By George Leong, B.Comm.
In case some of you forgot, today is Valentine's Day.
For those investors who may still be searching for that elusive gift for their loved one - and maybe a little something for themselves - I'm here to help with my stock analysis of my top three Valentine's-themed stocks.
This is the one day of the year when men generally run out and buy flowers, which are ridiculously marked up in price to take advantage of the day. In this area, my stock analysis is to take a look at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (FLWS), which sells and markets fresh flowers, along with plants, gift baskets, gourmet foods, confections, candles, balloons and stuffed animals. (Great ideas for gifts if you can't think of something…)
In the fiscal second quarter (ended December 29, 2013), FLOWERS.COM reported a jump in quarterly revenues from continuing operations of $266.3 million compared to $251.4 million in the year-earlier fiscal second quarter. The company's gross margin expanded to 41.7%. As far as earnings, the company recorded $17.5 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, from continuing operations, up 6.2% from $16.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, a year earlier.
Restaurants also tend to do well on this day, according to my stock analysis. Of course, I'm not talking about McDonald's Corporation (MCD) - while select stores will offer Valentine's Day reservations, I'm referring more to fine dining establishments here. (As an investment, though, McDonald's is a top fast food play, based on my stock analysis, which you can read in "McDonald's Proving Position as 'Best of Breed' in the Fast Food Sector.")
A more distinguished restaurant that has decent upside and has turned itself around is Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. (RUTH), according to my stock analysis. The upscale restaurant chain of about 150 stores is well known for its succulent steaks at its "Ruth's Chris Steak House" banner store. Ruth's also offers steak at its "Mitchell's Steakhouse" and "Cameron's Steakhouse" stores. If you are more into seafood, the company operates the "Mitchell's Fish Market" chain, as well.
Now if you also want to surprise your loved one with the ultimate high-end watch or piece of jewelry, you may want to consider Tiffany & Co. (TIF). The company has done well in spite of the declining wealth in America as it caters largely to the upper-end of consumers, who have tons of disposable income. Tiffany & Co. is faring well in China, where wealth generation is massive, as my stock analysis indicates.
In the holiday shopping period for Tiffany & Co., which is defined as the two months ended December 31, the company reported revenue growth of four percent year-over-year to $1.03 billion, according to my stock analysis. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, revenues expanded at eight percent. The key comparable-store sales jumped six percent in that same period, which is good, according to my stock analysis.
So with these ideas in mind, get out there and treat your special someone - and while you're at it, you could consider investing in a "gift" for your portfolio, too.