Friday, February 24, 2017

Stock Market [A]musings

As I get closer to retirement, I'm re-focusing on investing and paying closer attention to where my money is going.  I suppose it's the equivalent of last-minute Christmas shopping.  Looking at the calendar and realizing I have two weeks to make something out of myself.  In this case, it's more like 3 to 5 years - but still.

We are at the tail-end of earnings season. Granted, it's not as exciting as the start of baseball season, but for geeks like me, it's pretty close.  Brick-and-mortal retail is getting slaughtered.  JC Penny is closing stores, reporting horrible same-store sales, and their stock has been falling like a lead balloon. Even when I was a youngster, the stores were kind of crappy.  I remember, in the 1990s they changed their focus to attire, and put lots of clothing on sale.  I had a store credit card, and I ran it up bigly buying pants, shirts, and all the stuff that young men makes them think they are well-dressed.  You see where that got me - and where it got them.  They are still struggling, although now it's against the likes of Amazon. They are closing stores and laying-off workers.  That was a surprise to many who thought they had turned a corner.  Me - I'm still struggling, but it's against the likes of better men. Alas.

This coming week, there are some interesting earnings reports coming:
ETSY reports on the 28th.  If the "Stay at Home Economy" is in full flight, they should be doing well.  Granted, the web site is difficult to navigate, and if you don't know exactly what you are looking for, browsing is exhausting. STAY (Extended Stay) also reports.  They are the opposite of the stay-at-home gang.  Let's see how many travelers are willing to venture out of their house and have someplace to stay that is like home.  I'm guessing not many.

Best Buy (BBY) reports on March 1.  My guess is that the Stay-at-Homers will give BBY shareholders something to crow about.  They sell all the junk that make staying at home exciting and fulfilling.  If BBY isn't making money at it, nobody can.  I can't imagine going to Amazon to buy a television that I haven't seen in person.

Also, on the 1st, Lowe's (LOW) reports.  On the heels of The Home Depot's bust-out quarter, let's see how their closest competitor fares.  There is a Lowe's within 2 miles of every Home Depot, so their report may help us figure out which of the two consumers prefer. My thoughts are with HD.

On March 2, Budweiser (BUD) reports. I think their beer is horrible, but their marketing is second to none.  It's probably all about bar sales and sporting events. It's cheap to make and expensive to buy, and any industry that relies on drunks to spend money has my vote. Witness STZ (Contellation Brands). Boston Beer's (SAM) bad quarter might be a harbinger for BUD. They are polar opposites in the beer world, but still selling to similar markets.

Kroger (KR) and Costco (COST) might buck the trend of retail/supermarkets having a horrible time on March 2.  They are bigger than the average bear, and the market bears might have an issue with their quarters.  Don't bet against them.  My bet would be on Costco.

A tiny company I'm interested in is BREW (Craft Brew Alliance) reporting on the 27th.  They are part of the stay-at-home gang, although in a do-it-yourself manner.  The stock trades at 340-times earnings, so anything other than a perfect quarter may present a buying opportunity for adventurous investors.

So, as they say, "Keep your eye on the sky," and watch out for bears.  They are big and scary, but once you get past the growl and fur, it's all downhill.
Keep your eye on the ball and keep investing.

1 comment:

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