If you live in the upper Midwest, you don’t need anybody to tell you how miserable the spring was. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States had the rainiest April quarter in at least the past 20 years. So not only did horrific flooding damage crops and farms, but many of the top stocks that count on good spring weather for sales going into summer got hit hard.
A new Jefferies research report analyzed the NOAA national weather data by retail fiscal quarters to get an idea how stocks trade around optimal and suboptimal weather conditions, and the analyst discovered that some of the companies that suffered during the spring could bounce back nicely if the weather this summer holds up.
The report noted this:
Those who enjoy mudding should have enjoyed April but that activity is fairly niche. For those without 40 inch tires, and especially for those who own retail stocks, April weather was unwelcome. A look at performance data suggests that much wetter than normal Spring seasons tend to drive relative underperformance for the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT) in May but subsequent outperformance.
Eight Buy-rated Stocks were highlighted in the report, but the following four appear to have the biggest upside potential.
Advance Auto Parts
This top stock was hit hard this spring and now offers a great entry point. Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) is the second largest auto parts retailer in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It operates more than 4,000 stores under the Advance Auto Parts brand, as well as nearly 200 AutoPart International locations. It sells to both do-it-yourself customers and professional installers.
The stock has been hammered despite a report in May of better than expected quarterly earnings that were higher year over year. The Jefferies team likes the current setup and noted this:
We recently spent the day with management and come away from our discussions confident that the company is on track to see operating margin improvement (we model 9.8% in fiscal year 2020 vs. 7.8% in fiscal year 2018) from enhanced supply chain management, merchandising initiatives and operating efficiency. That said, management also noted that a slower transition to typical Spring weather is likely to create some regional softness.
Advance Auto Parts investors receive a tiny 0.16% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the shares is a lofty $195, while the Wall Street consensus target is nearby at $193.72. The stock ended Friday trading at $155.35 a share.
It is pretty hard to play golf when courses are under water and it’s pouring, so Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY) could be a big winner with some sunny days. The company engages in the manufacture and distribution of golf equipment and accessories.
The Golf Clubs segment includes Callaway Golf woods, hybrids, irons and wedges; Odyssey putters, including Toulon Design putters by Odyssey; packaged sets; and sales of pre-owned golf clubs. The Golf Balls segment designs, manufactures and sells Callaway Golf and Strata golf balls.
The Gear, Accessories and Other segment consist of soft goods products that include golf apparel and footwear, golf bags, golf gloves, travel gear, headwear and other golf-related accessories, as well as retail apparel sales from the firm’s joint venture in Japan and Ogio-branded products.
The Jefferies team has a $27 price target on the stock, while the posted consensus target is $22.025. The stock closed most recently at $15.71 per share.