Earnings season’s in full throttle now, and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) stepped up and released its quarterly data Tuesday. The company’s results were good enough to please investors — shares jumped more than 2% on the day after J&J’s profit (excluding items) topped analyst projections and jumped year-over-year. That’s as good as it gets for shareholders on earnings day.
The data’s in the books and in the past now, however, so what does the data say you should be looking forward to for the future of health care’s largest player?
A bright future from pharmaceuticals
J&J’s pharmaceutical division fueled this most recent quarter’s growth, as sales from the unit jumped more than 11% at a common currency. The business has been doing quite well, growing 4% last year after boasting 8.8% sales growth in 2011. More and more, J&J’s pharmaceutical branch has become the financial workhorse of the company.
While J&J’s standout blockbuster Remicade continues to churn out billions of dollars in annual sales, investors need to expect more from the company’s other drugs. So far, so good: Despite patent expirations cutting into sales of therapies such as Levaquin, some of J&J’s newer medications are growing at a nice clip. Immunology drug Stelara continues to impress, earning a 57% year-over-year rise in sales in the most recent quarter. The drug hit blockbuster status last year, and the earliest results of 2013 indicate more growth to come.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: MEDIFAST INC(MED)
Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Medifast (NYSE: MED) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million.
Full House Resorts (NASDAQ: FLL) is estimated to post a Q4 loss at $0.06 per share on revenue of $33.24 million.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Analysts expect Medifast (NYSE: MED) to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million. Medifast shares surged 2.19% to close at $26.08 on Friday.
- [By John Udovich]
Last Friday, small cap dieting stock Weight Watchers International, Inc (NYSE: WTW) lost weight for investors when shares tumbled 27.73% to $22.10, meaning its probabaly a good idea to take a closer look at the stock along with other small cap weight loss or dieting stocks like NutriSystem Inc (NASDAQ: NTRI), Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED) and Reliv International, Inc (NASDAQ: RELV). Why did Weight Watchers International loose weight last Friday? The company reported its fourth straight quarterly sales decline as fewer people attended meetings and bought its products and also projected earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates with the blame being placed on new mobile applications and bracelets that track calories – thus hurting traditional diet companies.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI)
Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides workers compensation insurance and reinsurance products in the United States. The company?s Workers Compensation Insurance segment provides traditional workers compensation insurance coverage products, including guaranteed cost policies, policyholder dividend policies, retrospectively-rated policies, deductible policies, and alternative market products to employers. This segment distributes its workers? compensation products and services through its independent insurance agents primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, and Virginia. Its Segregated Portfolio Cell Reinsurance segment offers alternative market workers compensation solutions comprising program design, fronting, claims administration, risk management, segregated portfolio cell rental, asset management, and segregated portfolio management services to individual companies, groups, and associations. Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
ProAssurance Corp.(PRA) agreed to acquire Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI) for about $205 million, expanding the insurance company’s casualty insurance offerings. Eastern Insurance is a domestic casualty insurance group specializing in workers’ compensation products and services, among other things. ProAssurance plans to pay $24.50 in cash for each outstanding Eastern share, a 16% premium over Monday’s closing price.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Nordstrom Inc.(JWN)
Nordstrom, Inc., a fashion specialty retailer, offers apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children in the United States. It offers a selection of brand name and private label merchandise. The company sells its products through various channels, including Nordstrom full-line stores, off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, Jeffrey? boutiques, treasure & bond, and Last Chance clearance stores; and its online store, nordstrom.com, as well as through catalog. Nordstrom also provides a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards, and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The company?s credit and debit cards feature a shopping-based loyalty program. As of September 30, 2011, it operated 222 stores, including 117 full-line stores, 101 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store, and 1 clearance store in 30 states. The company was founded in 1901 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Dillard’s have dropped 1.4% to $89.99 at 3:13 p.m., while Macy’s (M) has dropped 0.6% to $57.33, Sears Holdings (SHLD) has fallen 2.7% to $44.61 and Nordstrom (JWN) has has dipped $61.59. JC Penney is little changed at $8.29.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Fashion specialty retailer Nordstrom (JWN) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 33 cents per share, payable March 25 to shareholders of record as of March 10.
JWN Dividend Yield: 2.15%
- [By Grace L. Williams]
The hits keep coming at high-end retailer Nordstrom (JWN).
After reporting a decline in fourth-quarter earnings and weak sales, shares traded down 0.3% to $59.24 today. And Sterne, Agee & Leach’s Charles Grom, while acknowledging that the fourth quarter was “OK,” warned that there were issues developing underneath. He explains:
Beneath the surface, there are two disturbing trends emerging that shouldn’t go unnoticed, including: 1) a more promotional environment/gross profit margin risk (as Nordstrom price matches); and 2) full line cannibalization (via e-commerce), which structurally compresses Nordstrom’s top-line algo. All told, the Nordstrom experience is one of the best in retail, but the stock is dead money for the foreseeable future, in our view.
Grom accentuated a few positives that included a rise in same-store sales by 2.6% and decent earnings. A rise in inventory levels and lower EPS guidance were some of the negatives, Grom said.
Nordstrom’s pain didn’t cause stand in the way of gains for some other department store stocks. Dillard’s (DDS) gained 1.5% to $89.33, while Macy’s (M) rose 0.5% to $53.71. Even J.C. Penney (JCP) had a better day. It finished down just 0.2% at $5.64.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Up first is CNO Financial Group (CNO), a mid-cap financial stock that’s rocketed close to 60% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. Yup, it’s been a great year for the market, but it’s been a far better one for investors who own CNO. But that strong performance isn’t showing any signs of slowing yet. In fact, CNO looks primed for even more upside in the fourth quarter.
That’s because CNO is currently forming a bullish pattern called an ascending triangle. The ascending triangle pattern is formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares — in this case at $14.75 — and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CNO bounces in between those two technical price levels, it’s getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above that $14.75 resistance level. When that breakout happens, it’s time to become a buyer.
ACCO’s price action isn’t exactly textbook. After all, the pattern is coming in at the bottom of a downtrend, not after an uptrend. But ultimately, that doesn’t change the trading implications of a move through that $7.50 level.
Whenever you’re looking at any technical price pattern, it’s critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what’s going on in a stock, but they’re not the reason it’s tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That $7.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it’s a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That’s what makes a breakout above it so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Don’t be early on this trade.
- [By Vanin Aegea]
I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).
- [By David Fried, Editor, The Buyback Letter]
Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group (CNO) and its insurance subsidiaries—principally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company—serve pre-retiree and retired Americans.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
- [By James Brumley]
How so? In November, Smith & Nephew unveiled a biocomposite material for use in arthroscopic surgeries — the Healicoil suture anchor — and just last week the company announced encouraging results from a third-party study of its negative-pressure wound therapy system used on closed surgical incisions. It sounds minor, but that technology could open a big door for Smith & Nephew as well as SNN stock owners.
Medical Devices: Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) shares took a big hit late last week following its fourth-quarter numbers, but bear in mind that ISRG stock had been through an overheated run-up in the days before that. Even with Friday’s 6% selloff, Intuitive Surgical shares are up 7% year-to-date — a paradigm shift compared to 2013′s 21% slide.
- [By John Kell]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday’s session are Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG), Juniper Networks Inc.(JNPR) and Microsoft Corp.(MSFT)
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap Checkpoint Systems, Inc (NYSE: CKP) fights shoplifting or retail theft and other forms of “shrink” that costs retailers over $112 billion worldwide last year (according to a study funded by the company), meaning it might be an interesting stock to take a closer look at and to compare its performance with that of SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR). Just how bad can shoplifting or shrink be for a retailer? Troubled retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP) has just reported that shoplifting took a full percentage point off the department store chain’s profit margins during the quarter. Moreover and given that tens of millions of Americans are now facing higher health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare (which will likely impact consumer discretionary spending), retailers will need to find ways to shore up their margins and bottom lines by preventing retail theft with solutions from company’s like C heckpoint Systems.
- [By Rich Smith]
Three months after settling upon a new chief executive officer, it looks like Thorofare, N. J.-based Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP ) will soon have itself a new CFO as well.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Thoratec Corporation(THOR)
Thoratec Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. The company?s primary product lines include ventricular assist devices, such as HeartMate II, an implantable left ventricular assist device consisting of a rotary blood pump to provide intermediate and long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and HeartMate XVE, an implantable and pulsatile left ventricular assist device for intermediate and longer-term MCS. Its ventricular assist devices also comprise Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device, an external pulsatile ventricular assist device, which provides left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for bridge-to-transplantation (BTT), including home discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery; and Implantable Ventricular Assist Device, an implantable and pulsatile ventricular assist device designed to provide left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for BTT comprising hom e discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery. The company also provides CentriMag, an extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platform that offers support up to 30 days for cardiac and respiratory failure. In addition, it offers PediMag and PediVAS extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platforms designed to provide acute surgical support to pediatric patients. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors internationally. Thoratec Corporation was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.
- [By Todd Campbell]
Competing for heart pump market share
Abiomed’s products provide circulatory support for up to six hours and are designed for use in cardiac cath labs or during heart surgery, but competitors Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) and Heartware (NASDAQ: HTWR ) target the intermediate- and long-term-use market instead.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of medical device company Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) sank 12% today after its quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- [By Steve Symington]
Meanwhile, its significantly larger beer-and-wings cousin, Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD ) , had just managed to grow revenue 12% year over year — a performance driven not only by new restaurant openings, but also by B-Wild’s respective 5.2% and 3.1% same-store sales increases at company-owned and franchised restaurants. Of course, Buffalo Wild Wings shares also plunged the following day as a result of its cautious forward outlook, but the stock has since rebounded nicely as investors take solace knowing diners are still coming back in droves.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD), Hillenbrand Inc (NYSE: HI), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) Economic Releases Expected: German retail sales, French consumer confidence, German unemployment rate, eurozone CPI, eurozone PPI, US trade balance, US redbook
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
AP It’s OK to say that Pizza Hut is full of hot air when it comes to its latest marketing move. It almost certainly won’t mind. Yum! Brands’ (YUM) iconic Pizza Hut introduced a new crust for its hand-tossed pizzas on Thursday. Instead of stuffing crusts with various types of cheese or even pepperoni as it has done in the past, Pizza Hut is promoting the fact that its new hand-tossed pizzas now feature a more airy texture. Pumping more air into the dough is supposed to give the pies less of a cookie-cutter appearance, an unusual choice among chains that sell themselves on their consistency. Every snowflake is unique, but every chain order is supposed to be uniform across the various locations. It’s what customers expect. However, just as the term “hand-tossed” conveys a personal touch, having a few more air pockets in the pizzas should generate some retro charm akin to an indie pizzeria. So Pizza Hut is proud of the “noticeable imperfections” of the new pies. It’s not that big of a gamble. The rest of Pizza Hut’s menu options will remain the same. If this move doesn’t “pan” out, it can be quickly replaced with the next evolutionary step of crust stuffing in the pizza giant’s playbook. Pizza Hut doesn’t stand still, even if it’s odd to find it stuffing its pies with air. Pizza Hut is Bigger Than You Think There are more than 14,000 Pizza Hut locations across 100 different countries, making the chain a major component of the Yum! Brands family that also includes Taco Bell and KFC. It could also use a boost. Comparable-store sales at domestic Pizza Hut locations slipped 1 percent in Yum! Brands’ latest quarter. These are competitive times, and for Pizza Hut, the challenge now is about more than beefing up its delivery business to compete with Papa John’s (PZZA) and Domino’s (DPZ), which seem to always have some ridiculous price promotion going on. (This is a business that has become cutthroat enough that Pizza Hut even feels the need to explicitly offer f
- [By abirk]
There lies an intense competition between YUM and McDonald’s (MCD). Health consciousness amongst the people has given a serious threat to this Oak Brook based company, as McDonald’s is heavily exposed to the US market. Other threats include poor product positioning. To compete with KFC and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), McDonald’s introduced chicken wings (Mighty Wings). At the same restaurant that sells double cheeseburgers for a dollar, premium chicken wings don’t work. The company purchased approximately 50 million pounds of chicken wings and is stuck with 10 million pounds of unsold stock.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Waste Management Inc.(WM)
Waste Management, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides waste management services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It offers collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services. The company also owns, develops, and operates waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Its collection services involves in picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility, or disposal site; and recycling operations include collection and materials processing, plastics materials recycling, and commodities recycling. In addition, it provides recycling brokerage, which includes managing the marketing of recyclable materials for third parties; and electronic recycling services, such as collection, sorting, and disassembling of discarded computers, communications equipment, and other electronic equipment. Further, the company e ngages in renting and servicing portable restroom facilities to municipalities and commercial customers under the Port-o-Let name; and involves in landfill gas-to-energy operations comprising recovering and processing the methane gas produced naturally by landfills into a renewable energy source, as well as provides street and parking lot sweeping services. Additionally, it offers portable self-storage, fluorescent lamp recycling, and medical waste services for healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and individuals, as well as provides services on behalf of third parties to construct waste facilities. The company was formerly known as USA Waste Services, Inc. and changed its name to Waste Management, Inc. in 1998. Waste Management, Inc. was incorporated in 1987 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By Louis Navellier]
Waste and environmental services company Waste Management (WM) announced fourth-quarter results and a hefty new stock buyback program. With a 3.3% dividend yield and a firm handhold on the nation’s garbage collection market, could one man’s trash be a treasure in your portfolio?
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are Forest Laboratories Inc.(FRX), Coca-Cola Co.(KO) and Waste Management Inc.(WM)
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Waste Management (NYSE: WM) was down, falling 4.71 percent to $41.62 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q4 results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.14 percent to $101.49, while gold traded up 1.68 percent to $1,322.00.
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: TrueBlue Inc.(TBI)
TrueBlue, Inc. provides temporary blue-collar staffing services in the United States. It supplies on demand general labor to various industries under the Labor Ready brand; skilled labor to manufacturing and logistics industries under the Spartan Staffing brand; and trades people for commercial, industrial, and residential construction, and building and plant maintenance industries under the CLP Resources brand. The company also provides mechanics and technicians to the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul, aerospace manufacturing, and assembly industries, as well as to other transportation industries under the Plane Techs brand; and temporary drivers to the transportation and distribution industries under the Centerline brand. It primarily serves small and medium-size businesses. The company was formerly known as Labor Ready, Inc. and changed its name to TrueBlue, Inc. in December 2007. TrueBlue, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington.Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of staffing agency TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI ) jumped 10% today after the company reported earnings.
So what: Revenue jumped 19%, to $422.3 million, and beat estimates of $420.2 million from Wall Street. Adjusted earnings per share were also up 19%, to $0.31, outpacing estimates by $0.05.
- [By Jonathan Yates]
For those looking to invest in real estate stocks, highly recommended is the Dr. Housing Bubble blog. In a recent posting, the “Dr.” pointed out that there was a “Lost Generation” when it came to household income. That has not happened for those investing in staffing industry stocks such as Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX), Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), TrueBlue, Inc. (NYSE: TBI), and Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC).
- [By Jonathan Yates]
When looking at small cap stocks, it is useful to compare the company with others that have expanded in both share price and size. For those considering investing in the $100 billion staffing industry, the growth of TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) shows what could be the potential path for Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC), as both operate in the $29 billion demand labor sector. Other firms have done well in the staffing industry include Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX) and ManPower Group (NYSE: MAN).
Top Growth Companies To Buy For 2014: Crocs Inc.(CROX)
Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Getty Images/Scott Olson The demise of Crocs (CROX), it seems, may have been greatly exaggerated. Remember the company’s signature product? Close to a decade ago, those colorful, clunky resin clogs were all the rage. The company that made them couldn’t sell the things fast enough, at one point reaching sales of 50 million pairs in 2007. Then fashion moved on, as it always does, and the economic slowdown started to bite into sales. Crocs plunged from a $168 million net profit in 2007 to a $185 million loss in 2008. In 2009, the company nearly ran out of cash and had a hard time making payroll. But Crocs’ fortunes have improved. In its most recent quarter, the firm posted a loss, but it was narrower than the market was expecting. And it’s found an investor that believes in its future — private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX), which recently provided a $200 million cash investment in return for a block of preferred shares eventually convertible into a stake of around 13 percent of the company. Perhaps the time has come to take those old clogs out of the closet, dust them off, and slip them on for a stroll. Stepping It Up Fashion is highly susceptible to consumer whim. The hot item is never hot for very long, and once consumers move on, it can be hard for the company to recover. In Crocs’ case, this was exacerbated by its limited product line — almost exclusively the clogs. The company learned from its mistakes. Since consumer tastes moved out of clog-land, Crocs has significantly broadened its product line to 300 styles. It now offers boots, flip-flops, deck shoes and slip-ons akin to the casuals from VF Corp.’s (VFC) Vans subsidiary. In terms of profitability, Crocs recovered quickly from its time in the fashion wilderness. From that 2008 bottom-line deficit of $185 million, the company sliced its loss to $42 million the following year, then stepped back into the black in 2010 (to the tune of $68 million). After two straight years of declines, revenue
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Deckers Outdoor have dropped 13% to $73.90, while Crocs (CROX) has gained 0.8% to $15.24, Steve Madden (SHOO) has dropped 0.1% to $36.52, Wolverine World Wide (WWW) has fallen 1.2% to $126.36 and Skechers (SKX) has fallen 1.6% to $33.82.