For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – September 20, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. ( FBHS- Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. ( SBH- Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the Nidec Corporation ( NJ- Free Report), SouFun Holdings Ltd. ( SFUN- Free Report) and Gruma S.A.B. de CV ( GMK- Free Report). Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Bull of the Day:
Who's benefiting from the housing recovery and the increase in home remodeling? Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. ( FBHS- Free Report) is expected to see double digit earnings growth this year and in 2014 as consumers finally have started spending on their homes again. This Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) raised full year guidance after a solid second quarter.
Fortune Brands Home & Security was created in Oct 2011 when it was spun off from Fortune Brands. You probably know some of its brands. It makes products such as MasterBrand cabinets, Moen faucets, Simonton windows and Therma-True door systems. In the security area, it also sells the Master Lock brand.
On July 24, Fortune Brands Home & Security reported second quarter results and surprised on the Zacks Consensus for the fourth quarter in a row. The surprises are indicative of the turnaround in the housing market over that time.
Sales jumped 11% year over year to $1.04 billion with its home segments posting double digit sales growth. Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry sales rose 13% while Plumbing & Accessories grew 15%. It also saw some positive signs in its windows business.
Security & Storage sales were flat even as security sales rose 4%. It was offset by lower tool storage sales but it is repositioning that business.
The U.S. consumer is becoming stingy on where she shops as Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. ( SBH- Free Report) became the latest retailer to warn that traffic wasn't as strong as anticipated over the summer. Full year estimates are falling on this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
Sally Beauty sells beauty supplies at 4,500 stores around the world. It offers 6,000 products for hair, skin and nails. It also sells 9,800 professionally branded beauty products through its Beauty Systems Group stores, targeted towards professional beauticians and salons.
On Aug 1, Sally Beauty reported its fiscal third quarter results and missed the Zacks Consensus by a penny. Earnings were $0.42 compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.43. It was the third consecutive earnings miss.
Net sales rose 2.8% but that was on strength in the international division. Same store sales growth was just 0.7% compared to growth of 5.2% in the year ago quarter.
Traffic at BSG and Sally International was healthy but store traffic from non-Beauty Club Card customers in the U.S. was "soft."
The company was specifically going to target these non-Beauty Club Card customers and was "optimistic" that traffic would recover over the next few months.
3 Must-Have Stocks for a Zero-Taper Recipe
Ending speculations about a partial withdrawal of the economic stimulus or QE3 tapering, the Fed surprised the world with its decision to continue the $85-billion monthly bond-buying program until at least the economy offers some more positive vibes. The ‘no-taper’ decision was particularly shocking given that the Fed Chairman had earlier hinted about his intentions to start tapering in September and gradually phase it out by 2014.
The equity market reacted positively and the news sent stocks soaring with the benchmark U.S. S&P 500 index closing at a record high at 1725.52 (up 1.22%). As stocks continue to move north, let us cherry pick some must-have stocks with strong fundamentals. However, before we zero-in on a handful of priceless stocks, let us recap the various turn of events over the past few months.
Factors that Pulled-Off the Tapering Plug
The Fed cited several macroeconomic headwinds, including high unemployment rate, low inflation, rising mortgage rates and a looming budget standoff as key factors that triggered its no-tapering decision.
Although unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since Dec 2008 to 7.3%, the U.S. economy added just 169,000 jobs in August as job growth was less than expected. The drop in unemployment rate was primarily due to a 35-year-low labor participation rate of 63.2%, as most Americans stopped looking for a job.
Labor Department data further revealed that job openings hit their lowest level in six months in July to 3.69 million. It is important for the broader economy to have a healthy employment rate as much of the economic progress hinges on its labor market. Consequently, the Fed intends to maintain minimal interest rates until the unemployment rate falls at least to 6.5%.
On the other hand, mortgage rates have skyrocketed in the recent past amid Fed taper mayhem, threatening to derail the healthy momentum in the housing market. The housing sector has been one of the catalysts for the economic growth.
Freddie Mac data reveal that the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage loan has increased to 4.51% as of Aug 29, from a Nov 2012 low of 3.31%. Higher mortgage rates coupled with increasing home prices are increasingly making it difficult to refinance and buy a new home, thereby somewhat affecting the housing recovery in the U.S.
In addition, inflation, as measured by the personal-consumption-expenditures price index, has also remained healthy at 1.4% in July. The Fed had earlier observed that low inflation is a risk to healthy economic performance and consequently weak inflation data further gives it leeway to lift the economy with near-zero interest rates and bond purchases.
Furthermore, the stage is again set for a showdown this autumn when the Congress would meet to raise the debt ceiling and discuss other budgetary issues and spending cuts. If an amicable solution is not reached between the warring Republicans and Democrats, economic growth could be hampered -- leading to serious consequences for the financial markets, including a possible downgrading of the sovereign credit rating. By deciding to continue with its economic stimulus program, the Fed, therefore, decided to avoid the risk of putting the government in jeopardy.
The Market Response
As the Fed deferred the dreaded tapering program, global equity markets and gold prices went up, while the U.S. dollar and bond yields dropped. While the Dow Jones industrial average was up 115.28 points (0.74%) to 15,645.01, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.59 points (0.68%) to 3,771.29 following the announcement.
The BNYMellonAsia ADR Index gained 2.6% -- the highest such tally realized since June 2008, and the MSCI Latin American stock index climbed 2.7% to 3,428.45. The benchmark BSE Sensex of India was up 3.43% or 684 points on Sep 19. Gold prices rose over 4% on the news – the largest single-day gain since Jun 2012.
The U.S. dollar index fell to 80.376 – the lowest since Feb 20, while the euro soared to a seven-month high of $1.3486. The dollar fell to 97.98 against the yen on the news. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury, which hit a two-year high this month at 3.0%, fell to 2.69% on Wednesday.
3 Emerging Market Stocks to Benefit
Emerging economies have largely been the beneficiaries of Fed’s largesse over the years. Cash pumped in the emerging markets through the stimulus program in the U.S. were primarily utilized to plug funding deficits and used for infrastructure projects to fuel further growth.
Amid such an encouraging performance by the equity market across most indices in the recent times, there are certain emerging market stocks with attractive valuation metrics backed by a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Let’s take a closer look at these companies that appear to be well positioned to benefit from the ‘no-taper’ decision.
Nidec Corporation ( NJ- Free Report): Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, Nidec manufactures and sells industrial electric equipments like hard disk drives spindle motors and other small precision motors for optical disk drives, laser printers, copiers, polygon scanners, electronic cooling fans, refrigerators, mobile phones, digital video recorders, automobiles and other applications. The stock is trading at a forward P/E of 17.57x and has a long-term earnings expectation of 18.54%.
SouFun Holdings Ltd. ( SFUN- Free Report): The company trades at a forward P/E of 16.98x and has a long-term earnings expectation of 39.81%. SouFun operates a real estate Internet portal, and a home furnishing and improvement website in the People’s Republic of China.
Gruma S.A.B. de CV ( GMK- Free Report): Headquartered in San Pedro Garza García, México, the company produces and sales corn flour, wheat flour, tortillas and other related products. Its product portfolio includes rice, oats, packaged tortillas, grits, snacks, tortilla chips, corn chips and potato chips. Gruma has a forward P/E of 30.99x.
The equity market perhaps is currently passing through a stage of maturity and the euphoria is likely to continue in the short term. As the U.S. stocks continue their unrelenting rally of reaching new highs, this is perhaps the most opportune time to own such high-potential stocks with strong fundamentals that pledge a healthy ROI.
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