Value Line Low Total Return Screen (5/3/2013)

Companies of Interest

Pittsburgh-based Rue 21 (RUE) is among some of the more interesting shopping opportunities this week. It’s joined by legacy community favorite Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) as this retailer seems to have returned to broader appeal after something of a shakeout hiatus. We’ll be taking a closer look at BBBY this week.

There weren’t a lot of shoes (or purses) dropping in this weekly update. Most of the adjustments to the long-term low price forecast amounted to nudges. Several of the companies with the highest return forecasts were trimmed — but not enough (less than 20% change) to be mentioned in the Materially Stronger/Weaker roll call.

The “Big Boxes” like Wal-Mart (WMT), Costco Wholesale (COST) and Target (TGT) all got modest boosts for their long-term low price forecast. No one is quite sure what to expect from the management change at J.C. Penney (JCP) … a flood of traditional discount coupons notwithstanding … but the low price forecast was dropped from $20 to $15.

We’re not sure what to think of the massive forecast adjustment (from $20 to $35) in Best Buy (BBY) but it’s probably in line with recent price action … and we’ll adopt a show-me position, perhaps a little skeptical as to whether the fundamentals will really improve all that much, or that suddenly. Value Line also took their foot off the brakes at GNC Holdings (GNC).

Coldwater Creek (CWTR) went from $2 to $3 (+50%) for the 3-5 year price forecast. Caveat emptor.

Materially Stronger: Williams-Sonoma (WSM), Hot Topic (HOTT), American Eagle (AEO), TJX Companies (TJX), Hertz Global (HTZ), Gap (GPS), OReilly Automotive (ORLY), Best Buy (BBY), Haverty Furniture (HVT), GNC Holdings (GNC), Cabela’s (CAB), Black Hills Corp (BKH), Coldwater Creek (CWTR)

Materially Weaker: Hibbett Sporting Goods (HIBB), RadioShack (RSH), Citi Trends (CTRN)

Market Barometers

The Value Line low total return (VLLTR) forecast is 6.8% this week, compared to 6.8% last week.

  • The long-term range for the VLLTR varies from low single digits to approximately 20%. The current value of 6.8% is at the low end of the range — suggesting that an emphasis on highest-quality stocks is in order.
  • The relative strength index for the Wilshire 5000 is overbought, but this can remain this way (for markets, sectors and individual stocks) for an extended period. We’re more vigilant and concerned about RSI “breaks” like the one on display here back at Halloween 2007. The caution flag is up — but no sign of an RSI break for the Wilshire 5000 right now.
  • We’re exploring the momentum indicator suggested by Ned Davis, specifically Rate-of-Change … or ROC in this analysis. It’s “pure price momentum” and in our deployment — applied across the months and years, perhaps more appropriately tagged “investing momentum.” Any positive value (shaded in green on the graphic) is indicative of price momentum. Note the extended period of RSI greater than 70 (overbought) back in 2006-2007. Like we said, markets, sectors and stocks can stay overbought for quite some time and in this case, price momentum is still intact. Shop carefully. Emphasize high quality and financial strength.

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