Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now


Philippe Lopez, AFP, Getty Images Apple (AAPL) is pledging action after once again coming under fire for its suppliers’ labor practices in Asia. On Monday, the New York-based nonprofit China Labor Watch released a report slamming Apple for labor violations at three Shanghai factories run by Pegatron, a Taiwanese company. The report describes a litany of labor abuses, some of which violate both Chinese law and Apple’s own Supplier Code of Conduct. The report describes 11-hour shifts at below-average wages, insufficient shower facilities, involuntary overtime and substandard food, among other complaints. It also reveals discriminatory hiring practices, including the exclusion of certain ethnic minorities and people over the age of 35. And it alleges that recruitment agencies used by Pegatron charged unlawful hiring fees and held onto workers’ IDs for as long as two weeks, preventing them from resigning and seeking new work. The report was researched by undercover investigators, who conducted interviews with workers from March to June. It says that the workers at Pegatron’s facilities were assembling Apple’s new, cheaper iPhone 5C, which has not been formally confirmed by Apple but has been the subject of rumors for some time. Apple has been stung by bad PR stemming from labor problems at its numerous Asian contractors, including worker suicides and underaged workers at Foxconn, a major partner in China. So it was quick to respond to these latest allegations. In a statement, Apple said that it had conducted 18 audits of Pegatron facilities over the last six years, and that its previous audits had shown an average work week of 46 hours — a far cry from the 66-hour work weeks alleged by China Labor Watch’s investigation. It also said that it had put a stop to the company holding onto workers’ IDs almost as soon as it became aware of the practice. Still, Apple says that it was unaware of much of the information contained in the report, and it pledged to take steps to address the issues. It says that it will send auditors to the Pegatron factories in question this week, and that it will address any violations of its Code of Conduct and see to it that workers are compensated any unpaid wages. It’s no surprise that Apple is responding so quickly and decisively Monday morning. Conditions at the Foxconn plants have been an ongoing PR nightmare for Apple, and the last thing the company wants is another round of Asian labor headaches.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc (SHOS)


Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. (SHO), incorporated on April 23, 2012, is a retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, hardware, tools and lawn and garden equipment. As of April 28, 2012, the Company and its dealers and franchisees operated 1,238 stores across all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Guam and Bermuda. The Company also provides its customers with a range of services, including home delivery and installation and product protection agreements. SHO operates in two segments: the Sears Hometown and Hardware segment and the Sears Outlet segment.


Sears Hometown

Sears Hometown and Hardware segment’s stores are designed to provide its customers with in-store and online access to a range selection of brands of home appliances, tools, lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods, consumer electronics and household goods, depending on the particular store. Its Sears Outlet stores are designed to provide its customers with in-store and online access to purchase new, one-of-a-kind, out-of-carton, discontinued, obsolete, used, reconditioned, overstocked and scratched and dented products, collectively, outlet-value products, including home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, apparel, mattresses, televisions, sporting goods and tools.


As of April 28, 2012, the Sears Hometown and Hardware segment consisted of 944 Sears Hometown Stores, 96 Sears Hardware Stores and 76 Sears Home Appliance Showrooms. The 944 Sears Hometown Stores are primarily independently owned stores, predominantly located in smaller communities and offering appliances, consumer electronics, lawn and garden equipment, and hardware. Hometown Stores carry y Sears brand products, such as Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, as well as other brands. 96 Sears Hardware Stores are hardware stores that carry Craftsman brand tools and lawn and garden equipment, DieHard brand batteries and other national brands and other home improvement pr oducts. 93 of these locations also offer a selection of Kenm! ore and other national brands of home appliances.


Sears Hometown and Hardware business operates through three formats: Sears Hometown Stores (Hometown Stores), Sears Hardware Stores (Hardware Stores), and Sears Home Appliance Showrooms (Home Appliance Showrooms). Hometown Stores offer products and services across a range of merchandise categories, including home appliances, consumer electronics, lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods, tools and household goods. Most of its Hometown Stores carry Sears brand products, such as Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, as well as other national brands. Its Hardware Stores offer products and services across a range of merchandise categories and sales are primarily driven by tools, lawn and garden equipment, home appliances, and other home improvement products. In addition, these stores offer blade sharpening, key cutting and screen repair, as well as products typically found in local hardware stores, such as fasteners, ele ctrical supplies and plumbing supplies. These stores carry Craftsman brand tools and lawn and garden equipment, DieHard brand batteries and a range of national brands and other home improvement products. Its Home Appliance Showrooms offer home appliances and related services in stores primarily located in strip malls and lifestyle centers of metropolitan areas. Home Appliance Showroom sales are primarily driven by big-ticket cooking, laundry and refrigeration home appliances, as well as, in certain stores, mattresses. These stores carry Kenmore and other national brands of home appliances. As of April 28, 2012, out of 76 Home Appliance Showrooms in 19 states, 44 of these stores are owned and operated by franchisees, 30 stores are owned and operated by the Company and two are owned and operated by independent dealers.


Sears Outlet

As of April 28, 2012, the Sears Outlet segment consisted of 122 Sears Outlet Stores. The Company’s Sears Outlet stores provide in-store and online access to purchase outlet-value ! products ! across a range of merchandise categories, including home appliances, consumer electronics, lawn and garden equipment, apparel, sporting goods, tools, and household goods.

The Company competes with Sears Holdings, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s and Tractor Supply, Ace Hardware, True Value, HH Gregg and US Appliances.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    On Friday, the stock market posted another sizable gain, sending several major market benchmarks to new all-time record levels. In the absence of any downright bad news, investors have been willing to bid most stocks higher, and enthusiasm about the direction of the U.S. economy appears to be bolstering the bullish argument in favor of further investment in stocks. Yet, a few stocks nevertheless fell today, and Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE: HTZ  ) , Diamond Foods (NASDAQ: DMND  ) , and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (NASDAQ: SHOS  ) were among the weakest performers in the stock market on Friday.

  • [By Chris Isidore]

    Selling the Canadian stores would raise much-needed cash. The company recently spun off its Lands’ End unit that it paid $1.9 billion for in 2002. Two years ago it sold a line of specialty stores, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (SHOS).

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: SK3 Group Inc (SKTO)

SK3 Group, Inc. (SK3), formerly CTT International Distributors Inc., is a development-stage company. The Company was formed by the merger of Slabsdirect.com, Inc. and CTT International Distributors Inc. SK3 has one subsidiary, CTT Distributors Ltd., which is the operating company. SK3 is in the e-commerce business and provides non-branded computer and electronic merchandise at discount prices to the Internet consumer through its Website www.cheaperthanthem.com. The Website is hosted by Ezyra E-Business Services, an unrelated party, which charges SK3 an annual fee to host the Website. In December 2009, Healthcare of Today, Inc. acquired controlling interest in the Company. In December 2009, the Company acquired NuvoDigital Technology, Inc., a data security technology firm based in Salt Lake City. In addition, in December 2009, the Company’s parent company Healthcare of Today, Inc. acquired Xenotis Pty Ltd. In February 2011, the Company acquired PRN Registry. In March 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of HealthStaff Training Institute. In March 2011, the Company acquired W&M Medical Management, Inc. Effective March 14, 2013, the Company acquired Medical Greens, a provider of medical logistics services.


SK3 has a direct business, in which it buys and takes possession of excess electronic and computer inventory for resale (Direct Business). In addition, SK3 has a fulfillment partner business, in which SK3 facilitates the sale of merchandise of other retailers, cataloguers or manufacturers (Fulfillment Associates) through the Website (Fulfillment Business). For both the direct business and fulfillment business, SK3 has developed a consumer and a wholesaler sales channel.

SK3’s Direct Business involves buying and taking possession of inventory for resale. The Company offers moving picture experts group layer-3 audio (MP3) players and a frequency modulation (FM) transmitter accessory for MP3 players on the We bsite. SK3 seeks to become an online retailer offering non-b! randed electronic and computer merchandise for sale over the Internet. SK3’s Fulfillment Business sells merchandise of Fulfillment Associates through the Website. SK3 manages the orders collected for the Fulfillment Associates through the Website and forwards the orders on to the Fulfillment Associate, who then fills the order. The Fulfillment Associates perform essentially the same operations as a warehouse: order picking and shipping.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Truth be told, it’s not clear if SK3 Group Inc. (OTCMKTS:SKTO) is best described when compared to a name like Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN), or to a Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIV). The company’s got elements of both major industries being represented by CERN and GTIV (home health care, and information technology), with the addition of another budding industry thrown into the mix. One thing IS clear though… SKTO shares have decidedly reversed a nasty downtrend, and may now be one of the market’s best small cap healthcare speculative trades.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Lowe’s Companies Inc.(LOW)


Lowe’s Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, home decorating, and property maintenance. It provides home improvement products in the categories of appliances, lumber, paint, millwork, building materials, lawn and landscape products, flooring, rough plumbing, seasonal living, tools, hardware, fashion plumbing, lighting, nursery, outdoor power equipment, cabinets and countertops, home organization, rough electrical, and home fashion, as well as boards, panel products, irrigation pipes, vinyl sidings, and ladders. The company also offers installation services through independent contractors in various product categories. Lowe’s Companies serves homeowners and renters primarily consisting of do-it-yourself customers and do-it-for-me customers; and commercial business customers, who work in the construction, rep air/remodel, commercial and residential property management, or business maintenance professions. As of August 15, 2011, it operated approximately 1,725 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company also offers its products through electronic product catalogs and Lowes.com. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is based in Mooresville, North Carolina.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Balter says the sale of the Cupertino location and the sublease of others should be good news for Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW), while its decision to reduce exposure to big-screen TVs could give a small benefit to Best Buy (BBY).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Goldman Sachs’ Matthew Fassler and team are feeling more bullish on consumer willingness to spend on their homes, leading them to raise their price target on Neutral-weighted Home Depot (HD) and lift Lowe’s (LOW) to Buy.

  • [By Brian Nichols]

    To explain, Restoration Hardware’s most recent quarter’s comparable sales growth can be seen below, compared to home improvement competitors Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL  ) , Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) , and Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW  ) . In addition to the single-quarter performance, the same period for the previous two years is also included, further illustrating the degree of growth for Restoration Hardware long term.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: GUESS? Inc (GES)

Guess?, Inc. (GUESS?) designs, markets, distributes and licenses apparel and accessories for men, women and children. The Company operates in five: Europe, North American Retail, Asia, North American Wholesale and Licensing. The Company’s products are sold through retail, wholesale, e-commerce and licensing distribution channels. The lines include full collections of clothing, including jeans, pants, skirts, dresses, shorts, blouses, shirts, jackets, knitwear and intimate apparel. It also grant licenses to manufactures and distributes a range of products, including eyewear, watches, handbags, footwear, kids’ and infants’ apparel, leather apparel, swimwear, fragrance, jewelry and other fashion accessories. In fiscal 2012, the Company, along with its distributors and licensees, opened 224 stores in all concepts combined outside of the United Sates and Canada, which consisted of 120 stores in Europe and the Middle East, 89 stores in Asia and 15 stores in the combined area o f Central and South America.


As of January 28, 2012, the Company directly operated a total of 504 stores in the United Sates and Canada and 251 stores outside of the United Sates and Canada, and in addition, 230 smaller-sized concessions in Asia and Europe. As of January 28, 2012, its international licensees and distributors operated 804 stores located outside the United Sates and Canada, and 119 smaller-sized licensee operated concessions located in Asia. As of January 28, 2012, it operated retail Websites in the United Sates, Canada, Europe and South Korea. As of January 28, 2012, it had e-commerce available to 26 countries, and in 6 languages around the world. The Company and its network of licensee partners sell its products around the world primarily through six different store concepts, namely its flagship GUESS? retail stores, its GUESS? factory outlet stores, its GUESS by MARCIANO stores, its G by GUESS stores, its GUESS? Accessories stores and its GUESS ? Kids stores. The Company also has a small number of footwe! ar, Gc watch and underwear concept stores.


Europe Segment

In the Company’s Europe segment, GUESS? sells its products in 63 countries throughout Europe and the Middle East through wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels. In fiscal 2012, its Europe segment accounted for approximately 37.6% of its revenues. The Company’s European wholesale business generally relies on a large number of smaller regional distributors and agents to distribute its products primarily to smaller independent multi-brand boutiques. The Company’s products are also sold directly to department stores like Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and El Corte Ingles. As of January 28, 2012, GUESS? had showrooms in Barcelona, Dusseldorf, Munich, London, Paris, Florence and Lugano. It sells both its apparel and certain accessories products under the Company’s GUESS? and GUESS by MARCIANO brand concepts through its wholesale channel, operating primarily through two seasons, Spring/Su mmer and Fall/Winter.


The Company’s European retail network consists of a mix of directly operated and licensee operated GUESS? and GUESS by MARCIANO retail and outlet stores, GUESS? Accessories stores, GUESS? Footwear stores and GUESS? Kids stores. As of January 28, 2012, it had 179 directly operated stores and 382 licensee stores, excluding 17 smaller-sized concessions in Europe. During fiscal 2012, the Company opened 45 new directly operated stores, 75 licensee stores and 5 concessions. The Company’s GUESS? Accessories stores average approximately 800 square feet, GUESS by MARCIANO stores average approximately 1,300 square feet and full-price GUESS? stores generally average 2,300 square feet.


North American Retail Segment

In the Company’s North American Retail segment, it sells its products through a network of directly operated retail and factory outlet stores in North America and through its on-line stores. In fiscal 2012, th e Company’s North American Retail segment accounted for ap! proximate! ly 41.6% of its revenue. As of January 28, 2012, it also directly operated 25 GUESS? branded stores in Mexico through a majority-owned joint venture. The Company’s the United Sates and Canada GUESS? retail stores carry an assortment of men’s and women’s GUESS? merchandise, including most of its licensed product categories. As of January 28, 2012, these stores occupied approximately 1,025,000 square feet and ranged in size from approximately 2,500 to 13,500 square feet, with most stores between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet. In fiscal 2012, it opened nine new retail stores and GUESS? closed four stores.


The Company’s the United Sates and Canada factory outlet stores are located primarily in outlet malls generally operating outside the shopping radius of its wholesale customers and its retail stores. These stores sell selected styles of men’s and women’s GUESS? apparel and licensed products. As of January 28, 2012, its the United Sates and Canada factory outlet stores occupied approximately 717,000 square feet and ranged in size from approximately 2,000 to 11,000 square feet, with most stores between 4,500 and 6,500 square feet. In fiscal 2012, it opened 10 new factory stores. The Company’s G by GUESS store carries apparel for both men and women and a line of accessories and footwear. As of January 28, 2012, its G by GUESS stores occupied approximately 317,000 square feet and ranged in size from approximately 4,000 to 10,000 square feet, with most stores between 4,000 and 5,500 square feet. In fiscal 2012, the Company opened 12 new G by GUESS stores and it closed three stores.Its GUESS? Accessories store concept sells GUESS? and GUESS by MARCIANO labeled accessory products.


As of January 28, 2012, the Company’s GUESS? Accessories concept stores occupied approximately 122,000 square feet and ranged in size from approximately 1,000 to 4,000 square feet, with most stores between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet. In fiscal 2012, GUESS? opened four new GUESS? Accessories stores and i! t closed ! three stores. The Company’s GUESS by MARCIANO stores in the United Sates and Canada offer a women’s collection designed for the stylish, trend-setting woman. As of January 28, 2012, its GUESS by MARCIANO stores occupied approximately 156,000 square feet and ranged in size from approximately 2,000 to 6,500 square feet, with most stores between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. In fiscal 2012, it opened two new GUESS by MARCIANO stores and the Company closed four stores. The Company’s North American Retail segment also includes its the United Sates and Canada retail Websites, including www.guess.com, www.gbyguess.com, www.guessbymarciano.com, www.guesskids.com, www.guess.ca and www.guessbymarciano.ca. These Websites operates as virtual storefronts that both sell its products and promotes its brands.


Asia Segment

In the Company’s Asia segment, GUESS? sells its products through wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels throughout Asia. In fiscal 2012, its Asia segment accounted for approximately 9.3% of its revenue. Its Asia retail business includes both licensee and the Company operated stores, including GUESS?, G by GUESS, GUESS by MARCIANO, Gc, GUESS? Accessories and GUESS? Underwear stores. During fiscal 2012, it and its partners opened 89 new stores in Asia, as of January 28, 2012, it had 423 stores, 47 of which it operated directly and 376 of which were operated by licensees or distributors. The Company and its partners opened flagship stores in cities, such as Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei and Beijing and have partnered with licensees to develop its business in the second tier cities in this region.


North American Wholesale Segment

In the Company’s North American Wholesale segment, it sells its products through wholesale channels in North America and to third party distributors based in Central and South America. In fiscal 2012, its North American Wholesale segment accounted for approximately 7.0% of its revenue. As of January 28, 20! 12, its p! roducts were sold to consumers through 1,005 major doors in the United Sates and Canada. These locations include 345 shop-in-shops, a selling area within a department store that offers an array of its products and incorporates GUESS? signage and fixture designs. The Company has sales representatives in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. During fiscal 2012, Macy’s, Inc. was its largest domestic wholesale customer, accounting for approximately 2.7% of its consolidated net revenue.


Licensing Segment

The Company’s licensing segment includes the worldwide licensing operations of the Company. In fiscal 2012, its licensing segment royalties accounted for approximately 4.5% of its revenue. As of January 28, 2012, GUESS? had 19 domestic and international licenses that included eyewear, watches, handbags, footwear, kids’ and infants’ apparel, leather outerwear, fragrance, jewelry and other fashion accessories; and included licenses for the manufacture of GUESS? branded products in markets, which include Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Central America, North America and South America.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By starskyinvestments]

    Branded apparel retailer Guess (GES) disclosed lower-than-expected results for the second quarter due to a weak retail environment in North America, slow store traffic, and promotional activity. However, its results were more than offset by the tremendous growth of 48% in its e-commerce business that continues to gain momentum, compensating for the slow traffic in stores.

  • [By Ted Cooper]

    Unfortunately, investors sometimes forget that not all dividend stocks are created equal. As tempting as it may be to zero in on the yields offered by Guess?, (NYSE: GES  ) , Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI  ) , and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, (NYSE: HOT  ) , the business prospects of each company are uncertain enough to make them dangerous stocks to hold in conservative dividend portfolios.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: ANN Inc (ANN)


ANN INC., incorporated in 1988, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a specialty retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories sold primarily under the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands. The Company’s Ann Taylor and LOFT brands offers a range of career and casual separates, dresses, tops, weekend wear, shoes and accessories. It offers updated past season sellers from the Ann Taylor and LOFT merchandise collections at its Ann Taylor Factory and LOFT Outlet stores, respectively, and the clients can also shop online at www.anntaylor.com and www.LOFT.com (together, Online Stores), or by phone at 1-800-DIAL-ANN and 1-888-LOFT-444. As of January 28, 2012, it operated 953 retail stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, consisted of 280 Ann Taylor stores, 500 LOFT stores, 99 Ann Taylor Factory stores and 74 LOFT Outlet stores.


Substantially all of the Company’s merchandise is developed by its in-house product design and development teams , who design merchandise exclusively for the Company. A small percentage of its merchandise is purchased through branded vendors, which is selected to complement its in-house assortment. The Company sourced merchandise from approximately 138 manufacturers and vendors in 19 countries. Approximately 42% of its merchandise unit purchases originated in China, 13% in the Philippines, 14% in Indonesia, 14% in India, and 13% in Vietnam. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, AnnTaylor Distribution Services, Inc., owns its 256,000-square-foot distribution center located in Louisville, Kentucky. The distribution center is located on approximately 27 acres. Its merchandise is distributed to stores, including the Online Stores, through this facility.


An average Ann Taylor store is approximately 5,500 square feet in size. The Company operates two Ann Taylor flagship stores, one located in New York City and one located in Chicago. LOFT stores average approximately 5,800 sq uare feet. The Company also operates one LOFT flagship store! on the ground floor of 7 Times Square, its corporate headquarters, in New York City. During the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), it opened 14 LOFT stores that averaged approximately 5,500 square feet. Ann Taylor Factory stores average approximately 7,100 square feet. LOFT Outlet stores average approximately 7,000 square feet. During fiscal 2011, its LOFT Outlet stores were 38 new stores that averaged approximately 7,600 square feet.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vera Yuan]

    During the quarter, the Fund initiated positions in eight companies and strategically added to positions in sixteen companies. Over the same time period, the Fund eliminated its holdings in six companies and strategically decreased its holdings in another five companies. Positions initiated during the last three months include: Dorman Products, Inc. (DORM), Dover Corp. (DOV), DSW Inc. (DSW), First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG), Packaging Corporation of America (PKG), Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO), The Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV), and Universal Health Services Inc (UHS). Positions eliminated during the past quarter include: ABB Ltd. (ABB), Ann Inc. (ANN), Baxter International (BAX), International Game Technology (IGT), TRW Automotive Holdings (TRW), and URS Corporation (URS).

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    This morning, Ann (NYSE: ANN) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.70, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69. Revenue of $648.70 million missed the consensus estimate of $664.54 million. Net income for the quarter fell to $32.7 million from $35.6 million in the same quarter a year ago as comparable-store sales fell 2.3 percent. The company noted that the quarter began on a positive note with solid momentum through mid-June, but softer traffic levels and a highly promotional environment ultimately had an impact on its bottom line. The company saw its gross margin rate decline 230 basis points to 52.4 percent, while its SG&A expense ratio fell 140 basis points to 43.9 percent. Ann issued guidance and sees its third quarter revenue to be $670 million. For the full fiscal year 2014 the company expects total sales to be $2.560 billion. Shares lost 3.32 percent, closing at $37.52.

  • [By Ali Berri]

    ANN (NYSE: ANN) shares tumbled 3.41 percent to $37.49 after the company reported upbeat profit for its fiscal second quarter and lowered its FY15 revenue outlook.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: O’Reilly Automotive Inc.(ORLY)

O?Reilly Automotive, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the retail of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States. The company?s stores provide new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, including alternators, starters, fuel pumps, water pumps, brake system components, batteries, belts, hoses, chassis parts, and engine parts; maintenance items comprising oil, antifreeze, fluids, filters, wiper blades, lighting, engine additives, and appearance products; and accessories, such as floor mats, seat covers, and truck accessories. Its stores also offer auto body paint and related materials, automotive tools, and professional service provider service equipment. The company?s stores sell its brand name and private label products for domestic and imported automobiles, vans, and trucks to do-it-yourself customers and professional service providers. As of March 31, 2011, it operated 3,613 stores. The company was foun ded in 1957 and is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Auto Parts Stores: This industry rose 4.51% by 10:30 am ET. The top performer in this industry was O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ: ORLY), which gained 7.1%. O’Reilly reported stronger-than-expected Q3 earnings.

  • [By kcpl]

    Reseller’s exchange retailer Autozone (AZO) has done well in 2014. Even though the stock has been exceptional than the S&P 500, its performance has been weaker than O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) and Advance Auto Parts (AAP). Then again, Autozone is a steady performer and is the cheapest of the part from a valuation perspective, which is the reason investors should consider investigating it.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of AutoZone have fallen 1.7% to $531.87 at 11:52 a.m., while Advance Auto Part (AAP) has dropped 1.6% to $121.27 and O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) has declined 0.9% to $147.25. Pep Boys (PBY), however, has bucked the selling–its shares have gained 1.9% to $10.57.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The fiscal Q3 2014 earnings report for auto parts retailer stock AutoZone, Inc (NYSE: AZO), a peer of Advance Auto Parts, Inc (NYSE: AAP), O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: ORLY) and The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY), is scheduled for before the market opens on Tuesday. Aside from the AutoZone earnings report, it should be said that Advance Auto Parts, Inc reported Q1 2014 earnings on May 15th (results were better than expected and they upped guidance); O’Reilly Automotive Inc reported Q1 2014 earnings on April 24th (results topped expectations); and The Pep Boys reported Q4 2013 earnings on April 15th and will report Q1 2014 earnings on June 10th (PBY reported a surprise loss as tire pricing negatively hit revenue). However and given the current uncertain economy that is keeping most consumers in their old cars, you would think that auto parts retailers in general would all be doing well.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In 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:

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: AutoZone Inc.(AZO)


AutoZone, Inc. retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company?s stores offer various products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Its automotive hard parts product line includes A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, belts and hoses, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition, lighting, mufflers, starters and alternators, water pumps, radiators, and thermostats. The company?s maintenance items include antifreeze and windshield washer fluid; brake drums, rotors, shoes, and pads; chemicals, including brake and power; steering fluid, oil, and fuel additives; oil and transmission fluids; oil, air, fuel, and transmission filters; oxygen sensors; paint and accessories; refrigerant and accessories; shock absorbers and struts; spark plugs and wires; and windshield wiper s. Its discretionary product line comprises air fresheners, cell phone accessories, drinks and snacks, floor mats and seat covers, mirrors, performance products, protectants and cleaners, sealants and adhesives, steering wheel covers, stereos and radios, tools, and wash and wax products. The company also offers commercial sales program that provides the delivery of parts and other products to local, regional, and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, and public sector accounts. In addition, it sells the ALLDATA brand automotive diagnostic and repair software through the Website, alldata.com; and automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products through the Website, autozone.com. As of May 7, 2011, the company operated 4,467 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and 261 stores in Mexico. AutoZone, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    Car parts retailer AutoZone (AZO) has been riding some big secular tailwinds for the last few years. As I write, the average passenger vehicle on the road in the U.S. today is 11.4 years old, the oldest average fleet age since automotive data firm Polk began collecting stats. With older cars on the road, costs to keep those cars running are climbing too – and that’s helping to drive sales at AutoZone.

    AutoZone owns close to 4,700 stores across the U.S., and the firm has been expanding its reach into Latin America in recent years, with another 300 locations in Mexico and four Brazilian locations. It’s not just do-it-yourselfers that frequent AutoZone’s stores; the firm has more than 3,000 commercial counters inside its retail stores, providing parts for repair shops and service stations. That double-pronged approach means that AZO is able to book part sales for smaller DIY jobs alongside repair jobs that need to be done at a shop.


    The decision to expand into Mexico provides some big growth opportunities at AZO, as does its much smaller position in Brazil. Both of those markets have large vehicle fleets that are older on average than those in the U.S., so as AZO’s ex-U.S. business scales up, it should begin to materially contribute to the larger firm.

    Right now, investors hate this stock. AZO’s short interest ratio comes in at 12.16.

    Read More: 3 Big-Volume Stocks to Trade for Breakouts

  • [By ovenerio]

    The company has a current ROE of 14.85% which is higher than the industry median. In general, analysts consider ROE ratios in the 15-20% range as representing attractive levels for investment. So for investors looking those levels or more, AutoNation (AN), CST Brands (CST), Lithia Motors (LAD) and AutoZone (AZO) could be the options. It is very important to understand this metric before investing and it is important to look at the trend in ROE over time.

  • [By kcpl]

    Reseller’s exchange retailer Autozone (AZO) has done well in 2014. Even though the stock has been exceptional than the S&P 500, its performance has been weaker than O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) and Advance Auto Parts (AAP). Then again, Autozone is a steady performer and is the cheapest of the part from a valuation perspective, which is the reason investors should consider investigating it.

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    If the Apple stock split does succeed in putting splits back into vogue, these companies are most in need of one:


    Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) – Share price: $1,232.43
    The online travel company famous for its commercials with William Shatner actually did a 1-for-6 reverse stock split back in 2003 following the dot-com bust. That bad memory has probably been a factor holding PCLN back from doing a stock split. But at this point a 10-to-1 split would make perfect sense. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) – Share price: $568.09
    The Mexican restaurant chain has enjoyed a lot of growth and is a star player in the casual dining sector. It has never had a stock split. Management has frequently scoffed at the idea of a stock split, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Until about a year ago, Apple said the same thing. Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) – Share price: $533.84
    AutoZone is a retailer and a U.S. distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company has had two 2-for-1 splits in its history, in 1992 and 1994, so it certainly is due. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) – Share price: $421.54
    Growing from a by-mail DVD rental and subscription service into a full-blown Internet-based TV network has pushed NFLX to impressive heights. Netflix had one 2-for-1 split back in 2004. But the dramatic fall of the stock back in 2011 – from just over $300 to $50 – no doubt has kept the company from pulling the trigger on a stock split. The price will have to go even higher to convince management it’s safe to split. Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) – Share price: $373.90
    Intuitive Surgical designs, manufactures, and markets its own da Vinci Surgical Systems and related instruments and accessories. As ISRG has pulled back from highs of about $575 a share over the past couple of years, a stock split for Intuitive would seem counterintuitive for now. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Arch Therapeutics Inc (ARTH)


Arch Therapeutics, Inc. (Arch), formerly Almah, Inc., incorporated on September 16, 2009, operates as a life science company developing polymers containing peptides intended to form gel-like barriers over wounds to stop or control bleeding. Arch is a medical device company offering an approach to the rapid cessation of bleeding (hemostasis) and control of fluid leakage (sealant) during surgery and trauma care. Arch’s products are in preclinical development. The first product, AC5, is designed for hemostasis in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) and open surgical procedures.


AC5

AC5 is a synthetic peptide consisting of naturally occurring amino acids. When squirted or sprayed onto a wound, AC5 intercalates into the nooks and crannies of the connective tissue where it builds itself into a physical, mechanical structure. That structure provides a barrier to leaking substances, including blood and other bodily fluids, regardless of type of surgery or , based on early data, clotting ability.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    To give credit where it’s due, Cytomedix, Inc. (OTCBB:CMXI) and Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) have both helped shape the landscape of the hemostasis (bleeding control) market with their products, AutoloGel and TISSELL, respectively. Arch Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB:ARTH) has proverbially taken their concepts “up a notch”, however, and its direct solution to a problem that CMXI and BAX can’t quite solve may make ARTH the hottest trading candidate in the hemostasis space.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Laparoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a type of surgical technique where operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions while small cap stocks ArthroCare Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTC), EDAP TMS S.A. (NASDAQ: EDAP), SafeStitch Medical Inc (OTCBB: SFES) and Arch Therapeutics Inc (OTCBB: ARTH) are all in some way focused on aiding minimally invasive procedures. According to a 2012 report produced by MedMarket Diligence, LLC, approximately 114 million surgical and procedure-based wounds occur annually worldwide, including 36 million in the US, and perhaps up to a quarter of these procedures can be described as laparoscopic in nature. Moreover, use of the technique is bound to increase as it reduces pain and hemorrhaging plus leads to a shorter recovery time.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap stocks Derma Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: DSCI), Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ: OCLS) and Arch Therapeutics Inc (OTCBB: ARTH) specialize or have a focus on wound care – a medical problem that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. After all and think back to our Civil War when disease along with infections resulting from improper wound care probably killed more soldiers than actual battles. Even today, infection after surgery or after receiving a wound or injury of any kind is still a constant threat. And then there is the scaring that can result from any sort of invasive surgery or injury. With those thoughts in mind, here are three small cap wound care stocks trying address these problems:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    When traders think of post-surgical wound management stocks, they may first think of names like Cytomedix, Inc. (OTCBB:CMXI) or Alliqua Inc. (OTCMKTS:ALQA). And well they should. Both companies have something of a history in the arena. ALQA is the purveyor of SilverSeal and Hydress antibiotic bandages, while CMXI is the developer of the AutoloGel system, which induces an affected patient’s on body to do what it’s supposed to do if there’s a wound that won’t heal. Cytomedix also makes the Angel platelet-rich plasma (PRP) delivery system. There’s a relatively new name to add to the list of game-changing stocks in wound-management industry, however…. Arch Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB:ARTH). The company is developing – well, has developed – a product called AC5 that nips post-surgical bleeding in the bud, largely negating the need for other post-surgical bleeding-control measures.

Top 10 Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Caseys General Stores Inc.(CASY)


Casey?s General Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates convenience stores under the Casey?s General Store, HandiMart, and Just Diesel names in 11 Midwestern states, primarily Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. Its stores offer foods, beverages, dairy and bakery products, sandwiches, fountain drinks, donuts, cookies, brownies, Danish rolls, ham and cheese sandwiches, pork and chicken fritters, sausage sandwiches, chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, breakfast croissants and biscuits, breakfast pizza, hash browns, quarter-pound hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and potato cheese bites. The company?s stores also provide nonfood items, which include tobacco products, health and beauty aids, school supplies, house wares, pet supplies, photo supplies, and automotive products. In addition, it offers gasoline or gasohol for sale on a self-service basis. As of July 31, 2011, the company operated 1,665 stores. The company was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sue Chang]

    Casey’s General Stores (CASY)  is likely to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share. Strong merchandise sales were likely to have been offset by weaker fuel margin, according to analyst Ronald Bookbinder at Benchmark. He also maintained the stock’s price target at $86 on Friday.

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Slow but steady — that seems to be the new mantra here on Wall Street. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 plowed further into record territory on Friday. The catalyst for today’s advance was the monthly jobs report, which showed the total number of people employed finally topped the 2008 peak it hit just before the Great Recession took hold. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 88 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) rose 9, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 25 points. Financial stocks helped lead the advance. Goldman Sachs (GS) and American Express (AXP) both gained more than 2 percent. Bank of America (BAC) rose 1 percent on reports that it’s in talks with the Justice Department to settle another set of probes into the bank’s handling of mortgages leading up to and during the financial crisis. News reports say the company could pay more than $12 billion, which is more than it earned in all of 2013. But this could allow Bank of America to finally put this long-running problem behind it. Its stock has been virtually flat over the past 6 months. Amazon (AMZN) posted a strong gain for second straight day, rising 2 percent, on indications that it’s about to enter the smartphone business. And Sears (SHLD) gained nearly 2 percent on a Reuters report that the company’s chairman has held talks with outgoing Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally, sparking rumors that he might head the retailer’s turnaround effort. Elsewhere, Hertz (HRZ) drove into a ditch, sliding 9 percent after saying it will restate earnings from 2011 through 2013 because of accounting issues. Diamond Foods (DMND) fell 11 percent. Its quarterly loss widened, due to higher wholesale prices for nuts. But Vail Resorts (MTN), Men’s Wearhouse (MW), and VeriFone (PAY) all gained after beating expectations. Vail was up 6 percent; Men’s Wearhouse rose 5½ percent; and VeriFone jumped 9 percent. Demand for its merchant payment systems has been helped by growing con

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

    Casey’s General Stores Inc.(CASY) said its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 5.1% as the convenience-store operator reported higher costs, which offset an increase in revenue.

  • [By Mike Deane]

    After the closing bell on Monday, Casey’s General Stores (CASY) reported its third quarter earnings, posting slightly lower EPS than last year’s Q3 figure, due in part to extreme winter weather.

    CASY’s Earnings in Brief

    CASY reported third quarter revenues of $1.79 billion, up from last year’s Q3 figure of $1.66 billion. Net income for the quarter came in at $14.67 million, or 38 cents per share, which is lower than last year’s Q4 figure of $15.46 million, or 40 cents per share. Casey’s missed analysts’ estimates of 49 cents EPS on revenues of $1.84 billion.

    CEO Commentary

    CASY”s chairman and CEO, Robert J. Myers, had the following comments: “Third quarter sales were strong throughout all of our categories despite challenging weather during the quarter. Our same-store fuel sales are exceeding industry-wide trends and gross profit from inside the store was up over 11% for both the quarter and year.”

    CASY’s Dividend

    Casey’s declared a dividend raise in June last year, pushing its quarterly payout to 18 cents from 17 cents. The company’s next dividend is payable on May 15 to all shareholders on record as of May 1.

    Stock Performance

    Casey’s stock ended the day up $1.52, or 2.29%, but it was heading lower in after hours earnings, due to the company’s large earnings miss. YTD, the company’s stock is down 3.7%.