Bed Bath and Beyond reported 1Q earnings that were drastically below what were already low expectations heading into the quarter. The company reported EPS of $0.53, which was well-below consensus of $0.66, and the stock declined 12% on Friday.
There have been some contrarians that have come out in defense of the company, arguing that Bed Bath & Beyond generates significant free cash flow and returns much of that in the form of share buybacks and dividends.
But here's why that argument is misguided. This sort of defense works for a company like Staples, where profitability is stable, and net income is flat. This is not the case for Bed Bath & Beyond, which has deteriorating fundamentals across the board. Free cash flow will eventually follow, meaning that share buybacks and repurchases are not sustainable.
To show this, I'll first walk through the deterioration in fundamentals. I'll then connect this to free cash flow and show how that hurts the free cash flow outlook going forward. Finally I'll address what I see as the bull case is for the stock. Read More
Lululemon was at one point on top of the world. The company's yoga pants became a huge hit - not just with hardcore yoga practitioners, but also with a more casual audience. The stock grew from ~$4 in 2009 to its peak of $82 in June 2013. However, that year, the company ran into a slew of quality-control issues (see-through pants, pilling), increased competition (Nike, Under Armour, and a bunch of copycats), and supply chain problems. And more recently, just as the company was beginning to return to a solid state of revenue growth and margin expansion, the company again ran into execution-related issues in 1Q17. As a result, the company now sits 34% off of its 2013 peak, which it had recently approached in August of last year. Read More
Gaming is becoming a bigger part of our lives. Whether it's over our phones while on the subway, on the Xbox on our TV at home, or on Twitch on our PC, more and more of our time is spent playing or watching games. Over the last five years, Activison's stock has risen steadily higher on this gaming wave. Read More
First and foremost, Chipotle's 1Q was better-than-expected on the two main metrics that matter - comps and restaurant-level margins. With national advertising just now turned on and digital performing strongly, the outlook now looks better than it did before the earnings report, and the stock is up ~3% on the day after.
With that said, the report was not enough to persuade bears to flip sides. Most of the discussion was focused on comps, which was distorted by several factors. And with some deeper digging, one could find enough wrinkles in the quarter to remain bearish on Chipotle's outlook. And that's why the stock has only had a modest gain despite such a strong quarter. You need thesis-changing operational results to drive 10%+ moves, and this wasn't it. Read More
It has been some time since I last wrote about Amazon. For a long period of time, between 2014 and 2015, Amazon stock was under heavy scrutiny as investors began to question the underlying profitability of the business. The problem was created primarily by a period of (what appeared to be) bad results, exacerbated by poor financial disclosures. Read More
As I wrote about ~6 months ago, the key debate on Chipotle was whether the company was going to return to prior restaurant level volumes over time as customers return to the store, or if it was going to see a smaller degree of recovery.
So what are the key debates on CMG today, almost 1 year into its recovery? Read More
Costco has largely traded sideways over the last year after a 92% run between April 2012 and December 2015. The stock's upward trajectory slowed as the company's core comps began to slow amid increasing food deflation, the removal of tobacco products, and an increasingly competitive retail environment. Today, the key question revolves around where same store sales will move from here - will they return to COST's historical mid-single-digit growth, or will they continue to remain pressured as competitors increasingly encroach on their territory? Read More
FactSet is a data provider to financial service firms. If you work at a bank or on the buy-side, you're probably familiar with their products. FactSet's core desktop platform is used widely by analysts to pull data for research purposes or to monitor a portfolio. Sentiment among the Wall Street investors has declined significantly; among the major brokers, there's 1 buy, 10 holds, and 5 sells. The stock has held in relatively well, but has had significant drops around earnings as the company has missed revenue expectations. While the company fundamentals and its stock has performed well on an absolute basis, there is growing evidence supporting the bear-case around the stock. Read More
Tesla reported 1Q deliveries of just over 25,000, of which 13,450 were for the Model S, while 11,550 were for the Model X. The deliveries announcement today will add fuel to the bull thesis, as the company's deliveries were above consensus estimates of ~24,000 units for the quarter, suggesting that the company is on track to meet the high end of their 1H deliveries guidance of 47,000 - 50,000 target. The results were positive overall for the company, and the stock is currently trading up 5% as of this writing.
However, many investors remain skeptical of Tesla. Looking beyond the Model 3 trade, many investors are debating what is happening to underlying demand for Tesla's older models. Read More
Adobe has shot through the roof, gaining 279% over the last 5 years. The stock has benefited primarily from the ongoing shift of marketing/media to the internet, as well as Adobe's product shift towards the cloud. As people's eyeballs move towards our screens, advertising and content creation is increasingly following it. In turn, people are increasingly demanding more tools to create, distribute, and analyze/optimize content. Adobe's suite of products are perfectly positioned to address these issues. Read More
The company received a CRL (complete response letter), which is essentially a non-approval from the FDA. Mylan stated that they would review the letter and provide an update after reviewing and discussing with the FDA.
What does this mean for the stock? Read More
Many of us know of Mylan due to the EpiPen controversy, which became the poster child for healthcare and its out-of-control pricing in America. In late August of 2016, the media began reporting on the significant price increases on the EpiPen, which had increased from $100 in 2007 to $609 in mid-2016. Up to that point, the drug had become the primary component of Mylan's earnings, with a significant portion of profitability coming from the business (with some estimates placing it at 40% of its operating profit). Read More
The auto part retailers have long been the darlings of the retail industry with consistent earnings growth, the highest margins in the sector, and protection from online players. And as a result, the stocks have been rewarded with a high valuation and market outperformance. However, there's a looming technology that could disrupt the industry that I don't think is being accounted for by investors. Read More
Johnson and Johnson stumbled a bit in the second half of 2016. The stock declined slightly 11% from July to late January as investors began to focus in on the Pharmaceutical segment and its growth trajectory. The segment, which represents 47% of sales, has driven much of JNJ's top-line growth over the last four years with over 10% organic growth each year. However, growth in this segment began to slow noticeably to 2% in 4Q16. Additionally, management gave segment guidance that implied growth of just 2-3% in 2017. In turn, street estimates were lowered.
What has been driving the growth moderation and the investor concerns? Read More
As part of a shift in my writing, I am going to start talking a bit more about my own views on stocks (and stuff outside of stocks) and on the trades that I've made. I'll start with my latest trades on Tesla, where I bought some shares in late November and early January. Read More
A lot has happened to Chipotle since I last wrote on the stock back in October of last year. As is well known, Chipotle faced a number of health-related issues that forced the closure of numerous stores. Many restaurants have faced similar outbreaks in the past, but those restaurants did not have consecutive strings of outbreaks, nor did it happen during a time when social media allowed news to spread quickly. As a result, sales dropped off a cliff and the stock has declined by 45% since the initial reports. For those who hold very strong beliefs on the future of a company, the outbreaks serve as a stark reminder that the future for any company is never certain. Read More
Restoration Hardware is currently undergoing a massive real estate transformation. The company is in the early innings of a shift from small, 7,000 foot stores to large, 35,000 - 60,000 square foot "full line design galleries" (FLDGs). The company eventually hopes to triple or quadruple its square footage over time as it adds 70 of these massive stores throughout the country. Read More
Have you ever seen a company beat consensus EPS estimates, but the stock still goes down? This happens because institutional investors focus on many other line items besides earnings. Here are the key issues (beyond the obvious EPS estimate of $0.52) that investors will be focused on. Read More
Facebook is a widely loved stock among both the buy-side and sell-side analysts. One of the reasons for the optimism is Facebook's near-term revenue growth drivers in video and Instagram, as I detailed yesterday. Beyond these factors, the company also has a number longer-term sources that hold a significant amount of potential. Specifically, Facebook's messaging apps, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, have an even greater number of users than Instagram and could unlock further growth beyond 2016. Additionally, Facebook's virtual reality company, Oculus, holds potential beyond PC and mobile as the next computing platform. Read More
The FB bull thesis is made up of a number of revenue drivers that could drive advertising revenue and EPS upside. In the near-term, investors see a number of positives that could benefit sales, including easing comparisons and FX headwinds. Beyond these superficial tailwinds, investors are most bullish on the opportunities from video and Instagram, which are not fully baked into consensus estimates for next year. Read More