Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let’s take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.
1. Dressed to kill
Men’s Wearhouse (NYSE: MW ) has a credibility problem. I guarantee it.
The suit retailer ousted founder George Zimmer this week. You know him. “You’re going to like the way you look,” he said at the end of the chain’s ads. “I guarantee it.”
High-profile founders get ousted from companies. It happens. However, the board’s failure to explain the move — leaving Zimmer to issue a statement claiming that he was fired as executive chairman because he disagreed with the board’s direction for the retailer — isn’t going to make shoppers side with the Zimmer-less chain.
Retailers have to deal with finicky shoppers before offering up any drama, but now they’re giving Zimmer fans a big reason to stay away.
Keep an eye on comps in the coming months.
Top Undervalued Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Caterpillar Inc.(CAT)
Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. It operates through three lines of businesses: Machinery, Engines, and Financial Products. The Machinery business offers construction, mining, and forestry machinery, including track and wheel tractors, track and wheel loaders, pipelayers, motor graders, wheel tractor-scrapers, track and wheel excavators, backhoe loaders, log skidders, log loaders, off-highway trucks, articulated trucks, paving products, skid steer loaders, underground mining equipment, tunnel boring equipment, and related parts. It also manufactures diesel-electric locomotives; and manufactures and services rail-related products and logistics services for other companies. The Engines business provides diesel, heavy fuel, and natural gas reciprocating engines for Caterpillar machinery, electric power generation systems, marine, petrol eum, construction, industrial, agricultural, and other applications. It offers industrial turbines and turbine-related services for oil and gas, and power generation applications. This business also remanufactures Caterpillar engines, machines, and engine components; and offers remanufacturing services for other companies. The Financial Products business provides retail and wholesale financing alternatives for Caterpillar machinery and engines, solar gas turbines, and other equipment and marine vessels, as well as offers loans and various forms of insurance to customers and dealers. It also offers financing for vehicles, power generation facilities, and marine vessels. The company markets its products directly, as well as through its distribution centers, dealers, and distributors. It was formerly known as Caterpillar Tractor Co. and changed its name to Caterpillar Inc. in 1986. Caterpillar Inc. was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Manitowoc have gained 33% so far in 2014, easily besting Caterpillar’s (CAT) 6.6% rise, Deere’s (DE) 3.1% drop, Joy Global’s (JOY) 3.1% fall and Terex’s (TEX) 2.3% advance.
- [By Victor Reklaitis]
Boeing (BA) drew 12.2% of its 2013 revenue from the world’s No. 2 economy, while for Nike (NKE) , it was 9.7%, according to FactSet data. China and Hong Kong delivered 18.8% of Intel’s (INTC) revenue last year, and Caterpillar (CAT) got 22.4% of its annual revenue from its Asia-Pacific segment, which includes China.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
With little in the way of local news to move the market today, US stocks are taking their cues from overseas — and they don’t like what they see, leaving Boeing (BA), Nike (NKE), Caterpillar (CAT), United States Steel (X) and Peabody Energy (BTU) in the red.
- [By Patricio Kehoe]
The concept of diversity, when talking about a company’s activities, is a sword with two edges. When performance hits the fan, diversity can turn into an advantage as only one segment can be affected. However, diversification can curtail winnings during a moment of bonanza. In other words, a company with five segments will see a relative smaller impact in overall performance than a company with activities in a single segment, when that segment experiences an abnormal growth. Hence, with a recovering construction market in the US and declining prices for mined commodities, a comparison between Caterpillar (CAT) and Terex (TER) is all the more relevant.
Top Undervalued Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Schlumberger N.V.(SLB)
Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. The company?s Oilfield Services segment provides exploration and production services; wireline technology that offers open-hole and cased-hole services; supplies engineering support, directional-drilling, measurement-while-drilling, and logging-while-drilling services; and testing services. This segment also offers well services; supplies well completion services and equipment; artificial lift; data and consulting services; geo services; and information solutions, such as consulting, software, information management system, and IT infrastructure services that support oil and gas industry. Its WesternGeco segment provides reservoir imaging, monitoring, and development services; and operates data processing centers and multiclient seismic library. This segment also offers variou s services include 3D and time-lapse (4D) seismic surveys to multi-component surveys for delineating prospects and reservoir management. The company?s M-I SWACO segment supplies drilling fluid systems to improve drilling performance; fluid systems and specialty tools to optimize wellbore productivity; production technology solutions to maximize production rates; and environmental solutions that manages waste volumes generated in drilling and production operations. Its Smith Oilfield segment designs, manufactures, and markets drill bits and borehole enlargement tools; and supplies drilling tools and services, tubular, completion services, and other related downhole solutions. The company?s Distribution segment markets pipes, valves, and fittings, as well as mill, safety, and other maintenance products. This segment also provides warehouse management, vendor integration, and inventory management services. Schlumberger Limited was founded in 1927 and is based in Houston, Texas .
- [By Lee Jackson]
Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) is a top mega cap oil field services stock rated as an Overweight at Baird. Strong offshore drilling activity combined with a seasonal rebound in western Canadian activity have driven Schlumberger’s recent growth. The company said it expects double-digit earnings growth for the rest of the year when it reported earnings recently. For 2014 and beyond, Schlumberger sees five markets providing strong growth: Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, China and Australia. Shareholders are paid a 1.8% dividend. The consensus price target is $110.83. Schlumberger closed Thursday at $91.11.
- [By Jim Jubak]
But it just doesn’t seem to matter for Schlumberger (SLB). Schlumberger is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.
On January 17, the oil services and technology company reported fourth quarter earnings of $1.35 a share, beating Wall Street estimates by two cents a share. Earnings grew by 29.8% year over year.
Top Undervalued Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Tupperware Corporation(TUP)
Tupperware Brands Corporation operates as a direct seller of various products across a range of brands and categories through an independent sales force. The company engages in the manufacture and sale of kitchen and home products, and beauty and personal care products. It offers preparation, storage, and serving solutions for the kitchen and home, as well as kitchen cookware and tools, children?s educational toys, microwave products, and gifts under the Tupperware brand name primarily in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific, and North America. The company provides beauty and personal care products, which include skin care products, cosmetics, bath and body care, toiletries, fragrances, nutritional products, apparel, and related products principally in Mexico, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, and Uruguay. It offers beauty and personal care products under the Armand Dupree, Avroy Shlain, BeautiControl, Fuller, NaturCare, Nutrimetics, Nuvo, and Swissgar de brand names. The company sells its Tupperware products directly to distributors, directors, managers, and dealers; and beauty products primarily through consultants and directors. As of December 26, 2009, the Tupperware distribution system had approximately 1,800 distributors, 61,300 managers, and 1.3 million dealers; and the sales force representing the Beauty businesses approximately 1.1 million. The company was formerly known as Tupperware Corporation and changed its name to Tupperware Brands Corporation in December 2005. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.
- [By Jonathan Berr]
Multilevel marketing (MLM) groups such as Herbalife operate through independent sales representatives, who earn money both through the sales of product and by recruiting other people to join their team. This business model — which is used by scores of companies, including Pampered Chef, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Tupperware (TUP) and Mary Kay Cosmetics — is legal provided that actual products are sold.
- [By Johanna Bennett]
Corporate earnings took a back seat today to the Fed’s latest policy decision. Still, quarterly financial results, and other news sent shares of McCormick & Co. (MKC) and Tupperware (TUP), falling during regular market hours Here’s a rundown of several of today’s moves:
Top Undervalued Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR)
Dollar Tree, Inc. operates discount variety stores in the United States and Canada. Its stores offer merchandise primarily at the fixed price of $1.00. The company operates its stores under the names of Dollar Tree, Deal$, Dollar Tree Deal$, Dollar Giant, and Dollar Bills. Its stores offer consumable merchandise, including candy and food, and health and beauty care, as well as household consumables, such as paper, plastics, household chemicals, in select stores, and frozen and refrigerated food; variety merchandise, which includes toys, durable housewares, gifts, party goods, greeting cards, softlines, and other items; and seasonal goods, such as Easter, Halloween, and Christmas merchandise. As of April 30, 2011, it operated 4,089 stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 88 stores in Canada. The company was founded in 1986 and is based in Chesapeake, Virginia.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
This isn’t some growing new industry set to take the world further into the 21st century. It’s an old concept that hasn’t innovated, won’t innovate, and will slowly but surely die out over this century. When I walk into a Walgreens, I see a miniature Target (TGT), a more expensive Dollar Tree (DLTR), and a provider of prescriptions in a world where everything is becoming mail order.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The other stock the firm likes is Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR). The company’s shares have lost about 4.6% since reporting an earnings per share (EPS) miss for the third quarter and the Sterne Agee analysts see the lower price as a “great entry point” for buying the stock. Dollar Tree raised fiscal year 2013 EPS guidance from a range of $2.66 to $2.77 to a new range of $2.72 to $2.78, effectively raising the mid-point by $0.04. Sterne Agee reiterated its Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $63. Dollar Tree’s shares are trading down nearly 0.4% at $55.99 in a 52-week range of $37.47 to $60.19.