Consumer electronics titan Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is proving it can remain impressively profitable in what is proving to be one of the most difficult consumer retailing environments in many decades. There is still downside risk to the firm’s results going forward, but investors inclined to position their portfolios to discretionary spending should take a further look at the stock’s merits, though there are still options for those with a more defensive bias.
Casey’s General Stores (Nasdaq:CASY) operates a modest but growing amount of convenience stores, primarily throughout the Midwest. Recent sales trends have been difficult, but Casey’s continues to demonstrate it can, primarily due to its food sales, grow profits in what is a challenging business even in the best of economic times.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) is best known as one of three credit bureaus and its credit score that businesses rely on when issuing credit cards or other forms of credit. This business has tons of appeal from an investment standpoint, but there are other considerations to determine if this applies to Equifax overall.
Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq:ZBRA) has a fitting name, as the bar codes it helps clients create closely resemble a Zebra’s stripes. The business has also fallen prey to a downturn in business activity, which has resulted in inventory destocking and less of a need for tracking items in warehouses and while in transit. However, the industry has long-term appeal, and Zebra is one of the only pure play operators running in the field.
By mid-2009, years of unsustainable housing price appreciation had caused what in hindsight may be considered the biggest credit bubble in history. Banks are frequently caught up in the middle of financial debacles, and that specific crisis has been no exception. Therefore, it has become vitally important to differentiate between those who will succumb to the crisis and go bankrupt or become nationalized by the government from those that will survive and come out even stronger once conditions inevitably improve. An important measure is determining a bank’s capital adequacy ratios, with the Tier 1 capital ratio front and center as governments decide who needs rescuing and investors look to profit from an uneven environment.
SAIC (NYSE:SAI) bills itself as a “scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health.” That in itself is a mouth full, but the fact is that the company is geared to many industries with favorable secular growth trends. As such, the stock is worth a close look.
Regional electronics and appliance retailer hhgregg (NYSE:HGG) recently completed a fiscal year with its fair share of ups and downs given an uneven consumer spending environment. The year ended on a positive note, and although the coming year will also prove challenging, hhgregg’s competitive positioning indicates a bright future that has little risk of being derailed.
Last Thursday, May 28, membership warehouse chain Costco (Nasdaq:COST) posted earnings that fell short of analyst estimates. This was in stark contrast to other retailers, many of which have been posting profits ahead of expectations. Worse yet, there is little indication that Costco’s fortunes will significantly improve any time soon.
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