So far it has been a tough year for investors, and while the market has finally started to put on a rally cap, all the indexes remain down for 2016. With all the firms we cover on Wall Street tweaking their best ideas lists and giving some early performance reviews, we are interested in stock ideas that were up in February, which proved to be a difficult month indeed.
A new report from west coast super-regional Wedbush includes a review of the firm’s best ideas list for February. We screened the list for the stocks that turned in a positive performance during the month. The logic was that if they can do well in a bad market month, they should do very well if the overall market catches a bid.
This company had a very solid February, and ended up just over 1% for the month. Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) designs, manufactures and distributes athletic apparel and accessories for women, men and female youth. It operates through two segments, Corporate-Owned Stores and Direct to Consumer. The company offers pants, shorts, tops and jackets for healthy lifestyle activities and athletic pursuits, such as yoga, running and general fitness, as well as dance-inspired apparel for female youth. It also provides fitness-related accessories, including bags, socks, underwear, yoga mats and water bottles.
The company sells its products through a chain of corporate-owned and operated retail stores; a network of wholesale channels, such as yoga studios, health clubs and fitness centers; and outlets and warehouse sales, as well as directly to consumer through Lululemon and Ivivva e-commerce sites and showrooms. As of February 1, 2015, the company operated 302 corporate-owned stores under the Lululemon Athletica and Ivivva Athletica brand names in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
The Wedbush price target for the stock is $72, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target price is much lower at $60.97. Shares closed above that level on Thursday, at $61.78.
This company had a superb February, up 12.98%. Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: MOH) provides Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals and to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. Through the company’s locally operated health plans in 11 states across the nation, it currently serves more than 3 million members.
The company posted solid fourth-quarter numbers as earnings beat estimates though revenues slightly lagged expectations. The company’s Premium revenues and service revenues improved nearly 34.2% and 96.3%, respectively, both on a year-over-year basis. In addition, Molina Healthcare’s investment income soared a massive 200% year over year to $6 million. Premium tax revenues also increased 14.3% to $104 million in the fourth quarter.
Wedbush has its price target set at $82, and the consensus price objective is posted at $79.79. The stock closed Thursday at $64.86 per share.
This is another top company that was up in February, a solid 6.75%. Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC) markets and sells leading consumer brands, including Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts and accessories; Land ‘N’ Sea, Kellogg Marine, Diversified Marine, BLA and Bell RPG parts and accessories distributors; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Brunswick Commercial and Government Products, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Lowe, Lund, Meridian, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray and Uttern boats.
The company also produces Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex and SCIFIT fitness equipment; InMovement products and services for productive well-being; and Brunswick billiards tables, accessories and game room furniture.
Brunswick’s board of directors recently approved increasing the current share repurchase authorization by $300 million. This is an increase of the repurchase authorization granted in October 2014. As of the end of 2015, approximately $60 million remained under this authorization. The increased share repurchase underscores the company’s confidence that it can execute its capital strategy. Discretionary repurchases of the company’s outstanding common stock will continue to be systematically completed in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.
Brunswick investors are paid a 1.36% dividend. The Wedbush share price is posted at $60, and the consensus price objective is $58.20. The stock closed Thursday at $44.54.
The Wedbush winners for February could be big winners if the market rally can continue. All these stocks make good sense for aggressive growth portfolios.
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