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I have 26 consecutive profitable trades of 15% or better. How is this possible? Every day there are hundreds of stocks setting new highs, no matter what happens in the overall market. Many of these stocks are still at very reasonable valuations. Afraid of buying stocks at their highs? Think of it this way: a new high is really a future floor for companies with solid financial underpinnings. Quantitative momentum modeling makes it easy to identify stocks that can continue this upward momentum trend. Why does this happen? It's really very simple..ask me about what investors and cows have in common. I am $$$ MR. MARKET $$$. I AM HUGE!!! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses. You can join in on the fun. Register for free and you'll be able to post messages on this forum and also receive emails when $$$ MR. MARKET $$$ makes his own trades. ($$$MR. MARKET$$$ is a proprietary investor and does not provide individual financial advice. The stocks mentioned on this forum do not represent individual buy or sell recommendations and should not be viewed as such. Individual investors should consider speaking with a professional investment adviser before making any investment decisions.)
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  1. #1

    Default FL ==> The Tuition Winner

    How many of you have gone to a soccer game for 8 yr old kids and have heard the following:

    • “Hey ref, your seeing eye dog just arrived!”
    • “Hey ref, I have seen a potato with better eyes than you.”
    • “Hey…Stevie Wonder.. I mean Ref.”
    • “Hey ref, I have a $20 off coupon for lasik surgery do you want it?”
    • “Hey ref, You're so bad even your mother hates you!”
    • “Hey ref, 4 out of 5 fans agree you stink!”
    • “Nice call. YA Jerk!!”
    • “Hey ref, Are you always this horrible or is it just today?”
    • “Hey ref, your calls are so bad I am Unfriending you on facebook!”
    • “I just twittered the ref sucks!”
    • "Why are you here? Did the CYO game get cancelled?"
    • "Check your cell phone, because you've missed a couple of calls!"
    • “Hey ref, open your eyes, you’re missing a good game!”

    Yea…that’s right, these parents are so clever with their witty remarks to the youth referee. Of course, my all time favorite is:

    “Go back to Foot Locker!”



    So….I did.

    Yesterday I bought stock in FL (Foot Locker) at 32.88. I will sell it in 4 – 6 weeks at 37.90. Here’s why I like FL:



    Take a look at this chart. FL is up 46% in the last 52 weeks yet has a PE of only 16. Like other great retail chains, it continues to grow its sales, slowly and steadily, by opening up stores in places where the stores make money.
    Now don’t get me wrong. I’m the first person who scratched my head when I found out this company was profitable. I mean really, the sales people are dressed like referees. What?? What happens when you walk into the store, they call you for a foul?

    All jokes aside, the name of the game is money.

    Foot Locker, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of athletic footwear and apparel. The company operates in two segments, Athletic Stores and Direct-to-Customers. The Athletic Stores segment retails athletic footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment under various formats, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, and CCS. As of January 28, 2012, it operated 3,369 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. While the Foot Locker stores cater to the athletic connoisseur, Lady Foot Locker is for active women, kids foot locker caters to a younger audience, Champs to a high school athlete, Eastbay to elite varsity players and CCS to lifestyle enthusiasts. In addition to the brick and mortar stores, there are direct-to-consumer channels, including footlocker.com, Eastbay and CCS.com. Each of the companies has a distinct mission with the same core values. Foot Locker, Inc. was founded in 1879 and is based in New York, New York.

    That’s right ladies, this company is 133 years old. That’s another thing I didn’t know about Foot Locker. The difference between Foot Locker today, versus 100 years ago, is that they are now selling brands of sporting good products that are highly recognized. You just don’t walk into Foot Locker for a pair of sneakers. You are buying brand imaging, and paying stupidly high prices for these brands. Something that was a luxury 20 years ago is now a must have. Why is this happening? Because Sporting Goods are now mainstream. You think all of those hours on Sundays spend on the soccer fields with your kids hasn’t permeated your brain? Think again.

    Historically, sporting goods stores were small, family-owned businesses that serviced the needs of the local community. Wholesalers were the primary suppliers of merchandise, and operators had little or no competition from other retailers because of their high level of specialization. During the past two decades, the arena for sporting goods retailers has changed, with industry players evolving into national chains that have considerable buying power. The rise in sporting chain numbers has created an opportunity for mass merchandisers to seek a market share, with retailers benefiting from their ability to offer consumer-specific brands.

    The proof of this is in Foot Locker's performance. First, FL has sequential revenue growth over the last four quarters. Over the same period, the company has beaten ANAL-ysts projections in each of these quarters. Amplifying these stats is the fact that the gross margin has improved sequentially in these quarters from 30% in July 2011, to 32%, and then in the most recent quarter it improved again to 34%. Of course these great revenue and margins numbers will translate to earnings. Foot Locker has seen net income growth of over 400%. And that, ladies, is why the stock price is going up.

    The balance sheet is also attractive. They have a cash balance of almost $900 million with only around $135 million of debt. The company has also announced its share repurchase plans of $400 million, which is well supported by its cash flow position. Green lights all around. How are they doing it?
    Foot Locker isn’t selling the stuff you see on Centre Street in Value Village. Heck, you can’t even find this stuff at Spags.



    (Yea..this is how I spent my Saturdays as a kid…but that’s another story.)

    What Foot Locker does sell is Nike and Under Armor - the stuff that the spoiled, image conscious and insecure populace of today want to spend their hard earned cash on. Probably the most significant driver will be the brands that Foot Locker sells. They are selling stuff that moves. The company's online segment showed impressive growth as well, mainly due to increase in its internet sales.

    Before I forget, another reason to like Foot Locker's stock is that its dividend is right around 2.0% currently. I love dividends. It’s like the prize in the Cracker Jack box, the fortune cookie or just plain old free money. Since the company reinstated its quarterly dividend in 2003, payouts have increased to the tune of 500%. That works out to an annual increase of 22% per year. With the $345 million in free cash flow they are showing, there’s plenty of room to continue to grow this dividend. This is nice for folks who plan on owning this stock a lot longer than I intend to.

    In its most recent quarter, Foot Locker reported earnings of $0.83, 38% higher than the previous year's EPS, and a 9.7% rise in comparable-store sales. That's phenomenal considering that consumer wages are only increasing by 2% and overall spending remains lackluster. I mean..that’s really insane. This success is not just coming from the revenue side. Foot Locker has been able to keep its costs under control by pruning underperforming locations and fixing up some of its older stores that are still in good locations. At the same time Foot Locker has done a really good job of sticking with the brands that people want and avoiding all the flavor of the month stuff that makes retailers think they are smart but always end up making them look really stupid.

    Now here’s why I really like this stock. The company's P/E is at a 35% discount to the industry as well as its five year average, indicating it is currently undervalued. The forward PE is only 12.5. Other multiples like price-to-sales and price-to-book are also at a discount to the industry averages, indicating the stock has value. I love getting good stuff cheap. (Here we go again with the Spags reference.) I’ll stick to the sports metaphor…Foot Locker is a triple play. This stock has something for growth, value, and income investors!

    If you look at their most recent investor presentation, FL execs will tell you that the company reviewed its core values with all employees: integrity, leadership, excellent service, team work, innovation and community. I wonder if they gave out toy sneakers with the values emblazoned on them? Either way, it looks like they are making their employees drink the Koolaid. They must be on drugs..why would they wear those referee jerseys in the store?

    In the next five years Foot Locker expects to achieve sales of $7.5 Billion up
    from $5.6 Billion in fiscal 2011. Management expects to achieve sales per gross square foot of $500 (up from current $406), EBIT margin of 11% percent (up from current 7.9%), net income margin of 7% (up from current 5.0%), return on invested capital of 14% (up from current 11.8%) and increase inventory turnover to more than 3 times (up from current 2.6 times). Lofty goals yes…but they have put them out there and I don’t doubt that they can achieve these. If they come anywhere near these goals, the company stock will certainly ascened rewardingly.

    What does $$$MR. MARKET$$$ think?

    The ANAL-ysts predict that Foot Locker will post earnings per share of $2.38 in the current year and $2.63 next year based on revenues of 6.04B and 6.25B respectively.

    I smell something and it’s not foot odor….no it’s the stink emanating from the ANAL-ysts pathetic projections. $$$MR. MARKET$$$ projects that Foot Locker will actually sell 6.2B this year which will generate $2.55 per share. If you take its existing PE of 16.2 and multiply it by these earnings of 2.55, that gets you a stock price of 16.2 x 2.55 = $41.31, which well exceeds my target sale price. That’s using a PE multiple that is ALREADY well below industry PE values. And oh, by the way don’t forget your dividend on the way out the door. KAH – CHING!

    But why listen to $$$MR. MARKET$$ Listen to the Foot Locker customers:
    “This store has the most caring and cool sales help! I have 2 basketball player sons, and they wear size 15 shoes. I always get SO lucky in this store! All the sales people are great! I just bought 3 pairs of shoes last week!”

    Or from this person

    “I have been visiting this foot locker for 10 years now and it has been by far my most consistently enjoyable shopping experience. They've had the same manager for quite some time, totally blanking on his name but he's a shorter white dude, and he is the epitome of what a store owner should be. He's helpful, knowledgeable, kind, more than willing to go out of his way to help others, and he will try his best to both accomodate and make the shopping experience as easy as possible on each customer.

    Obviously you aren't going to find limited jordans here, and if you go there expecting that you'll be disappointed. However, when I have been looking for J's the staff was more than helpful in locating and securing them for me. I went in yesterday to buy a pair of shoes for my little nephew who was adamant about having them in a certain color. I was helped by an associate named Joseph who called 3 (!) different stores until he found a pair of lebrons in red and black. All of that work for a $70 sale, wow, exemplary customer service doesn't begin to explain what Joseph did.

    I've worked retail and I know I wouldn't have tried as hard as Joseph did for a rather small sale, but thank god he did and I should be getting the shoes before Christmas.

    This foot locker is amazing, and as always I look forward to my next visit. Thanks for everything guys!”

    …or finally from this person:

    “We stopped in here last weekend, and to be honest, i wasn't expecting much.

    This is smaller than other Foot Lockers I've been to, and the parking lot is designed horribly.

    I was disappointed that they don't carry Women's Adidas, as this are almost always the brand i go with for exercise shoes. (I don't care about labels, I've just had really good luck with this brand.)

    When we arrived we were immediately helped by someone. He was informative and knowledgeable about many different shoes, and not at all pushy.

    One of the pairs of shoes he highly recommended were actually one of the cheapest shoes in the store.

    He was very patient, and helped both my husband and I find great shoes at prices were both pleased with.

    The experience was so completely opposite from our experience the previous day at Roadrunner, it was almost shocking.

    We both left happily with our new shoes, and if we aren't happy with them within 30 days, (even though they have been worn outside) we can return and get a full refund.”

    While the customers are yapping, the CEO Ken Hicks has a lot more to say:

    “The marquee basketball business was outstanding in February, and indeed, throughout the quarter, as key player shoes such as the Lebron, Rose, Kobe and Durant, all sold exceptionally well. Lauren said I'd put color into my remarks, well our vendors put color into these players' shoes and our customers snap them up. In fact, color was a consistent theme throughout all of our categories and we expect it to continue to be so in the future.

    First, we said we would strengthen our apparel business, which you can see from recent results, we're doing. We continue to refine the assortments by banner. We have a stronger performance apparel story in Foot Locker, for example, compared to the lifestyle apparel in Footaction, where we carry items that you won't see in our other banners such as RockSmith tees and Levi's jeans. We also introduced the new Nike NFL apparel in our Champs Sports stores, which we feel very good about going forward.

    .....we have identified the overall Women's business as an area of exceptional growth potential, and we're working hard to develop the proper long-range formula. Meanwhile, we have the largest chains of Women's athletic stores, Lady Foot Locker, to run on a day-to-day basis, and we've been making progress. I mentioned some of the apparel changes we've made, but we also gained traction in footwear. We produced gains in Nike performance running, driven by in-season TR and Dual Fusion, as well as with the Free, which we launched in 5 colors across the entire chain.

    Looking ahead, more broadly, we remain confident about the trends in the athletic business. Customers are continuing to respond favorably to the new technologies and colors across many categories of footwear, apparel and accessories. In addition, we have some external factors working in our favor over the rest of the year

    Yes, our branded business continues to be strong, because of, I tell you, the vendors are coming out with some great product. I mean, Nike, Adidas has been very, very strong, Under Armour. We've been very fortunate. With regards to margins, we continue to improve the margins. The branded margins are somewhat higher than the private label, but we're continuing to make progress on both fronts.

    Yes, we're working with Under Armour. They've got a major effort in Women's and as do all of our vendors, quite frankly. And they're working with us very closely. We've got a good relationship with them. And they realize that to be successful in the mall, we need to work together, and we are on the apparel front and on the shoe front. That said, from all the vendors looking forward this fall, as I said, we've got the World Cup, we've got the Olympics, we've got a full season of football, a full season of basketball and we've got some great names out there that are all exciting. I mean, you got Lebron and Wade and Rose and Durant's just hotter than a pistol, both on and off the court, that -- this is an exciting time for us.

    2012 has gotten off to an outstanding start, with our first quarter results representing the highest level of quarterly earnings in the Company's history as an athletic business. The first quarter continued our recent track record of meaningful sales and profit increases over the comparable prior-year periods. We remain focused on executing the initiatives of our updated strategic plan and objectives in order to continue to drive our strong financial performance."

    Maybe after all is said and done, I’m gonna by me some $250 Durant sneakers. On second thought, I just paid two college tuitions…maybe I’ll shop at Spags after all. I still get nightmares from that cowboy hat.

    Let me know what you think of this write up. Please share with your friends if you enjoyed it.

    I am HUGE!!

    $$$MR. MARKET$$$$

    www.mrmarketishuge.com
    Last edited by mrmarket; 08-09-2012 at 11:10 PM.
    =============================

    I am HUGE! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.

    - $$$MR. MARKET$$$

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    22

    Default Thanks MM!

    Another really terrific thorough writeup. I learn a lot not just from the individual facts, but the different measures you consider. Thanks MM for sharing your analysis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Fl

    I bought some this morning after the market dipped; got a good price at 32.18. I'm a little concerned about reduced retail performance across the board on earnings coming in over the last few days - but compared to other retailers, FL is looking good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,790

    Thumbs up great pick, $$MM!

    I'm in with you at 32.5!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville
    Posts
    118

    Default

    32.6; giddyup!

  6. #6

    Default

    Looks like we're about halfway there!
    =============================

    I am HUGE! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.

    - $$$MR. MARKET$$$

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,790

    Talking Out at 37!

    Got my 14% gain with a sell at the close today at $37... coulda had 15% if I'd put in a limit order in sooner, but I'll take 14% any day!

    Thanks for FL, $$MM!!! An outstanding pick, and I can't wait for the next one!
    You are HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!!!

  8. #8

    Default

    getting close!
    =============================

    I am HUGE! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.

    - $$$MR. MARKET$$$

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,790

    Thumbs up FL is HUGE!!!

    I got back into this one again at $33... and am ready to ride it up to 37 one more time!

  10. #10

    Default

    Forbes Earnings Preview: Foot Locker
    By Narrative Science
    Comment Now Follow Comments
    Foot Locker FL -0.42% (FL) reports its first quarter earnings on Friday, May 24, 2013.

    The consensus estimate is 87 cents per share, up 4.8% from a year ago when Foot reported earnings of 83 cents per share.

    The consensus estimate has declined from 91 cents over the past three months. For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of $2.82 per share. Revenue is projected to eclipse the year-earlier total of $1.58 billion by 3.3%, finishing at $1.63 billion for the quarter. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $6.4 billion.

    The company has reported increasing profit for three straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 28.4% while it rose 60.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 59.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

    The majority of analysts (91.7%) rate Foot as a buy. This compares favorably to the analyst ratings of its nearest five competitors, which average 63.9% buys. That rating hasn’t budged in three months as the average analyst rating of the stock has remained unchanged.
    =============================

    I am HUGE! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.

    - $$$MR. MARKET$$$

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