I have been following stock performance and news stories on the four companies assessed in this article for considerable time. Based on recent stock performance, outlook and announcements by these companies I feel that they are worth considering long while Research in Motion's (RIMM) immediate future doesn't project confidence as the company stutters on in response to stifling competition and dire market performance. Krispy Kreme (KKD) has been particularly impressive as it really does look like the company might now be leaving behind its boom-and-bust cycle days. Recent sales figures and growth plans for Krispy Kreme in its UK market in addition to hearing what the company's chief executive had to say in an interview linked below regarding the company's future have been especially noteworthy.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme closed Friday up 1.61% on 8.21 per share. Share price on January 3 2012 was $6.52, representing a massive gain since the start of the year and the highest share price since September. In 2011 the company's profit margins grew 26% for the United Kingdom as 50 million doughnuts were sold. By 2015 its UK presence is set to more than double from 46 stores to 100, which is set to further increase profits for the UK arm of the doughnut chain. Back home in the United States, Chief Executive Jim Morgan has stated that the boom-and-bust cycles that the company went through are a thing of the past. Since his arrival in 2008, the company now looks to have turned a corner and its stock price could grow further as expansion is a goal in 2012 as well as diversifying menu options in order to entice more customers into their stores.
Nissan Motors (NSANY.PK)
Nissan closed Friday March 9, up 0.74% to end the trading week at $20.50. The stock price is up from $18.32 at the start of 2012 representing an almost 5% rise. Nissan Senior Vice-President for Europe Trevor Mann has stated, "Nissan has been growing quite significantly in Europe." Building on this growth the Japanese car company has announced that it is to build a new compact model car from 2013, called the Nissan Invitation. It is set to compete with cars such as the Ford Fiesta. This new model will be built in England, creating 2,000 new jobs in the process. The car manufacturer is set to build 100,000 Invitation cars a year at its English car plant. Nissan could represent a profitable investment given recent growth and a positive future outlook.
Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
Starbucks' share price has risen from $45.13 to $51.84 since the start of the year, a 13% rise. It is up around 45% in the past year. The company recently announced that it will sell a home coffee machine, the "Verismo," which could increase profits considerably as it seeks to expand its packaged goods business sector. CEO Howard Schultz has even gone so far as to say that Starbucks' packaged goods could one day overtake its café business as the company as a whole, as the company aims to increase its approximate $12 billion total revenue turnover of the last year.
In addition, in the next five years it aims to open 500 new stores in the United Kingdom. Its average price has been predicted by many analysts to hover around 51 though with the above factors taken into consideration it could very realistically spike considerably higher. Particularly in the United States, what with recent month one month good news on unemployment figures, U.S. sales will likely rise.
One stock to avoid - Research in Motion
Research in Motion has seen its stock price fall from March 10, 2011 levels of $62 per share to present day figures of $13.58, an almost 80% drop in price. More private firms have switched from BlackBerry to Apple iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently, a trend which is likely to continue. Change of management at the top of the company hierarchy in January has not given investors enough encouragement to consider the company seriously as an investment option. New CEO Thorsten Heins said that significant changes were not necessary, a line that is sure to have dampened any hopes that the company might come up with something to excite investors and stop Apple from denting sales further.
Research in Motion have a difficult year ahead in 2012 and will do well if its stock stays at current levels. It was once the chic alternative to the Apple iPhone, epitomized by President Barack Obama's use of a Blackberry once sworn into office in 2009. This was when Obama's approval ratings were still very high. However, as is the nature of the technology industry, RIMM has failed to keep up with the competition and reinvent itself. It has been left trailing in the wake of, in particular, Apple and Android models such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia (SNE).
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.