Is there ever a good reason to miss earnings estimates?
In the case of United Parcel Service, the answer could be yes.
UPS shares were down nearly 4 percent on Tuesday after the company missed earnings estimates.
But on second glance, the results may not be as bad as they appear. That’s because UPS said it was spending more money to prep for the year-end holiday season, and that has one large portfolio manager encouraged.
“UPS’ investment for its fourth quarter is a good sign for the industry,” said Andrew Burkly, head of institutional portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer & Co., who qualified his remarks by saying there were other names in the transport sector that appealed to him more.
(Watch: UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn on UPS settlement)
“From a strategy perspective, we like the transports a lot,” said Andrew Burkly, head of institutional portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer & Co.,“We think the fact that their market leadership in here bodes well for the economic recovery in the second half.”
His preference is for FedEx or C.H. Robinson. “UPS has been a downward disappointment in terms of earnings for the better part of two and half years,” explained Burkly. “We just don’t see that turning any time soon.”
On the technical side, Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is in no rush to buy UPS stock, either, based on its charts. He also doesn’t like the fact that UPS is now down 6 percent this year while its benchmark, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, is up 11 percent in 2014.
“The technicals are rapidly eroding here and the stock has underperformed on both a relative and an absolute basis,” said Ross. “That’s horrible.”
Ross, a “Talking Numbers” contributor, is looking at a 19-month chart of UPS. “That was the last time the stock was beneath its 200-day moving average – until today,” he said. “That’s a compelling sell signal.”
UPS closed at $98.86 per share, nearly $0.70 below the 200-day moving average.
It doesn’t get any better for Ross when looking at a longer-term chart. “It goes from bad to worse,” he said. “What we have is a stock that’s well above its long-term trend. I’m using that 150-week moving average now as that proxy for that trend. It held two times over the past four years. I think we retest it.”
A recent head-and-shoulders pattern is also a bad signal, according to Ross. “That tells me that this stock’s best days are behind it,” he said. “You want to be a seller right here. This stock is going to trade $85 and retest the 150-week moving average. That’s $15 down from current levels. I am a seller right here.”
To see the full discussion on UPS, with Burkly on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video from CNBC’s “Street Signs.”