Why should the average "Joe" stay abreast of the earnings results of stocks?
Because they are great indicators for the direction of consumers.When you dig deeper into the earnings reports and listen to the conference calls you can gain priceless insights into the lessons learned, forward action plans, and strategic direction of major companies. (Note: Earnings conference calls (if they are made) for publicly listed companies are by law made available online to everyone, even if you are not an investor. Just go to the investor page of company of interest's website.)
For example, in a previous blog post I discussed Pottery Barn's Q2 results. Just by listening to their conference call (while I did the dishes one night) I learned that among other areas of focus, they have put resources behind improving their supply chain from sourcing to packaging. They realize that their return rate based on product damages was severely impacting their bottom line. It's a small detail when you consider such a behemoth multi-channel retailer.
So, that said here are this weeks earning reports I'll be watching.
Today (Monday October 18th, 2010) that
- Apple (APL) Q4 - I'm interested in Apple because of their recent announcements that they will expand their distribution of IPhones into a myriad of new retailers including Walmart (WMT) . Right now I see this as a smart move. Apple stores attract a limited, very specific consumer demographic, and they only have a handful of Apple stores compared to Walmarts numbers. In addition, Walmart is an expert at international retailing and Apple will be able to capitalize on Walmart's international growth including their new forray into South Africa and Russia.
- Crown Holdings (CCK) - I'll watch this because they are in the business of packing industry for consumer goods, so, if companies are buying packaging, it's a good sign that they are selling goods. And, the inverse is true.
- Packaging Corp of America (PKG) - I'm watching this for the same reason I'm watching Crown Holdings
Tuesday (October 19th, 2010) earnings reports I'll be watching.
- Flexsteel Industries (FLXS) - (no conference call scheduled) An interesting indicator for mid price point home bigger ticket home furnishings purchases in both retail and commercial. In addition the earning reports for DMI Furniture (DMI) which is a wholly owned subsidiary will be included with this info.
Wednesday (October 20th, 2010) nothing really in my sights
Thursday (October 21st, 2010) earnings reports I'll be watching and why:
- Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) - Amazon is a retailing giant. At one time online retailing was not considered a threat to brick and mortar home furnishings retailers but companies like Pottery Barn, CSN, Crate and Barrel have proved otherwise. In addition, Amazon is a global online retailer so their US market dependence is lower than traditional brick and mortars.
- Leggett & Platt Inc (LEG) - A good macro indicator for the Home Furnishings industry because their core business are components for hoe furnishings.
Friday (October 22nd, 2010) earnings reports I'll be watching and why: