2% to $126.36 and Skechers (SKX) has fallen 1.6% to $33.82.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: NKE is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index. The company’s peer group includes: Crocs Inc. (CROX) with a 0.0% yield, Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK) with a 0.0% yield and Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) with a 0.4% yield.

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Alkaline Water Company Inc (WTER)

The Alkaline Water Company Inc., formerly Global Lines Inc, incorporated on June 6, 2011, is a developer of electrolysis beverage process, packaged and branded as Alkaline84. Alkaline84 is the Company’s flagship product designed to encourage daily consumption of Alkaline Water through a consumer oriented bulk delivery system. The Company is engaged in the development of a national retail bulk distribution network delivering Electrochemically Activated Water (ECA) to consumers everywhere. The Company is focused on the business of distributing and marketing the retail sale of its packaged Alkaline84 branded beverage products.

Alkaline84 is available in two sizes: three liters and one gallon. Alkaline84 is a pH balanced bottled alkaline drinking water enhanced with 84 trace minerals and electrolytes. Alkaline84 is available for consumer sales at a number of major retail locations across the southwestern United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    The initial thought may be that it’s a bit of an awkward sales venue. The more one thinks about it – and digs – the more this relationship makes sense. And if you did really deep into the details (into a philosophical level), a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” scenario surfaces. What’s this not-really-unusual relationship? The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (OTCBB:WTER) is now selling its Alkaline88 brand of water through Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Take that Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ:PRMW)!

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    If you’ve lost count of how many distributors Alkaline Water Company Inc. (OTCBB:WTER) has working for it now, you’re not alone. Ditto for the number of grocers that are offering its flagship produce… one-gallon bottles of Alkaline84 water (some of the best-tasting and healthiest spring water you could ever drink). So many distributors and grocery store chains have just started carrying Alkaline84 within the past two months that it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with how quickly WTER has gotten its ball rolling. There is one thing that’s clear though – Alkaline Water Company has a LOT of momentum right now, up from none at the beginning of July. Take a look at all the doors the company has opened since it actually began marketing its bottled water:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap OTC drinking water stocks Glacier Water Services, Inc (OTCMKTS: GWSV), AWG International Water Corp (OTCBB: AWGI) and Alkaline Water Company Inc (OTCBB: WTER) all offer a product that many consumer, investors and traders alike might take for granted, but everyone needs to have. However, you can build a better mouse trap when it comes to drinking water or at least that what these three small caps are attempting to do with their own unique strategies:

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: lululemon athletica inc.(LULU)

Lululemon Athletica Inc., together with its subsidiaries engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of athletic apparel and accessories for women, men, and female youth primarily in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Its apparel assortments include fitness pants, shorts, tops, and jackets for healthy lifestyle activities, such as yoga, running, and general fitness. The company?s fitness-related accessories comprise bags, socks, underwear, yoga mats, instructional yoga DVDs, and water bottles. It sells its products through its retail stores; independent franchises; and a network of wholesale accounts, such as yoga studios, health clubs, and fitness centers, as well as directly to consumers through e-commerce. As of May 1, 2011, the company had 142 corporate-owned and franchise stores under the lululemon athletica and ivivva athletica brand names. Lululemon Athletica Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    After a relatively quiet period, analysts have begun to ramp up their research on Lululemon Athletica (LULU) ahead of its earnings report scheduled for June 12.

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    In an update today, JP Morgan analyst Brian Tunick said yoga and athletic apparel maker Lululemon (LULU) has a bright future–and that it involves going global. Big time.

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Fossil Inc.(FOSL)

Fossil, Inc. designs, develops, markets, and distributes fashion accessories worldwide. It offers a line of fashion watches under its proprietary brands, such as FOSSIL, MICHELE, RELIC, and ZODIAC; and through licensed brands, including ADIDAS, BURBERRY, DIESEL, DKNY, EMPORIO ARMANI, MARC BY MARC JACOBS, and MICHAEL KORS. The company designs, markets, and arranges for the manufacture of watches and accessories on behalf of certain mass market retailers, companies, and organizations as private label products or as premium and incentive items for use in various corporate events. It also provides various fashion accessories for men and women, including handbags, belts, small leather goods, jewelry, and sunglasses through company owned retail stores, department stores, and specialty retail stores, as well as over the Internet and through catalogs. In addition, the company sells a line of soft accessories, such as hats, gloves, and scarves, as well as a handbag collection. Furt her, it offers apparel comprising jeans, outerwear, fashion tops and bottoms, and tee shirts for men and women through company-owned stores, as well as over the Internet and through catalogs. Additionally, the company provides footwear products, including sport court sneakers, authentic casuals, dress classics, and boots for men, as well as fashionable flats, heels, wedges, and boots for women. Fossil, Inc., through a license agreement with the Safilo Group, manufactures, markets, and sells optical frames under the FOSSIL and RELIC brand names in the United States and Canada. As of August 9, 2011, it had approximately 360 company-owned and operated retail stores. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Richardson, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Nordstrom (JWN) gained 15% this week after beating earnings and announcing that it would try to sell its credit card receivables, while Fossil Group (FOSL) plunged 7.8% to $101.90 after offering disappointing guidance, making it the benchmark’s biggest loser. Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) gained 5.5% after Coca-Cola (KO) upped its stake in the company.

  • [By apolloportfolio]

    Most Wall Street analysts will focus their research with the time horizon of less than one year. With 17 analysts covering Fossil (FOSL), It is very difficult to have materially different points of view. However, if we do our research with the time horizon between three and five years, the difference in time horizon will help us to gain a competitive edge against the Wall Street analysts.

  • [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are Kate Spade Co.(KATE), Deere(DE) & Co. and Fossil Group Inc.(FOSL)

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Universal Electronics Inc.(UEIC)

Universal Electronics Inc. develops and manufactures pre-programmed wireless remote control products, audio-video accessories, and software products. The company offers infrared and radio frequency remote controls; audio-video accessories; integrated circuits; and software, firmware, and technology solutions, which enable devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes, stereos, automotive audio systems, cell phones, and other consumer electronic devices to wirelessly connect and interact with home networks and interactive services to deliver digital entertainment and information. It is also involved in intellectual property licensing activities. The company sells its products directly, as well as through distributors in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Middle East, Mexico, Asia, and Latin America under the One For All and Nevo brands. It primarily serves cable and satellite television service providers, original equipment manufacturers, retailers, custom inst allers, software development companies, private label companies, and personal computing companies. Universal Electronics Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Cypress, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By , Zacks Investment Research]

    Universal Electronics (UEIC) makes a broad line of pre-programmed universal remote control products, audio-video accessories, and software that are marketed to enhance home entertainment systems. Its customers include subscription broadcasters (i.e., DirecTV (DTV)), original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), international retailers, private labels, and companies in the computing industry. Approximately 63% of its sales came from outside the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014. It has a market cap of $645 million.

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Frontier Beverage Company Inc (FBEC)

Frontier Beverage Company, Inc., incorporated on November 18, 2002, is in the business of development, marketing and distribution of New Age/Alternative Beverages and snack products. New Age/Alternative Beverages is an industry categorization for a group of products that include energy drinks/infused water, fruit juices and drinks, dairy and dairy substitutes, and bottled/canned teas. In October 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired holding company 22 Social Club Productions Inc. and its subsidiaries Blue 22 Entertainment.

The Company markets, sells and maintain inventories of Innovative Beverage Group Holdings, Inc. known as UnWind Ultimate Relaxation (UnWind) in Citrus Orange, Goji Grape and Pom Berry flavors in cases of twelve, 12-ounce slim cans. In addition to 12-ounce cans of UnWind, the Company also developed and test marketed a product line known as Bulldozer, which was a concentrated version of the canned UnWind beverage packaged in three-o unce containers. The Company’s point-of-sale line includes posters, statics, info cards, suction racks and suction stickers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Frontier Beverage Company Inc (OTCMKTS: FBEC), IMD Companies Inc (OTCMKTS: ICBU) and Dmh International Incorporated (OTCBB: DMHI) were all mimicking the Titanic last Friday by sinking 41.18%, 32.5% and 28.16%, respectively, last Friday. Moreover, all three of these stocks have been the subject of paid promotions or investor relation campaigns. With the promotions in mind, is it to late to dump these small cap stocks or will this week present a buying opportunity? Here is a closer look:

    Frontier Beverage Company Inc (OTCMKTS: FBEC) Announces Changes and Proposed Plans

    Small cap Frontier Beverage Company is a diversified holding company with the following subsidiaries: 22 Social Club Productions, Blue 22 Entertainment and App Quest LLC. On Friday, Frontier Beverage Company sank 41.18% to $0.005 for a market cap of $93,905 plus FBEC is down 77.5% since last March and down 99.2% over the past five years according to Google Finance.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Beeston Enterprises Ltd (OTCMKTS: BESE) and HD Retail Solutions Inc (OTCMKTS: HDRE) surged 33.33% and 11.54%, respectively, on Black Friday while Frontier Beverage Company Inc (OTCMKTS: FBEC) sank 18.18%. And while Black Friday might be the most important shopping day of the year for retailers, its probably not a day that sees a lot of action from investors and traders still digesting their Thanksgiving meals (or busy looking for deals at their favorite retailers). So what direction will these three small cap stocks do for investors and traders this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide:

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Winnebago Industries Inc.(WGO)

Winnebago Industries, Inc. manufactures and sells recreation vehicles primarily for leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities. The company offers motor homes, which are self-propelled mobile dwellings that provide living accommodations for approximately seven persons and include kitchen, dining, sleeping, and bath areas, as well as a lounge; and optional equipment accessories, such as generators, home theater systems, king-size beds, upholstery, and interior equipment. It manufactures motor homes constructed directly on medium- and heavy-duty truck chassis, which include engine and drivetrain components; and on van-type chassis onto which the motor home manufacturer constructs a living area with access to the driver’s compartment under the Winnebago and Itasca brand names, as well as panel-type vans with sleeping, kitchen, and/or toilet facilities under the Era brand name. The company also produces original equipment manufacturing parts, including extruded aluminum and other component products for other manufacturers and commercial vehicles. Winnebago Industries markets its motor homes through independent dealers primarily in the United States and Canada. The company was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Forest City, Iowa.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    The CEO of recreation vehicle (RV) stock Winnebago Industries, Inc (NYSE: WGO) recently appeared on CNBC to say that the economy is improving for RV makers, meaning its time to take a closer look at the stock plus take a look at the performance of other small cap RV stocks like Drew Industries, Inc (NYSE: DW), Skyline Corporation (NYSEMKT: SKY) and Thor Industries, Inc (NYSE: THO).

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Thursday’s session are Citigroup Inc.(C), GameStop Corp.(GME) and Winnebago Industries Inc.(WGO)

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: V.F. Corporation(VFC)

V.F. Corporation designs and manufactures, or sources from independent contractors various apparel and footwear products primarily in the United States and Europe. The company offers apparel, footwear, outdoor gear, skateboard-inspired and surf-inspired footwear, backpacks, luggage, handbags and accessories, outdoor apparel, travel accessories, and women?s active wear primarily under the Vans, The North Face, JanSport, Eastpak, Kipling, Napapijri, Reef, Eagle Creek, and lucy brands; and denim and casual bottoms, and tops principally under Wrangler, Lee, Riders, Rustler, and Timber Creek by Wrangler brands. Its products also include occupational, athletic, and licensed apparel primarily under the Red Kap, Bulwark, Majestic, MLB, NFL, and Harley-Davidson brands; men?s fashion sportswear, denim bottoms, sleepwear, underwear, as well as handbags, luggage, backpacks, and accessories principally under the Nautica and Kipling brands; and denim and casual bottoms, sportswear, acce ssories, men?s apparel and footwear, and women?s sportswear primarily under the 7 For All Mankind, John Varvatos, Splendid, and Ella Moss brands. The company sells its products to specialty stores, department stores, national chains, and mass merchants primarily through its sales force, independent sales agents, and distributors. V.F. Corporation was founded in 1899 and is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Getty Images/Scott Olson The demise of Crocs (CROX), it seems, may have been greatly exaggerated. Remember the company’s signature product? Close to a decade ago, those colorful, clunky resin clogs were all the rage. The company that made them couldn’t sell the things fast enough, at one point reaching sales of 50 million pairs in 2007. Then fashion moved on, as it always does, and the economic slowdown started to bite into sales. Crocs plunged from a $168 million net profit in 2007 to a $185 million loss in 2008. In 2009, the company nearly ran out of cash and had a hard time making payroll. But Crocs’ fortunes have improved. In its most recent quarter, the firm posted a loss, but it was narrower than the market was expecting. And it’s found an investor that believes in its future — private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX), which recently provided a $200 million cash investment in return for a block of preferred shares eventually convertible into a stake of around 13 percent of the company. Perhaps the time has come to take those old clogs out of the closet, dust them off, and slip them on for a stroll. Stepping It Up Fashion is highly susceptible to consumer whim. The hot item is never hot for very long, and once consumers move on, it can be hard for the company to recover. In Crocs’ case, this was exacerbated by its limited product line — almost exclusively the clogs. The company learned from its mistakes. Since consumer tastes moved out of clog-land, Crocs has significantly broadened its product line to 300 styles. It now offers boots, flip-flops, deck shoes and slip-ons akin to the casuals from VF Corp.’s (VFC) Vans subsidiary. In terms of profitability, Crocs recovered quickly from its time in the fashion wilderness. From that 2008 bottom-line deficit of $185 million, the company sliced its loss to $42 million the following year, then stepped back into the black in 2010 (to the tune of $68 million). After two straight years of declines, revenue

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    Summit Sports, a Michigan-based retailer of sporting goods, had this to say about the cold: “Our apparel sales are through the roof on Amazon … We’ve seen a 50% to 60% increase in sales on Amazon.” According to Compete Inc., the average weekly traffic in January for seven big-time retailers of cold-weather gear increased by 22% year-over-year. Both Columbia Sportswear (COLM) and Timberland, part of VF Corp. (VFC), saw YOY increases of more than 40%.

  • [By Kevin Donovan]

    Everybody’s saying it, so we will, too: Baby, it’s cold outside!  Companies like VF Corp (NYSE:VFC), maker of Wrangler jeans and winter clothing brands The North Face and Timberland, could be warming up as a result.  We think it’s a buy for risk-averse folks fearful of expensive equities but hard-pressed to find an alternative in the land of slender bond yields.

  • [By Louis Navellier]

    Shares of VF Corporation (VFC) retreated after the apparel maker reported fourth-quarter results. VF has been one of my top clothing picks for some time, so let’s see what was behind the pullback and whether this was a kneejerk reaction or truly a sign of tougher times to come.

Top 10 Consumer Companies To Own In Right Now: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.(PHG)

Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. engages in the healthcare, consumer lifestyle, and lighting product businesses worldwide. The company offers screening, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and health management services in cardio-pulmonary, oncology, and women?s health areas. Its healthcare products and solutions include X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound imaging equipment; and cardiology informatics and diagnostic electrocardiography, radiology information systems, picture archiving and communication systems, patient monitoring and clinical informatics, perinatal care, and therapeutic care systems. The company?s healthcare products and solutions also consist of sleep management and respiratory care, medical alert, remote cardiac, and remote patient management services. In addition, it offers consultancy, site planning and project management, clinical, education, equipment financing, asset management, and equipment mainten a nce and repair services. The company?s consumer lifestyle products and solutions comprise mother and childcare, oral healthcare, male grooming, skincare, and beauty products; coffee, floor and garment care, kitchen, water and air, and beverage appliances; and communication and control, audio and multimedia, speech processing, headphones and accessories, and home cinema and video products. Its lighting solutions include lamps, including incandescent, halogens, fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, and LED lamps; consumer luminaires for functional, decorative, lifestyle, and scene-setting applications; professional luminaires for city beautification, and road, sports, shop/hospitality, and industry lighting applications; systems and controls, that include electronic and electromagnetic gears, controls, modules, and drivers; automotive lighting, such as car headlights, car signaling, and interior; and packaged LEDs. The company was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Ams t erdam, the Netherlands.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    The HomeKit app lets makers of “smart” appliances, such as lights, thermostats, door locks, and so on, connect to Apple’s HomeKit app, so all of those things can be controlled from an iPhone. Several big names are already on board, including Koninklijke Philips NV (NYSE ADR: PHG), Kwikset, and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON).

  • [By victorselva]

    General Electric has a current ratio of 10% which is lower than all the comps: 3M Company (MMM), Danaher Corp. (DHR), Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL), Koninklijke Philips N.V (PHG) and Raven Industries Inc. (RAVN).

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Koninklijke Philips NV (NYSE: PHG) was down, falling 5.52 percent to $32.68 after the company reported a drop in its Q1 profit.

    Commodities
    In commodity news, oil traded down 1.91 percent to $102.38, while gold traded down 0.52 percent to $1,281.80. Silver traded up 0.05 percent Tuesday to $19.36, while copper rose 0.10 percent to $3.03.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Koninklijke Philips NV (NYSE: PHG) fell 5.98% to $32.52 after the company reported a drop in its Q1 profit.

    Xerox (NYSE: XRX) dropped 2.96% to $11.13 after the company reported its Q1 earnings of $0.27 per share on revenue of $5.12 billion and lowered its FY14 earnings outlook.