Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now


Ex-dividend dates are very important to dividend investors, since you must purchase a stock prior to its ex-dividend date in order to receive its upcoming dividend payout. For more information, check out Everything Investors Need to Know About Ex-Dividend Dates.

Below we highlight six big-name stocks going ex-dividend Monday, May 19.

1. Walgreen Company

Walgreen Company (WAG) offers a dividend yield of 1.85% based on Thursday’s closing price of $68.11 and the company’s quarterly dividend payout of 31.5 cents. The stock is up 20.27% year-to-date. Dividend.com currently rates WAG as “Neutral” with a DARS™ rating of 3.4 stars out of 5 stars.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc (ULTA)


Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (Ulta), incorporated on January 9, 1990, is a beauty retailer, which provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services in the United States. During the year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), the Company opened 61 new stores. It operates full-service salons in all of its stores. Its Ulta store format includes an open and modern salon area with approximately eight to 10 stations. The entire salon area is approximately 950 square feet with a concierge desk, skin treatment room, semi-private shampoo and hair color processing areas. Each salon is a full-service salon offering hair cuts, hair coloring and permanent texture, with salons also providing facials and waxing.


The Company offers products in the categories, such as cosmetics, which includes products for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips and nails; haircare, which includes shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and hair accessories; salon styling tools, which includes hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons; skincare and bath and body, which includes products for the face, hands and body; fragrance for both men and women; private label, consisting of Ulta branded cosmetics, skincare, bath and body products and haircare, and other, including candles, home fragrance products and other miscellaneous health and beauty products. The Company has combined its three operating segments: retail stores, salon services and e-commerce, into one reportable segment.


The Company competes with Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, Regis Corp., Sally Beauty and JCPenney salons.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

     

     

    Nearest Resistance: $130

    Nearest Support: $100

    Catalyst: Q2 Earnings

     

    Shares of beauty supply operator Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA) moved up approximately 20% in Friday’s session, boosted by positive second quarter earnings numbers. Ulta reported profits for 94 cents per share for the quarter, beating out analysts’ best guess profits of 83 cents per share. Even better, the firm expects third quarter revenues on the high end of Wall Street’s expectations for both revenue and profits.


     

    The technicals look good in ULTA right now. This stock’s big gap higher on Friday broke shares above key round-number resistance at $100, clearing the way for a retest of last year’s highs up near $130. For traders who aren’t risk-averse, ULTA is buyable here.

     

    Read More: 5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying

     

  • [By Luke Jacobi]

    Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 17.9 percent to $114.89 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also unveiled a five-year plan for impressive growth.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.60 percent to 16,947.43 while the NASDAQ declined 0.75 percent to 4,557.59. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.83 percent to 1,980.97.

    Leading and Lagging Sectors Cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by just 0.50 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance NASDAQ: (ULTA), up 17.5 percent, and 1-800-Flowers.com (NASDAQ: FLWS), up 4.5 percent. In trading on Friday, utilities shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.89 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais – CEMIG (NYSE: CIG), down 4.7 percent, and CPFL Energia SA (NYSE: CPL), off 4.3 percent. Top Headline Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported better-than-expected fiscal first quarter earnings. The Orlando, Florida-based company reported a quarterly loss of $19.3 million, or $0.14 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $42.2 million, or $0.32 per share. Excluding non-recurring items, the company earned $0.32 per share. Its sales surged to $1.6 billion versus $1.53 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.30 per share on revenue of $1.6 billion. Equities Trading UP Conversant (NASDAQ: CNVR) shares shot up 30.25 percent to $34.79 after Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) announced its plans to buy Conversant for $35 per share. Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 17.69 percent to $114.72 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also unveiled a five-year plan for impressive growth. Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings (NASDAQ: SPWH) shares were also up, gaining 15.89 percent to $7.00 after the company reported stronger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results. Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Ruckus Wireless (NASDAQ: RKUS) were down 5.19 percent to $14.35. Buckingham

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vitamin Shoppe Inc (VSI)


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


Retail

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

Products

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


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


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


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


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

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

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

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


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

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


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

  • [By John Udovich]

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

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: CSS Industries Inc (CSS)


CSS Industries, Inc. (CSS), incorporated on November 5, 1923, is a company primarily engaged in the design, manufacture, procurement, distribution and sale of seasonal and all occasion social expression products, principally to mass market retailers. These seasonal and all occasion products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper, decorations, classroom exchange Valentines, decorative ribbons and bows, floral accessories, Halloween masks, costumes, make-up and novelties, Easter egg dyes and novelties, craft and educational products, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items that commemorate life’s celebrations. In September 5, 2012, it sold the Halloween portion of its Paper Magic business to Gemmy Industries (HK) Limited.


CSS’ product provides its retail customers the opportunity to use a single ven dor for much of their seasonal product requirements. A substantial portion of CSS’ products are manufactured, packaged and/or warehoused in 10 facilities located in the United States, with the remainder purchased primarily from manufacturers in Asia and Mexico. The Company’s products are sold to its customers by national and regional account sales managers, sales representatives, product specialists and by a network of independent manufacturers’ representatives. The Company’s principal operating subsidiaries include Paper Magic Group, Inc. (Paper Magic), Berwick Offray LLC (Berwick Offray) and C.R. Gibson, LLC (C.R. Gibson). CSS designs, manufactures, procures, distributes and sells a range of seasonal consumer products primarily through the mass market distribution channel. Christmas products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper and decorations. CSS’ Valentine product offerings includ e classroom exchange Valentine cards and other related Valen! tine products, while its Easter product offerings include Dudley’s brand of Easter egg dyes and related Easter seasonal products. CSS also designs and markets decorative ribbons and bows, all occasion boxed greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, decorative and waxed tissue, decorative films and foils, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, floral accessories and other gift and craft items to its mass market, craft, specialty and floral retail and wholesale distribution customers, and teachers’ aids and other learning oriented products to the education market through mass market retailers, school supply distributors and teachers’ stores. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markings, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Dudley’s, Don Post Studios, Eureka, Learning Playground, Stickerfitti and iota. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markin gs, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Seastone, Dudley’s, Eureka, Learning Playground and Stickerfitti.


CSS operates 10 manufacturing and/or distribution facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama and Texas. Its boxed greeting cards are produced by Asian manufacturers to the Company’s specifications. Halloween make-up and Easter egg dye products are manufactured in Asia to specific formulae by contract manufacturers who meet regulatory requirements for the formularization and packaging of such products. Ribbons and bows are primarily manufactured and warehoused in seven facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas. Memory books, stationery, journals and notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items are imported from Asian manufacturers and warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Florence, Alabama. Floral accessories, including pot covers, foil, waxe d tissue, shred, aisle runners, corsage bags and other paper! and film! products, are manufactured in a facility located in Milford, New Hampshire and Juarez, Mexico. Manufacturing includes gravure and flexo printing, waxing and converting. Products are warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Berwick, Pennsylvania. Other products including, but not limited to, decorative tissue paper, all occasion gift wrap, gift tags, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, classroom exchange Valentine products, Halloween masks, costumes and novelties, Easter products, decorations and school products are designed to the specifications of CSS and are imported primarily from Asian manufacturers.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Gifts maker CSS Industries  (NYSE: CSS  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.15 per share, the same rate it’s paid since 2008.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd (SAXJF)

Sa Sa International Holdings Limited is an investment holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries are principally engaged in the retailing and wholesaling of cosmetic products. Its business covers Hong Kong and Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. The Company operates in two segments: retail segment, engaged in the operation of cosmetics specialty stores, which offer a variety of products from over 600 beauty brands, covering a wide of products from skin care, fragrance, make-up, body care and hair care to health foods, and brand management segment, engaged in the management of over 100 beauty brands. It also offers round-the-clock online shopping services along with product and corporate information through its e-commerce platform, sasa.com. The Company’s subsidiaries include Alibaster Management Limited, Base Sun Investment Limited, Cyber Colors Limited, Docile Company Limited and Elegance Trading (Shanghai) Company Limited, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MARKETWATCH.COM]

    HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks swung between small gains and losses early Thursday after hitting a seven-month high in the previous session, with the Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) down less than 0.1%. Most mainland Chinese property developers outperformed the markets, with Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. (HK:2777) (GZUHF) rallying 3.4%, after the company reported a 44% month-on-month jump in sales for June. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. (HK:0813) (SIOPF) climbed 2.6%, and China Resources Land Ltd. (HK:1109) (CRBJF) rose 1.7%. However, several retailers were weak, as Want Want China Holdings Ltd. (HK:0151) (WWNTF) , the country’s top food and beverage maker, declined 2%. Hong Kong-based cosmetics brand Sa Sa International Holdings (HK:0178) (SAXJF) fell 1.6%, with a decline in Chinese June non-manufacturing data helping weigh on some retailers. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index (CN:SHCOMP) retreated 0.4%, pulling back from its highest close in two weeks.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch 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 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vitacost.com Inc (VITC)


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


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

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Supplements (VMHS)

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


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

Sports Nutrition

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


Beauty

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

Natural and Organic Food

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


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


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

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

  • [By Seth Jayson]

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

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: WH Smith PLC (SMWH)

WH Smith PLC is a United Kingdom-based retail company. The Company has two businesses divisions: Travel and High Street. The Company’s Travel division sells a range of newspapers, magazines, books and impulse products for people on the move and a broader convenience range in hospitals and workplaces. The Company’s High Street sells a wide range of stationery, books, newspapers, magazines and impulse products, as well as a small range of entertainment products.The Company’s subsidiaries include WH Smith PLC, WH Smith Retail Holdings Limited, WH Smith High Street Holdings Limited, WH Smith Travel Holdings Limited, WH Smith High Street Limited, WH Smith Travel Limited and WH Smith Hospitals Holdings Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Hays Plc (HAS) climbed 2.2 percent after the recruitment company said quarterly fees increased in its European markets. WH Smith Plc (SMWH) jumped the most in six months after raising its final dividend and saying it plans to repurchase an additional 50 million pounds ($80 million) of shares. Melrose Industries Plc (MRO) added 1.8 percent after KKR & Co. said it will pay about $1 billion for two of its U.S. industrial-products companies.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage Inc (NGVC)


Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc., incorporated on April 9, 2012, is a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements. The Company operates within the natural products retail industry. The Company offers products and brands, including a selection of natural and organic food, dietary supplements, body care products, pet care products and books.

The Company offers its customers an average of approximately 18,000 store-keeping units (SKUs) of natural and organic products per store, including an average of approximately 7,000 SKU of dietary supplements. As of June 30, 2012, the Company operated 55 stores in 11 states, including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, as well as a bulk food repackaging facility and distribution center in Colorado. The size of its stores varies from 5,000 selling square feet to 14,500 selling square feet, and a new store averages 9,500 selling square feet.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Stoffel]

    Much has been made recently about new entrants into the organic/natural food space in America. While Sprouts Farmers Market  (NASDAQ: SFM  ) , The Fresh Market (NASDAQ: TFM  ) , and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage  (NYSE: NGVC  ) attempt to use Whole Foods’ blueprint, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) is teaming up with Wild Oats to offer more organic goods in its discount stores.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Large cap natural and organic foods supermarket giant Whole Foods Market, Inc (NASDAQ: WFM), otherwise known as “Whole Wallet”or “Whole Paycheck,” is not the only player in the natural or organics supermarket space for consumers and investors alike as mid cap Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ: SFM) and small caps Fairway Group Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: FWM) and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc (NYSE: NGVC) are also players in the space. It should be mentioned that Whole Foods Market is down 15.7% since the start of the year and has a downward trending technical chart, but shares are still up 13% over the past year, up 426.3% over the past five years and up 3,108.6% since January 1992.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: FTD Companies Inc (FTD)


FTD Companies, Inc. (FTD), incorporated on April 25, 2008, is a floral and gifting company. The Company provides floral, gift and related products and services to consumers and retail florists, as well as to other retail locations offering floral and gift products primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. The Company operates in one segment, which includes floral and related products and services. Its business uses the FTD and Interflora brands, both supported by the Mercury Man logo. The Company’s portfolio of brands also includes Flying Flowers, Flowers Direct, and Drake Algar in the United Kingdom. On November 1, 2013, United Online, Inc. (United Online) completed the separation of United Online into two independent, publicly traded companies: FTD Companies, Inc. and United Online, Inc.


The Company’s products revenues are derived primarily from selling floral, gift and related products to consumers and the related shipping and service fees. Products revenues also include revenues generated from sales of hard goods, software and hardware systems, cut flowers, packaging and promotional products, and a range of other floral-related supplies to floral network members. Its services revenues related to orders sent through the floral network are variable based on either the number of orders or on the value of orders and are recognized in the period in which the orders.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock One day out of 365, we pay homage to our sainted mothers. Those of us who are members of this long-suffering, uncomplaining, self-sacrificing class may get some soggy French toast in bed, (don’t worry, kids; mom will clean up the kitchen), a chance to read in peace, or perhaps time to indulge in a long, hot bath. Bringing Home the Bacon If you really want to pay back mom for all she’s done, get ready to pony up big. A card and some carnations (the official flower of Mother’s Day, who knew?) just won’t cut it. The cost of replacing mom as nurturer, nurse, cleaner and cook — according to Insure.com’s 2014 Mother’s Day salary index — would run you $62,985 a year, up from $59,862 in 2013. Breaking down the price of having someone else handle her various duties: Cooking and cleaning, $12,230 Child care, $21,736 Homework help, $7,290 Chauffeur, $5,672 Shopping, yard work, party and activity planning, finances, etc., $15,019 And my personal favorite, finding out what the kids are up to (paid in the equivalent value of a private detective), $1,036. Salary.com placed a higher value on moms in its 2014 Mother’s Day salary survey, concluding that stay-at-home moms were worth $118,905 and working moms worth $70,107 (this does not include any paid salary from their job), with both groups putting more than 56 hours of overtime at home. These numbers are all up from last year’s survey. Cooking It Up in a Pan Mom helps to pay for other things, too. Thanks to the Department of Agriculture, you can see what it costs to raise a child in the U.S. to 18. As of August 2013, the average cost is $241,080. This does not cover college, and hopefully dear old dad is contributing. In 2012, there were 10.3 million single U.S. mothers with children under 18, and one-third of women who gave birth in 2012 were single moms. By becoming moms, women give up time to do other things, what economists call an “opportunity cost.” Particularly if your mother st

  • [By John Udovich]

    As we head towards Black Friday, small cap specialty retail stocks United Online, Inc (NASDAQ: UNTD), TravelCenters of America LLC (NYSE: TA) and MarineMax, Inc (NYSE: HZO) have the distinction of being the best performing small cap specialty retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with gains of 181.2%, 123.8% and 71.8%, respectively. With those returns in mind, what are these small cap specialty retail stocks doing right and will the performance last through the all important holiday season? Here is what new and existing investors and traders alike need to know or consider:


    United Online, Inc. A provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, United Online’s Content & Media segment services are online nostalgia (Memory Lane) and online loyalty marketing (MyPoints) while its primary Communications segment services are Internet access and email (NetZero and Juno). The reason United Online is among the best performing specialty retail stocks for this year in various stock screening tools like Finviz.com is actually misleading as the company has just completed the spin off of subsidiary FTD Companies, a floral and gifts products company acquired in August 2008 for $441 million, as FTD Companies Inc (NASDAQ: FTD) where United Online shareholders received one share of FTD common stock for every five shares of United Online common stock they hold. In addition, United Online completed a one-for-seven reverse stock split of United Online shares. On Tuesday, small cap United Online, Inc fell 1.01% to $15.72 (UNTD has a 52 week trading range of $11.65 to $62.30 a share) for a market cap of $207.79 million plus the stock is up 181.2% since the start of the year and up 182.2% over the past five years. Meanwhile, the FTD Companies Inc now has a market cap of $611.60 and the stock is up almost 6% since October.

Top 10 Specialty Retail Companies To Watch In Right Now: West Marine Inc (WMAR)


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

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

Stores Segment

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

Port Supply Segment

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

Direct-to-Customer Segment

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

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Interactive Buyside]

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