Wall Street bounced back in a major way last week. The “three stocks to avoid” in my column last week that I thought were going to lose to the market — Snap (NYSE: SNAP), Freeport-McMoran (NYSE: FCX), and Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) — plummeted 22%, soared 16%, and rose 6% fell, respectively, averaging out to a flat 0% move.
The S&P 500 experienced a 4.7% move higher. I was correct. I have been right in 34 of the past 53 weeks, or 64% of the time.
Now let’s look at the week ahead. I see Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), and, Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) as stocks you might want to consider steering clear of this week. Let’s go over my near-term concerns with all three investments.
I thought I would never see the day when the mighty Amazon makes the cut on this list, but here we are. Amazon has struggled heading into Thursday afternoon’s earnings report. The online retailing bellwether has surprised investors with back-to-back quarterly losses.Revenue growth has decelerated sharply for five consecutive quarters. Sales should pick back up with this week’s report, but margins are probably still contracting.
“Your margin is my opportunity” is one of the most famous quotes by Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos. Can the e-tailer afford to ignore its meager markups? A lot of costs are rising at Amazon, and it probably didn’t get a break this summer. The holidays are coming, but consumers are likely to hold their pocketbooks tighter than usual in this iffy economic climate.
I’m an Amazon shareholder, but I have my concerns. Prove me wrong, Amazon.
Investors see profitable drug companies as all-weather performers, and AbbVie packs healthy earnings with a chunky 3.8% yield. It reports quarterly results near the end of the week, and analysts are eyeing decent growth on both ends of the income statement.
AbbVie may seem to be an odd name on this list, but let’s talk about reality. The near-term outlook is hazy here. It’s best-selling drug, Humira, goes off patent next year, and Wall Street pros see sales sliding 7% next year — with an even bigger decline on the bottom line. There’s also no denying that the U.S. government is pushing hard to keep drug prices in low.
AbbVie does have some young drugs that will help some of the sting of Humira’s coming competition from the generics market. But it won’t be enough. And the company would be doing its shareholders a disservice if it offers a rosy outlook on Friday morning.
If I’m putting Amazon on this list, I may as well single out an online retailer that’s faring even worse. Overstock.com is in a world of hurt. Sales may be slowing at Amazon, but we’ve seen four consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines at this deep discounter.
You would think a potential recessionary environment would be a dinner bell for a company selling clearance, distressed, and overstock items at bargain prices, but that hasn’t been the case. Like the merchandise it sells, Overstock shares and profit targets are falling. It joins Amazon and AbbVie in reporting fresh financials this week, and this one could be the scariest of the three reports.
It’s going to be a bumpy road for some of these investments. If you’re looking for safe stocks, you aren’t likely to find them in Amazon.com, AbbVie, and Overstock.com this week.