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For a look into a company’s sales trends, one idea is to consider their growth in inventory over time. Comparing this to growth in revenue could show some interesting results.

We compiled a list of rumored potential takeover/leveraged buyout (LBO) targets from various sources including CNN Money and Bloomberg Businessweek. We looked for stocks with positive trends in inventory and growth in quarterly revenue outpacing growth in quarterly inventory year-over-year. We also screened for companies with quarterly inventory decreasing as a percent of current assets.

To understand why these trends are positive, think of why the opposite trends would be negative. If revenue were growing slower than inventory, it may indicate that the company is having trouble selling its inventory – although this could just indicate inventory building or a change in sales policies.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance click here.

Click to enlarge:

Do you think these companies have strong sales trends? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between growth in revenue and inventory.

1. Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP): Distributes beer brands. Market cap of $7.58B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 9.07% ($954.4M vs. $875M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 12.87% ($201.1M vs. $230.8M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 12.42% to 10.07%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-09-24 to 13 weeks ending 2010-09-25. The stock has lost 15.29% over the last year.

2. Tech Data Corp. (NASDAQ:TECD): Distributes information technology products, as well as offers logistics management and other value-added services in North America, South America, and Europe. Market cap of $2.01B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 6.98% ($6,593.98M vs. $6,163.76M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 9.43% ($1,961.3M vs. $2,165.47M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 35.85% to 32.67%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-10-31 to 3 months ending 2010-10-31. The stock has gained 13.55% over the last year.

3. E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (NYSE:DANG): Operates as a business-to-consumer e-commerce company in the People's Republic of China. Market cap of $329.76M. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 49.80% ($908.86M vs. $606.72M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 33.50% ($1,242.23M vs. $930.52M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 71.15% to 41.74%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-09-30 to 3 months ending 2010-09-30. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.62% over the last week.

4. Genesco Inc. (NYSE:GCO): Operates Journeys, Journeys Kidz, and Shi by Journeys stores that offer footwear for young men, women, and children. Market cap of $1.40B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 32.63% ($616.52M vs. $464.84M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 20.67% ($544.1M vs. $450.9M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 78.34% to 76.85%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-10-29 to 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.5% (equivalent to 6.34 days of average volume). The stock has gained 55.02% over the last year.

5. Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY): Operates as a retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products, appliances, and related services primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and China. Market cap of $8.17B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from CNN Money. MRQ revenue has increased 1.76% ($12,099M vs. $11,890M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 8.39% ($9,220M vs. $10,064M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 67.87% to 57.95%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-11-26 to 13 weeks ending 2010-11-27. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 19.63% over the last week.

6. Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK): Designs, manufactures, and markets a range of access equipment, specialty vehicles, and vehicle bodies worldwide. Market cap of $1.91B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Bloomberg Businessweek. MRQ revenue has increased 0.49% ($2,115.4M vs. $2,105.1M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 7.28% ($786.8M vs. $848.6M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 38.30% to 32.05%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-09-30 to 3 months ending 2010-09-30. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.63). The stock has lost 39.51% over the last year.

7. Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE:JBL): Provides electronic manufacturing services and solutions in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Market cap of $3.97B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 10.86% ($4,280.3M vs. $3,860.93M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 6.36% ($2,227.34M vs. $2,094.14M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 45.0% to 43.37%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-08-31 to 3 months ending 2010-08-31. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.01). Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.88, and P/FCF ratio at 12.87. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.51% over the last week.

8. Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ:FINL): Operates as a mall-based specialty retailer in the United States. Market cap of $1.07B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 10.11% ($331.51M vs. $301.07M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 5.90% ($229.84M vs. $217.04M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 44.53% to 43.18%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-08-27 to 13 weeks ending 2010-08-28. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.87% (equivalent to 6.35 days of average volume). The stock has gained 14.59% over the last year.

9. Molex Inc. (NASDAQ:MOLX): Manufactures and sells electronic components worldwide. Market cap of $3.92B. Takeover/LBO rumor sourced from Seeking Alpha. MRQ revenue has increased 4.27% ($935.99M vs. $897.67M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 0.07% ($547.21M vs. $546.81M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 29.54% to 26.42%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-09-30 to 3 months ending 2010-09-30. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.59%, current ratio at 2.24, and quick ratio at 1.64. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.85% over the last week.

*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz. To access the complete list of takeover targets, click here.

Source: 9 Takeover/LBO Targets With Positive Inventory Trends