Buy These 3 Stocks To Profit From Earnings Overreactions

Unfairly beaten down because of small hiccups in their earnings reports, these three stocks have just gone on sale. Buy in now to get these three companies at a great price.

Right now, it’s a tale of two markets.

First, tech is killing it right now. All three of the major tech companies surged last week on better than expected earnings.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) all spiked more than 7% in a single day. No small feat for companies with market caps in excess of $250 billion.

Technology is everywhere these days. You can’t underestimate how widespread and impactful technology has become.

Amazon posted a surprise profit for the third quarter, Microsoft appears to be making the much needed shift away from the PC market and Google is mastering the shift toward mobile.

However, other parts of the market haven’t been so lucky. With that in mind, that means there are plenty of opportunities for investors in the know.

Investing in earnings overreactions is something we’ve talked about in the past. Microsoft made that list after falling 10% earlier this year. Shares have rallied 25% since then.

The idea is that emotions and investor behavior can unjustifiably push stock prices down after a weak earnings report. The key is to ensure that these weak earnings are just near-term hiccups.

With all that in mind, here are three areas to find overreactions this earnings season.

You are what you wear

Right now, it appears nobody is buying any shoes except for Nike (NYSE: NKE) sneakers, with that stock now at 52-week highs from accelerating growth. Meanwhile, other major shoemakers were taken to the woodshed on abysmal earnings reports.

This includes the likes of Rocky Brands (NASDAQ: RCKY)Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) and Skechers U.S.A. (NYSE: SKX).

All three of these stocks are now stupidly cheap. Rocky Brands, down 13% last week, trades at under 7 times next year’s earnings estimates. Wolverine was down 12% and is now trading at less than 11 times forward earnings and 6.5 times free cash flow.

The biggest disappointment in the shoe space is Skechers. Shares of Skechers fell as much as 34% in a single day last week. The issue being lower than expected growth that missed Wall Street expectations. The stock is now trading at 7 times forward earnings. It still has opportunities in the e-commerce space and has managed to consistently post earnings growth over the last several years.

But, what’s the best play from the earnings selloff? Is it a shoe and apparel hybrid?  VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) shares fell over 10% after reporting earnings last week and are now negative for the year.

The company owns Nautica, Wrangler, Vans, The North Face, Timberland and other brands. As we head into winter, VF Corp should do well. The company’s outdoor and action business generates over 50% of its revenues.

There’s still the opportunity for direct to consumer growth and international expansion. In the past it’s grown nicely via acquisitions, which is something it could do to further strengthen its brand position.

Gobbling up these stocks

Everyone has to eat, but the possibilities are unlimited. This led to a volatile earnings season. Some stocks were up big, others taking a big hit.

Two companies that must be selling the right stuff include Sonic Corp (NASDAQ: SONC) and BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ: BJRI), up 6% and 13%, respectively, after posting positive earnings. McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) is even doing better than many food stocks and better than it has in a long, long time. This comes as the company is turning itself around by attempting to innovate its menu and brand.

However, there are more earnings losers than winners in this industry. Del Taco Restaurants (NASDAQ: TACO) shares are down 6% over the last week and Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) is off 20% for the month. Then there’s Chipotle (NYSE: CMG), whose shares have been one of the biggest disappointments in the space, down 10% last week. Same-store sales growth is slowing there.

Let’s not forget Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: DFRG), which was off 5% last week. It’s one of the worst performers in the restaurant space this year, down over 40%. The worry that Del Frisco’s is over levered to the energy markets might be overblown.

Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN) – Dunkin’ Donuts to the rest of us — had a positive earnings report, but its shares are still down 24% over the last three months.

Given how far shares have fallen, Dunkin is the most interesting play in the food space right now. The company had weak comparable store sales in the U.S. last quarter, but there are a number of opportunities, including pushing its rewards program (DD Perks) and mobile initiatives.

It still has plenty of growth opportunities in the Southeast and Western United States, driven by its strong franchise system. Internationally, it has a joint venture to find new franchise partners across the globe. What can turnaround Dunkin’ is the rollout of a national advertising campaign and menu innovation.

Did cyber security have its moment?

Many of the major cyber security stocks are down this year after having a great run in 2014. However, the threat of cyberattacks haven’t really changed. Everyone is using the Internet, data centers and email more and more.

Still, shares of cyber security company Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) tumbled over 20% last week after its dismal earnings report. But Fortinet is one of the few cyber security stocks actually generating earnings.

Both FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE) and Palo Alto Networks (NYES: PANW) were punished along with Fortinet last week. It operates in the large and growing unified threat management space — offering a combo of products, including firewall, antivirus and intrusion prevention. Great for smaller organizations, Fortinet owns most of the market share for the UTM space.

However, there might be a better play here. FireEye has been the gross under-performer, with its shares down 8% on Fortinet’s weak earnings reports. It’s now down 33% over the last six months.

It has a strong reputation in the tech space, being a leader in the endpoint detection and response space. This too is one of the fastest growing areas of the market, but it’s still small. Still, the market is expected to more than double from 2013 to 2016.

In the end, investing in earnings overreactions can be like picking up pennies in front of a bulldozer. However, if you dig a bit deeper you can find stocks where investors’ emotions get the better of them and shares get unjustifiably punished. There are pockets of value to be found, with food, clothes and cybersecurity being standouts after the latest earnings roundup.


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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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