Here�� one piece of economic news that bodes well for economic growth in coming months: Household net worth is on the rise. Between a 27% increase in the S&P 500 so far this year and housing prices that are rising at double-digit rates in most major markets, overall gains in household wealth are the strongest since at least 2005, two years before the financial meltdown and housing bust.
See Also: Kiplinger's Economic Outlook
Why is that good news for economic growth? Because when consumers are sitting on a bigger stash ��whether it�� held in a 401(k) stock portfolio or in the form of more equity in their homes ��they tend to spend more, and that contributes to the virtuous economic cycle. More spending spurs more production, more hiring and more income, which in turn fuels even more spending.
Top 5 Paper Companies To Watch For 2015: Revlon Inc.(REV)
Revlon, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in manufacturing, marketing, and selling cosmetics, women?s hair color, beauty tools, anti-perspirant deodorants, fragrances, skincare, and other beauty care products worldwide. The company?s cosmetics include face makeup products, including foundation, powder, blush, concealers, bronzers, and finishers; lip makeup products comprising lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners; eye makeup products consisting of mascaras, eyeliners, eye shadows, and brow products; nail color and nail care products, such as enamels, treatments, and cuticle preparations; and face and eye makeup removers. Its beauty tools comprise nail, eye, and pedicure grooming tools, such as clippers, scissors, files, tweezers, eye lash curlers, and makeup brushes; and fragrances consist of perfumes, eau de toilettes, colognes, and body sprays. The company markets its products primarily under Revlon, Revlon ColorStay, Revlon Super Lustrous, Revlon Age Defying, A lmay Intense i-Color, Almay Smart Shade, Revlon ColorSilk, Mitchum, Charlie, Jean Nate, Ultima II, and Gatineau names. Revlon, Inc. sells its products through sales representatives and independent distributors to mass volume retailers, chain drug stores, chemist shops, hypermarkets, general merchandise stores, department stores; other specialty stores, such as perfumeries; and to the United States military exchanges and commissaries. It also licenses its brand names to third parties for the manufacture and sale of beauty-related products and accessories. The company was founded in 1932 and is based in New York, New York. Revlon, Inc. is a subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Africa Studio/Shutterstock A recent class-action lawsuit accuses some of the biggest names in the deodorant business of selling deodorants as "unscented" when they really had a fragrance. "Unscented" deodorants are marketed to consumers who have sensitivity to smells and often also note they are hypoallergenic. The companies, the lawsuit alleges, should have known that the products they were selling had distinctive odors and were hardly "unscented" while consumers based their purchasing decisions on misleading labels. Among the brands named in the lawsuit as containing fragrance: Arm & Hammer, Secret, Dry Idea, Ban, Mitchum. The companies named as defendants include Church & Dwight (CHD), Procter & Gamble (PG), Dial, Henkel (HENKY) and Revlon (REV). Ingredients That Smell The lawsuit filed by Philadelphia lawyer Mark L. Rhoades accuses the companies of sealing the products so well that no consumer could tell at the store the deodorants are scented. The labeling, however, states that there is no scent even though the ingredients include chemicals with fragrances, according to the lawsuit. As an example, the lawsuit noted that Secret Outlast includes "fragrance" on its ingredients list. Arm & Hammer Essentials contains "citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil", "anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil", "coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil" and "pelargonium graveolens geranium) flower oil." That all adds up to an unmistakable citrus odor, the lawsuit alleged. Because each purchase is relatively inexpensive, the lawsuit maintains that individual consumers, for the most part, don't bother going back to a store to seek a refund after realizing their "unscented" deodorants have a scent. So, the lawsuit is being brought on behalf of anyone who has purchased one of these deodorants that claims to be unscented while having a distinct odor. The lawsuit -- Melissa Fogarty v. Church & Dwight et al., case number 3:14-cv-07086 -- was filed i
- [By Vinay Singh]
Compared to other players like Estee Lauder (EL) and Revlon (REV), Elizabeth Arden definitely lags behind. Elizabeth Arden has been unable to outpace its peers as the chart below indicates:
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: Shiner International Inc.(BEST)
Shiner International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the research and development, manufacture, sale, and distribution of technology driven advanced packaging film products. Its products include coated films, tobacco films, anti-counterfeit laser holographic films, color printed products, and water-based latex products. The company also offers biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films for printing, lamination, and over-wrap packaging; and BOPP tobacco films for packaging appearance, product freshness, and clear optics. In addition, it provides color printing services that consist of surface printing and reverse printing services for consumer goods manufacturers and beverage companies. The company sells its products to companies in the various industries, such as food, tobacco, chemical, agribusiness, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, automotive, construction, graphics, music and video publishing, and other consumer goods in China, Asia, A ustralia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Shiner International has a strategy alliance with The Treofan Group. The company based in Haikou City, China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sally Jones]
Looking through a kaleidoscope of facts about J. Kyle Bass, this guru quickly takes on a colorful and larger-than-life mythos. Hailing from the big-thinking state of Texas, Bass is often described as a big dreamer with a studious and practical streak. His career blossomed almost overnight when he reportedly made around a half a billion dollars betting against subprime CDOs in 2007. Bass comes across as a visionary who asks why not instead of why. He told CNBC that he likes to reduce email time and cut out the noise by learning about world markets through symbiotic relationships with friends like Alan Fournier and other billionaires. Every year Bass invites his notable friends to his ranch in Larue, Texas, for a special event called The Barefoot Economic Summit, Texas (BEST). Bass said he learns more in two days of the summit than in two months of emails.
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA (AEDU3)Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA, formerly Mehir Holdings SA, is a Brazil-based holding company engaged in the education sector. The Company provides higher graduate and postgraduate education through full time and distance learning programs. It is also engaged in the provision of preparatory courses for public competition and other specialization courses. The Company offers the academic programs, such as full time graduate, distance graduate and post-graduate courses. Additionally, the Company provides selected courses through the methodology of distance learning, including graduate, post-graduate and continuous education courses. Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA offers its services for working adults and operates in approximately 71 campuses and around 500 learning centers located throughout each of around the 26 Brazilian states. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ney Hayashi]
Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA (AEDU3) tumbled after Brazil�� antitrust regulator signaled it may limit the education company�� merger with competitor Kroton Educacional SA. (KROT3) Lojas Renner SA (LREN3) led retailers higher after a report showed Brazil�� industrial production expanded faster than expected in October, easing concern that growth is faltering.
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: Hooker Furniture Corporation(HOFT)
Hooker Furniture Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, imports, and markets residential wood, metal, and upholstered furniture products in North America. The company offers wood furniture products, including home entertainment, home office, accent, dining, bedroom, and bath furniture in the upper-medium price points sold under the Hooker Furniture brand, and sold at moderate price points under the Envision Lifestyle Collections by Hooker Furniture brand. It also provides youth bedroom furniture under the Opus Designs by Hooker brand; and motion and stationary leather furniture. In addition, the company offers various residential leather and fabric upholstered furniture under the Bradington-Young and Seven Seas upholstery brand; specializes in leather reclining and motion chairs, sofas, club chairs, and executive desk chairs; and offers upscale occasional chairs and other seating under the Sam Moore upholstery brand. It serves retailers of resident ial home furnishings, including independent furniture stores, specialty retailers, department stores, catalog and Internet merchants, interior designers, and national and regional retail chains. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Martinsville, Virginia.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of La-Z-Boy have gained 11% to $27.02 at 1:54 p.m. today. Its performance is also giving other furniture stocks a boost. Flexsteel (FLXS) has risen 1% to $27.60, Hooker Furniture (HOFT) has jumped 1.6% to $17.12 and Ethan Allen International (ETH) has advanced 1.2% to $29.20. Haverty Furniture (HVT) has dipped 0.3% to $27.87.
- [By Peter Graham]
The Q4 2014 earnings report for La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE: LZB), a potential peer of other furniture stocks like Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ: HOFT) and Flexsteel Industries, Inc (NASDAQ: FLXS), is due out after the market closes on Tuesday. Aside from the La-Z-Boy Incorporated earnings report, it should be said that Hooker Furniture Corporation reported Q1 2015 on June 5th (they reported a double-digit income rise on higher sales in first quarter) and Flexsteel Industries, Inc reported Q3 2014 earnings on April 16th (they record net sales and net income). However and the last time around, investors did not like it when La-Z-Boy Incorporated reported quarterly profit of 32 cents a share that missed forecasts calling for a profit of 35 cents a share and they really did not like revenue�missing expectations by 7.7%. The company is also doing some restructuring.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: LEG is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index and a Dividend Champion. The company's peer group includes: Hooker Furniture Corp. (HOFT) with a 2.4% yield, Flexsteel Industries Inc. (FLXS) with a 2.7% yield and Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETH) with a 1.4% yield.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: LEG is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index and a Dividend Champion. The company's peer group includes: Hooker Furniture Corp. (HOFT) with a 2.7% yield, Flexsteel Industries Inc. (FLXS) with a 1.8% yield and Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETH) with a 1.6% yield.
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: First Cash Financial Services Inc (FCFS)
First Cash Financial Services, Inc., incorporated on April 24, 1994, is an operator of retail-based pawn and consumer finance stores in the United States and Mexico. As of February 18, 2013 , the Company had approximately 829 locations twelve states in United States and 24 states in Mexico. The Company's primary business is the operation of pawn stores, which engage in retail sales, purchasing of secondhand goods and consumer finance activities. The pawn stores generate retail sales from the merchandise acquired through collateral forfeitures and over-the-counter purchases from customers. Pawn stores are also a convenient source for small consumer loans to help customers meet their short-term cash needs. Personal property, such as jewelry, consumer electronics, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments are pledged as collateral for the loans. In addition, some of the Company's pawn stores offer consumer loans or credit services products.
In March 2012, the Company acquired three Dallas-area pawn stores. In June 2012, the Company acquired 24 pawn stores located in the states of Colorado (13), Kentucky (seven), Wyoming (three) and Nebraska (one). In June 2013, First Cash Financial Services Inc announced the acquisition of 19 format U.S. pawn stores located in Texas.
Pawn Merchandise Sales
The Company's pawn merchandise sales are primarily retail sales to the general public from its pawn stores. The items retailed are primarily used consumer electronics, jewelry, household appliances, tools, musical instruments, and sporting goods. The Company also melts down certain quantities of scrap jewelry and sells the gold, silver and diamonds in commodity markets.
The Company acquires pawn merchandise inventory primarily through forfeited pawn collateral and, to a lesser extent, through purchases of used goods directly from the general public. Merchandise acquired by the Company through forfeited pawn collateral is carried in inventory at the amount of the ! related pawn loan, exclusive of any accrued service fees. The Company does not provide financing to customers for the purchase of its merchandise, but does permit its customers to purchase merchandise on an interest-free layaway plan. Should the customer fail to make a required payment, the item is returned to inventory and previous payments are forfeited to the Company. Interim payments from customers on layaway sales are credited to deferred revenue and subsequently recorded as income in which final payment is received or when previous payments are forfeited to the Company.
Pawn Lending Activities
The Company's pawn stores make small loans to their customers in order to help them meet short-term cash needs. All pawn loans are collateralized by personal property such as jewelry, electronic equipment, household appliances, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments. Pawn loans are non-recourse loans and the pledged goods provide the only security to the Company for the repayment of the loan. At the time a pawn transaction is entered into, an agreement, commonly referred to as a pawn ticket, is delivered to the borrower for signature that sets forth, among other items, the name and address of the pawnshop, borrower's name, borrower's identification number from his/her driver's license or other identification, date, identification and description of the pledged goods, including applicable serial numbers, amount financed, pawn service fee, maturity date, total amount that must be paid to redeem the pledged goods on the maturity date, and the annual percentage rate. Pledged property is held through the term of the loan, unless the pawn is paid earlier or renewed. The typical loan term is generally one month plus an additional grace period (typically 30 to 90 days). The Company contracts for pawn loan fees and service charges as compensation for the use of the funds loaned and to cover direct operating expenses related to the transaction and holding the pledged property. These pa! wn loan f! ees and service charges accounted for approximately 26% of the Company's revenue from continuing operations during the year ended December 31, 2012 .
Credit Services and Consumer Loan Activities
The Company has significantly reduced its U.S.-based consumer loan activities, primarily from payday lending, over the past several years. In September 2012, the Company closed seven of its consumer loan stores located in the Texas cities of Austin and Dallas. The Company offers a fee-based credit services organization program (CSO Program) to assist consumers, in Texas markets, in obtaining extensions of credit. The Company's consumer loan and pawn stores in Texas offer the CSO Program, and, in Texas, credit services are also offered via an Internet platform. Under the CSO Program, the Company assists customers in applying for a short-term extension of credit from an independent, non-bank, consumer lending company (the Independent Lender) and issues the Independent Lender a letter of credit to guarantee the repayment of the extension of credit.
The Company subsequently collects a percentage of these bad debts by redepositing the customers' checks, ACH collections or subsequent cash repayments by the customers. The profitability of the Company's credit services operations is dependent upon adequate collection of these returned items. The Company also offers an automobile title lending product under the CSO Program. These credit services fees accounted for approximately 8% of the Company's revenue from continuing operations during 2012 . In Mexico, the Company also offers an installment loan product with a term of 365 days and bears weekly service fees of 7% on the loan amount. These consumer loan fees accounted for less than 1% of the Company's revenue from continuing operations during 2012 .Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Victor Selva]
We can appreciate that Capital One麓s ROE is lower than that of American Express, Discover Financial Services, First Cash Financial Services (FCFS) and Nelnet Inc. (NNI).
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ: FCFS ) plunged as low as 14% today after the consumer finance company cut its short-term guidance outlook.
- [By Eric Volkman]
First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ: FCFS ) is becoming a pawn star. The company announced it has acquired a set of 19 large-format pawn shops in Texas, most of which operate under the Valu + Pawn brand name. The price was around $70 million in cash, funded for the most part under the company's revolving credit facility.
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: Packaging Corporation of America(PKG)
Packaging Corporation of America produces and sells containerboard and corrugated products in the United States. Its corrugated packaging products, include conventional shipping containers used to protect and transport manufactured goods; and multi-color boxes and displays with strong that help to merchandise the packaged product in retail locations. The company also offers meat boxes and wax-coated boxes for the agricultural industry. Packaging Corporation sells its products through direct sales and marketing organization. The company was founded in 1867 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Paul Ausick]
Stocks on the move: Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) is up 26% at $12.55 following the company�� acquisition by Packaging Corporation of America Inc. (NYSE: PKG) for $12.55 a share ($1.28 billion). Omeros Corp. (NASDAQ: OMER) is up 68.2% at $8.56 following an analyst upgrade. Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NYSEArca: NAK) is down 33.3% at $1.48 following an announcement from Anglo American plc that it was withdrawing from a massive copper mining project in Alaska.
Hot Consumer Stocks To Own For 2014: Harman International Industries Incorporated (HAR)
Harman International Industries, Incorporated designs, develops, manufactures, and markets audio products, lighting solutions, and electronic systems, as well as digitally integrated audio and infotainment systems for the automotive industry worldwide. Its Infotainment segment offers infotainment systems for vehicle applications to be installed primarily as original equipment by automotive manufacturers. The company�s Lifestyle segment provides automotive audio systems for vehicle applications; and a range of mid-to high-end loudspeaker and electronics for home, multimedia, and mobile applications. It also offers home audio and theater systems, and distributed systems for home applications; a range of accessories, such as earbuds and noise cancelling headphones for multimedia applications; transducers and built-in speakers for notebook computers; audio systems for personal computers; and aftermarket mobile products, including speakers, amplifiers, and digital signal proce ssors that deliver in-car audio. This segment markets its products under the JBL, AKG, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Revel, Logic 7, Lexicon, and Selenium brand names. Its Professional segment provides a range of loudspeakers, power amplifiers, digital signal processors, microphones, headphones, mixing consoles, and IDX information delivery systems for concert halls, stadiums, airports, houses of worship, and other public spaces; products to the sound reinforcement, music instrument support, and broadcast and recording segments of the professional audio market; systems solutions for professional installations and users; and lighting solutions to the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors. This segment markets its products under the JBL Professional, AKG, Crown, Soundcraft, Lexicon, DigiTech, dbx, BSS, Studer, Martin, and Selenium brand names. Harman International Industries, Incorporated was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticu t.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
The Q3 2014 earnings report for small cap audio stock Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ: SKUL), a potential peer of other audio stocks like mid cap Harman International Industries Inc (NYSE: HAR) and small cap Koss Corporation (NASDAQ: KOSS), is scheduled for after the market's close on Wednesday (November 5th). Aside from the Skullcandy Inc earnings report, it should be said that Harman International Industries Inc reported Q1 2015 earnings on October 30th (net sales increased 22% to $1.4B and net income rose 37% to $92M thanks to robust demand for car audio products) while Koss Corporation reported Q1 2015 earnings on October 22nd (sales fell 19.9% to $5,469,486 as sales continued to be soft in Europe and there was a net loss of $94,998 verses net income of $79,402). Traders with long memories though might remember that in�late 2012, Skullcandy Inc had the dubious distinction of being the market�� most shorted stock (see: Long Live the Shorts or the Short Squeeze? SKUL, AM & UBNT) with short�interest of 86.47%.