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Walmart Declines

Feb 21st, 2018

Walmart (WMT) was down another 2.75% today after it’s 10% loss yesterday. The 10% decline was the worst single day decline for Walmart in over 30 years. The stock declined after concerns over ecommerce growth troubled investors. Walmart ended the quarter with positive same store sales and overall sales beat expectations, but the ecommerce growth of 23% came in below expectations. I liked Walmart in the low $70s, but even after the pullback the current price of $91.52 gives us a forward P/E of 17.4. I like to buy companies at a forward P/E of 10-12.

Wells Fargo

Feb 5th, 2018

Wells Fargo stock price is under pressure today, following the sanctions the Fed released on Friday. The Fed directed the bank to replace multiple board members and placed a limit on Wells Fargo’s growth. Wells is not allowed to grow its assets beyond the $1.95 trillion it had at the end of last year. The company has estimated the actions will result in a cut of $300-$400 million this year. We still believe there are many great financial companies to invest in, but with all the uncertainty and the negative sentiment from consumers we would avoid Wells at the current time. This should also be a benefit to other banks, as they should be able to capture more market share.

Jobs Report

Feb 2nd, 2018

It’s the first Friday of the month, which means the Jobs report has been released! For January payrolls saw an increase of 200,000 jobs, which is above the consensus estimate of 175,000. The prior month was also revised from 148,000 to 160,000. This report kept the unemployment rate at a strong 4.1%. The big news was average hourly earnings grew 2.9% year over year which was above the estimate of 2.6%. Wage inflation should lead to normal inflation which supports rising interest rates. After the report, the 10 year stood at 2.85%. This increase has caused concern in the stock market, but it is important to find fundamentally strong companies that don’t need to take on expensive debt.

Some Good, Some Bad

Feb 1st, 2018

Apple’s quarterly reports are always among the most anticipated. After a strong holiday season for consumers, this report had some positives and negatives. The two negatives from the report were lower than expected guidance for the first quarter of the calendar year and iPhone sales missed expectations. On a positive note, total revenue and EPS topped estimates as the average iPhone price came in above expectations and revenue from services, apple watch, air pods, and other products helped boost the company’s sales. Apple also reported cash and investments has grown to a record of $285 billion.