The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) just recorded their best weekly performances of the year. The S&P 500 is now up 11.4% on the year.
Not surprisingly, then, the VIX (VOLATILITYINDICES: ^VIX ) , Wall Street’s fear gauge, plumbed its lowest level since March 15 on Friday, even dipping below 12 on an intraday basis. (The VIX is calculated from S&P 500 option prices and reflects investor expectations for stock market volatility over the coming 30 days.)
The earnings drum is beating
As I’ve argued several times in this column, the rally that began off last year’s June low is being driven by valuation, rather than earnings, with the market willing to pay a higher multiple for a dollar of earnings, as investor risk aversion continues to dissipate. There are good reasons for this — to a certain extent — as fears of global macro dislocations have receded. However, I think it’s worth sounding a few words of caution.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: CVS Corporation(CVS)
CVS Caremark Corporation operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. The company?s Pharmacy Services segment provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services, including mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy services, plan design and administration, formulary management, and claims processing; and drug benefits to eligible beneficiaries under the Federal Government?s Medicare Part D program. This segment primarily serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, and individuals. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 44 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 18 specialty mail order pharmacies, and 4 mail service pharmacies located in 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This segment operates business under the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, Caremark, CVS Caremark, CarePlus CVS/pharmacy, CarePlus, RxAmerica, Accordant, and TheraCom names. The company?s Retail Pharmacy segment sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its pharmacy retail stores and online, as well as offers film and photo finishing, and health care services. This segment operated 7,182 retail drugstores located in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; and 560 retail health care clinics in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the MinuteClinic name. It has a strategic alliance with Alere, L.L.C. for the management of disease management program offerings that cover chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. CVS Caremark Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty ImagesThree of the nations largest banks have hiked their out-of-network ATM fees by 50 cents in the past six months. Rising ATM fees are making it more expensive for consumers who regularly use an out-of-network ATM to withdraw cash. The trend may be the push that some consumers need to find a better checking account or bank. In the past six months, three of the nation’s largest banks — Bank of America (BAC), Citibank (C) and SunTrust Bank (STI) — have each hiked their out-of-network ATM fee from $2 to $2.50. At the top 10 U.S. banks, the average out-of-network ATM fee is $2.45, up from $2.25 in November. Then, don’t forget that ATM operator also has the right to slap on a surcharge, usually around $3 to $5. If ATM fees are becoming a costly expense for you, here are some ways to avoid them: Find your bank’s ATMs on your smartphone. The biggest reason we resort to using an out-of-network ATM is because ATM machines from our banks are nowhere to be found when we’re in a rush. In many cases, your bank’s ATM could just be around the corner, but you’re in a hurry, so you don’t care to check. Instead, you’re willing to get hit with the ATM cash withdrawal fee, plus any ATM surcharge. However, with easy access to the Internet through smartphones, it would be wise to search for nearby ATMs. Many mobile banking applications feature a locator tool that will help you find an ATM based on your GPS location. Remember to use affiliated ATM networks. There are financial institutions — usually community banks and credit unions — that partner with other financial companies to expand ATM availability without imposing surcharges. For instance, some smaller banks and online banks work with the Allpoint or STAR ATM networks to provide more surcharge-free access to ATMs. Some credit unions also partner with the CO-OP ATM network, which doesn’t impose surcharges for members of partnered credit unions. Additionally, financial institutions may work with retailers to
- [By John Udovich]
He added that the home infusion market is a highly fragmented one with 70% of infusion pharmacies being independent, but the large managed-care companies are pushing into the industry to consolidate in order to ensure consistency of care. The other national consolidators include Option Care, which Walgreen Company (NYSE: WAG) acquired in 2007, and Coram, which was purchased by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS) in November. In addition:
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: Matahari Department Store Tbk PT (LPPF)
PT Matahari Department Store Tbk operates as a multi-format retailer. The Company, based in Indonesia, operates as the Department Store division of Matahari Putra Prima. The Matahari Group is Indonesia’s multi-format retailer with core retail businesses in fashion and household groceries businesses targeted for middle – upper middle consumers throughout the country. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Emma O’Brien]
PT Matahari Department Store (LPPF), Indonesia’s largest retailer, climbed 7.7 percent to 14,000 rupiah after the stock was added to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: Tim Hortons Inc.(THI)
Tim Hortons Inc. develops, franchises, and operates quick service restaurants primarily in Canada and the United States. Its restaurants serve coffee and other hot and cold beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and other food products. As of April 03, 2011, the company and its restaurant owners operated 3,169 restaurants in Canada and 613 restaurants in the United States under the Tim Hortons name; and had 274 primarily self-serve licensed locations in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom Tim Hortons Inc. was founded in 1964 and is based in Oakville, Canada.
- [By Damian Illia]
Largest quick-service restaurant in Canada Tim Hortons Inc. (THI) has been recently drawing some attention as to its recent performance. With almost 3,600 units in Canada, and 850 units in the U.S., Tim Hortons generates revenue mainly through franchise royalties and rent payment, company-owned stores and distribution sales to franchisees. Indeed the company’s brand is strong and has built some appealing intangible asset, along with a cohesive franchisee system and highly scalable business model. The franchisee model typically allows companies to perceive an annuity-like stream of rent and royalty payment, stabilizing the business against macroeconomic fluctuations and cyclicality.
- [By Nickey Friedman]
Growth continues to turn from good to better for Tim Hortons’ (NYSE: THI ) competitors Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) , Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN ) , and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD ) . Though Little Timmy has lagged behind, that could change, beginning with the five-year strategic plan the company will outline on Feb. 25.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: Dollar General Corporation(DG)
Dollar General Corporation operates as a discount retailer of general merchandise in the southern, southwestern, midwestern, and eastern United States. The company offers consumables, including paper towels, bath tissue, paper dinnerware, trash and storage bags, laundry, and other home cleaning supplies; packaged food and perishables; beverages and snacks, such as candies, cookies, crackers, salty snacks, and carbonated beverages; over-the-counter medicines and personal care products; and pet supplies and pet food products. It also provides seasonal products consisting of decorations, toys, batteries, small electronics, greeting cards, stationery, prepaid cell phones and accessories, gardening supplies, hardware, and automotive and home office supplies; home products comprising kitchen supplies, cookware, small appliances, light bulbs, storage containers, frames, candles, craft supplies, and bed and bath soft goods; and apparel products, such as casual everyday apparel for infants, toddlers, girls, boys, women and men, as well as offers socks, underwear, disposable diapers, shoes, and accessories. In addition, the company holds a license to Bobbie Brooks clothing, as well as the Fisher Price brand for various items of children’s clothing. As of May 25, 2011, it operates approximately 9,500 stores in 35 states. The company was formerly known as J.L. Turner & Son, Inc. and changed its name to Dollar General Corporation in 1968. Dollar General Corporation was founded in 1939 and is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.
- [By Renu Singh]
Costco’s (NASDAQ: COST ) performance this year has been patchy with shares down 5%. The company’s second-quarter numbers slightly missed consensus expectations as heavy discounting during the holiday period ate into its margins. Weak sales, deflation in gas prices, and forex fluctuations also affected its second-quarter results. Moreover, with competition rising from big box retailers such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) and competitive pricing from dollar stores such as Dollar General (NYSE: DG ) , is the membership warehouse retailer in for troubled times ahead?
- [By Monica Gerson]
Dollar General (NYSE: DG) shares fell 1.99% to $58.10 in the pre-market trading after the company reported downbeat Q4 sales.
Stock Building Supply Holdings (NASDAQ: STCK) dipped 1.53% to $19.95 in the pre-market session after the company prices 5.6 million shares at $19.50 per share by selling shareholders.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: J.C. Penney Company Inc. Holding Company(JCP)
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., through its subsidiary, J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc., operates department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products, and home furnishings. It also provides various services, such as styling salon, optical, portrait photography, and custom decorating. The company also sells its products through its Internet Web site, jcp.com. J. C. Penney Company, Inc. has strategic alliance with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. As of December 7, 2011, it operated approximately 1,100 department stores. The company was founded in 1902 and is based in Plano, Texas.
- [By Steven Russolillo]
Big Retailers Find it Hard Shopping for a CEO: “Target isn’t the only U.S. retailer looking for a new boss—and new ideas. J.C. Penney(JCP), American Eagle Outfitters(AEO) and a handful of others are also on the hunt for chief executives.”
- [By Muhammad Bazil]
Companies like J.C. Penney (JCP) on their way to recovery through turnaround initiatives often pose two challenges to investors. It’s either the turnaround leads to a costly adventure and loss of investors’ hard earned money or it brings enormous profit to investors who had the courage to make the right bets. J.C. Penney is a retail company on the verge of booking increases on its top line if consumer spending continues to improve into holiday and back-to-school seasons ahead. With the turnaround stepsbeing taking so far by JCP, the retail company now falls into the same category with Best Buy (BBY) and Rite Aid (RAD) but while Best Buy and Rite Aid retails technology products and drugs respectively, JCP retails family apparel, footwear accessories, home furnishings, and a range of beauty products through its departmental stores across the U.S.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty Images From a door-to-door selling icon stocking up on blush after a disappointing quarter to several hotel chains checking in with strong occupancy trends, here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders in the business world. Hotels — Winners Hoteliers were apparently hopping during the first quarter. Despite the iffy weather and the equally iffy economy, the leading chains reporting this week posted surprisingly robust activity. Revenue per available room is a key metric because it tracks occupancy levels as well as prevailing overnight rates. The industry’s doing well when RevPAR is positive, and that’s just what we saw with this week’s reports. Choice Hotels (CHH), Marriott (MAR), and Hyatt (H) clocked in with RevPAR increases of 5.6 percent, 6.3 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Twitter (TWTR) — Loser Shares of Twitter hit an all-time low this week after the company posted disappointing user growth. Sure, the “all-time low” remark needs to be accompanied by the caveat that Twitter has only been trading publicly for less than six months. It’s still a grim milestone for last year’s most anticipated debutante. Twitter’s revenue growth was fine, propelled by the recent success of its monetization initiatives. Its outlook was upbeat. However, the one thing that haunted investors this week was that Twitter had just 14 million more unique monthly visitors than it had a quarter earlier. That kind of sequential uptick would’ve impressed at most companies, but Twitter trades at a juicy premium to the market. #Letdown. J.C. Penney (JCP) — Winner The struggling department store operator isn’t out of the woods just yet, but at least one supplier is offering up encouraging insight. PVH (PVH) was presenting at an investor conference in Miami earlier in the week when its CEO offered up an encouraging perspective. “The Penney’s business is running on or ahead of plan and given what their sales trends are,” said CEO Manny Chirico,
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) was also on the rise, gaining 10.78 percent to $8.84 after the company after Calvin Klein parent PVH corporation stated at a conference that the company was strong and ‘ahead of time”.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: Macy’s Inc (M)
Macys, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates stores and Internet Websites in the United States. Its retail stores and Internet Web sites sell a range of merchandise, including apparel and accessories for men, women, and children; cosmetics; home furnishings; and other consumer goods. The company also operates Bloomingdales Outlet stores that offer a range of apparel and accessories, including ready-to-wear, shoes, fashion accessories, jewelry, handbags, and intimate apparel products. As of January 28, 2012, it operated approximately 840 stores under the names of Macys and Bloomingdales; and 7 Bloomingdales Outlet stores, as well as macys.com and bloomingdales.com. The company was formerly known as Federated Department Stores, Inc. and changed its name to Macys, Inc. in June 2007. Macys, Inc. was founded in 1820 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- [By Annalisa Kraft-Linder]
Annalisa Linder A glorious Saturday afternoon, and Sears is virtually empty. Merchandise is all jumbled; aisles are blocked; it looks dispirited. After a spate of photo stories on the disarray at Sears, I wanted to look for myself. The sadder side of Sears, indeed. J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy’s (M) in the same mall in suburban Maryland were busier, neater and drawing younger customers. Annalisa Linder If you remember the slogan, “the softer side of Sears,” then you’re the typical Sears age demographic, and if you never heard it, you are the younger shopper it desires but can’t attract. Sears Holdings’ (SHLD) sales have declined for years as it loses customers to Kohl’s (KSS) and J.C. Penney and younger customers throng to Macy’s. Most mall anchor stores are struggling. A recent Piper Jaffray survey found that teens aren’t hanging out at the mall anymore and prefer a social “experience,” preferably at a restaurant. Sears and Sears Holdings’ Kmart stores have been hit particularly hard. CEO Eddie Lampert noted on the most recent earnings call that shoppers only visit three stores per mall trip now, compared to five in 2007. The Sadder Side of Sears
- [By Rich Duprey]
The combination of the two retailers will create the fourth largest retailer of menswear, behind department-store chains Macy’s (NYSE: M ) , Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS ) , and J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) with 1,700 stores, 23,000 employees, and pro forma sales of $3.5 billion. Yet Men’s Wearhouse has rightly said it’s not going to rebrand Bank’s stores in recognition of the two companies’ separate customer bases and different corporate cultures.
- [By James Miller Phd]
Macy´s (M) is operating about 850 stores under the names Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Its P/E ratio indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued. So now let’s take a look at the intrinsic value of this company and try to explain to investors the reasons why it is a good buy or not.
Top Retail Stocks To Watch For 2015: Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc.(SPB)
Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a consumer products company worldwide. It offers consumer batteries, including alkaline and zinc carbon batteries, rechargeable batteries and chargers, and hearing aid batteries and other specialty batteries; pet supplies, such as aquatic equipment and supplies, dog and cat treats, small animal foods, clean up and training aids, health and grooming products, and beddings; and home and garden control products comprising household insect controls, insect repellents, and herbicides. The company also provides electric shaving and grooming devices; small appliances, including small kitchen appliances and home product appliances; electric personal care and styling devices; and portable lighting. Its sells its products through various trade channels, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors, hearing aid professionals, industrial distributors, and original equipment manufacturers primarily under t he Rayovac, Remington, Varta, George Foreman, Black & Decker, Toastmaster, Farberware, Tetra, Marineland, Nature?s Miracle, Dingo, 8-in-1, Littermaid, Spectracide, Cutter, Repel, Hot Shot, Black Flag, and TAT brands. The company was headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. As of January 7, 2011, Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Harbinger Group Inc.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Energizer have jumped 15% to $112.37 at 10:24 a.m. today, while Spectrum Brands (SPB) has risen 1.4% to $76.88 and Kimberly Clark (KMB) has gained 1% to $112.14.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Consumer products manufacturer Spectrum Brands (SPB) raised its quarterly dividend 20% to 30 cents per share, payable on Mar. 18 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 19.
SPB Dividend Yield: 1.58%