Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now

Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI  ) reported Q4 and full-year earnings Friday. The news was not good.

Sales at the company that runs not only Olive Garden, but the Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse chains besides, grew 11% in the final quarter of fiscal 2013. That didn’t keep profits from heading the other way, however — down 12% year over year, to $1.15 per diluted share. Thus continued Darden’s year-long slump, which has seen fiscal 2013 profits fall an equal 12% in comparison with fiscal 2012. Darden ended fiscal 2013 with just $3.14 per diluted share in profits.

Among Darden’s several chains, Olive Garden posted the weakest same-restaurant sales, with receipts growing only 1.1% in the quarter as compared with a year ago. Red Lobster did nearly three times better than that at 3.2%. Meanwhile, shoppers who could still afford to buy steak helped lift LongHorn to the best performance of all, with sales climbing 3.5%.

Grin and bear it
Darden did its best to put a bright face on the numbers. CEO Clarence Otis took pains to point out that at least Darden’s same-restaurant sales are growing, and “well above industry average” this quarter. He’s right about that. If Darden’s sales look weak this week, then the numbers coming out of rivals Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ: BLMN  ) and Brinker (NYSE: EAT  ) — growth of just 3.5% and 0.1%, respectively — are downright depressing.

Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now: Navistar International Corporation (NAV)

Navistar International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells commercial and military trucks, buses, diesel engines, and recreational vehicles, as well as provides service parts for trucks and trailers worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Truck, Engine, Parts, and Financial Services. The Truck segment manufactures and distributes trucks and buses for the common carrier, private carrier, government, leasing, construction, energy/petroleum, military vehicles, and student and commercial transportation markets under the International and IC brands; assembles components; and produces sheet metal components, including truck cabs. This segment markets its products through its independent dealer network, and distribution and service network retail outlets comprising 784 in the United States and Canada, 86 in Mexico, and 292 internationally, as well as markets reconditioned used trucks to owner-operators and fleet buyers through its network of us ed truck centers. The Engine segment designs, manufactures, and sells diesel engines under the MaxxForce brand for use in the medium trucks, heavy trucks, and military vehicles, as well as for its IC branded school buses and other applications. The Parts segment provides customers with products required to support the company’s brands, as well as offers other truck, trailer, and engine service parts. The Financial Services segment provides and manages retail, wholesale, and lease financing services for products sold by the Truck and Parts segments and their dealers. It also operates as a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van, and sport utility vehicle markets. Navistar International Corporation was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Lisle, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q2 2014 earnings report for Navistar International Corp (NYSE: NAV), a potential peer of light, medium- and heavy-duty truck or engine makers PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ: PCAR) and Cummins Inc (NYSE: CMI), is scheduled to report earnings after the market closes on Thursday. Aside from the Navistar International Corp earnings report, it should be said that PACCAR Inc and Cummins Inc both reported Q1 2014 earnings on April 29th (PCAR reported higher revenues and net income while CMI hit a 52-week high after a beat and raised guidance). However, Navistar International Corp has lost market share since 2012 when US regulators denied approval of a redesigned diesel engine that failed to reduce green house gas levels – forcing the company to turn to rival Cummins Inc to supply engines as it develops its own catalytic reduction engines to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.  

  • [By Hrvoje Muhek]

    Calculation of NAV:

    Book Value Adjustment Adjusted Value Cash And Equivalents $698.65 100% $698.65 Accounts Receivable $11.90 102% $12.14 Inventory $186.09 100% $186.09 Prepaid Exp. $46.20 100% $46.20 Net Property, Plant & Equipment $255.60 75% $191.70 Goodwill $25.28 $896 $921.28 Other Intangibles $2.92 $2.92 Deferred Tax Assets, LT $18.30 91% $16.66 Other Long-Term Assets $4.75 100% $4.75 Total assets $1,249.69 $2,080.39 Accounts Payable $12.65 100% $12.65 Accrued Exp. $61.76 100% $61.76 Curr. Income Taxes Payable $0.77 100% $0.77 Unearned Revenue, Current $38.34 100% $38.34 Def. Tax Liability, Non-Curr. $3.98 100% $3.98 Other Non-Current Liabilities $35.52 100% $35.52 Capitalized lease obligations 0 301.12 Value of options outstanding 0 13.845 Total liabilities $153.01 $454.13 Net Asset Value (NAV) $1,096.68 $1,626.26

    *Goodwill was calculated as 2x SGA for 2013 + existing Goodwill. If anyone was to replicate Lulu’s assets, they would have to invest at least two years of SG&A into marketing. This was a conservative estimate not attempting to value the brand equity.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    The IVA Worldwide Fund Class A (NAV) (“the Fund”) ended the quarter on March 31, 2014 with a return of 2.41% compared to the MSCI All Country World Index (“Index”) return of 1.08%. Since inception on October 1, 2008, on an annualized basis, the Fund returned 11.85% versus the Index return of 8.59% for the same period.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Navistar (NAV) has fallen more than 4% today after UBS cut its rating on the truck manufacturer.


    UBS analyst Steven Fisher and team explain why they downgraded Navistar:

    We see a slower ramp to improved profitability than we previously expected and we believe earnings could fall short of consensus expectations over the next couple of years. Warranty expense over the past four quarters exceeded our expectations; while we are forecasting a 2014 decline in expense, we now see that decline coming at a slower rate. NAV has also continued to lose Class 8 market share (R3M); softer pricing
    and/or incentives may be required to stem further share loss. We think NAV management is doing an admirable job cutting costs and improving its portfolio, but we believe prospects for improved profitability going forward are already reflected in current valuation. Accordingly, we downgrade shares to Neutral [from Buy].

    Shares of Navistar have dropped 4.1% to $31.89 at 2:02 p.m. today, while Oshkosh (OSK) has fallen 0.2% to $57.76 and Cummins (CMI) has gained 1.2% to $144.13.

Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now: Coty Inc (COTY)

Coty Inc., incorporated on January 20, 1995, is engaged in manufacturing, marketing and distribution of women’s and men’s fragrances, color cosmetics and skin and body care related products globally. The Company operates in three segments: Fragrances, Color Cosmetics and Skin & Body Care. The Company’s power brands consist of adidas, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs, OPI, philosophy, Playboy, Rimmel and Sally Hansen. The Company sells products in each of its segments through retailers, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, independent and chain drug stores and pharmacies, upscale perfumeries, upscale and mid-tier department stores, nail salons, specialty retailers, duty-free shops and traditional food, drug and mass retailers.

The Company’s Fragrance products include a range of men’s and women’s products, with brands associated with fashion designers, celebrities and lifestyle brands. Color Cosmetics products include nail, lip, eye and ot her facial color products. Skin & Body Care products include shower gels, deodorants, skin care and sun treatment products.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Coty Inc.(COTY) unveiled a new organizational structure built around categories and regions, as the beauty-products maker looks to improve profitability.

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    Li & Fung(LFUGY) will distribute some of Coty Inc.’s(COTY) key brands in China, including Adidas, Rimmel and Playboy, as part of an agreement between the two companies. The move is part of Coty’s efforts to reorganize its business in China and focus on growing its business in the world’s second largest economy, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

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

    Coty Inc.(COTY) swung to a loss for the first three months of the year after the beauty-products maker posted a large write-down in its skin and body care segment. However, results beat expectations. Shares rose 1% to $15.60 premarket.

Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now: Glacier Water Services Inc (GWSV)

Glacier Water Services, Inc. (Glacier) is primarily engaged in the operation of self-service vending machines that dispense drinking water to consumers. The machines are placed at supermarkets and other retail outlets under commission arrangements with the retailers. The Company’s machines are primarily located throughout the Sunbelt and Midwest regions of the United States.

As of January 2, 2011, the Company operated approximately 19, 100 machines in 42 states and Canada. Glacier’s indoor water vending machine was introduced especially for inside the retail store. In addition to having the same multi-stage filtration/treatment system as the outdoor machine, many retailers make available a supply of empty containers near the indoor machine. Glacier also operates a line of PureFill and Water Island equipment.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now: Columbia Sportswear Company(COLM)

Columbia Sportswear Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, sourcing, marketing, and distribution of outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment in the United States, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada. It provides apparel, accessories, and equipment for men, women, and youth under Columbia and Mountain Hardwear brands used during outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, camping, hunting, fishing, trail running, water sports, and adventure travel. The company also offers footwear products, including lightweight hiking boots, trail running shoes, rugged cold weather boots, sandals, and casual shoes for men and women under Columbia, Sorel, and Montrail brands, as well as for youth under the Columbia and Sorel brands. Columbia Sportswear Company sells its products through wholesale distribution channels, independent distributors, direct-to-consum er channels, and licensees, as well as online to independent distributors and consumers. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 43 outlet retail stores and 8 branded retail stores in the United States; 7 outlet retail stores and 3 branded retail stores in various locations in western Europe; and 2 outlet retail stores in Canada, as well as 111 and 236 dealer-operated, branded, outlet, and shop-in-shop locations in Japan and Korea. Columbia Sportswear Company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    With recent M&A in the yoga and athletic-wear space (such as Prana’s acquisition by Columbia (COLM) and Lorna Jane now up for sale as per recent media reports), Lululemon’s geographical diversification efforts are timely given that the domestic competitive environment is certainly showing no signs of abating.

  • [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%.

Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch In Right Now: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM] The munchers have spoken, and Taco Bell isn’t going to like what it’s hearing. A recent Consumer Reports poll asked its readers to chime in with their opinions on the quality of signature items at leading fast food restaurants. It got an earful as more than 32,000 offered up their thoughts on more than 96,000 meals across 65 chains. The most magnetic headline of the report was that McDonald’s (MCD) burgers ranked dead last among the 21 largest burger flippers in the country. However, Yum! Brands (YUM) — the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell — got a double dose of bad news when KFC ranked eighth and worst on the list for chicken, and Taco Bell stumbled into a last-place eighth out of eight competitors in the burrito category. The Fine Cuisine-Cost Conundrum It’s not necessarily ironic that the country’s largest burger, fried chicken and Mexican chains ranked last in the Consumer Reports taste test. It makes sense. These chains tend to offer cheaper fare than their rivals, and part of that is a byproduct of lower spending on ingredients. Despite the advantages of buying in massive bulk, one should never expect the raw materials that go into a $1.49 Beefy 5-Layer Burrito at Taco Bell to be in the same category as those that go into a $6 burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG). There’s also something to be said about the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. The well-known top dogs will always be the easiest targets. However, Taco Bell still needs to be careful. It used to be a compliment to be mentioned in the same breath as McDonald’s, but these days, it’s disparaging. People Still Want Their Gorditas Taco Bell can point to recent performance to prove that it’s not being shunned by diners (relatively speaking) in the same way that McDonald’s is. Outside of an unusual dip in its most recent quarter, Taco Bell has mustered positive comparable store sales pretty consistently in this country over the past couple of years.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) made history last week, with a rise of 216 points carrying the average above 17,000 and reigniting investor interest in the stock market more broadly. Even though many investors have remained on the sidelines as stocks become increasingly expensive, the bull market shows few signs of stopping, and positive economic data are helping to support company fundamentals within many sectors of the market. Nevertheless, several Dow stocks missed out on the market’s overall gains, with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) , and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD  ) being the three worst performers of the week.