How to Profit From the Economic Downturn
For eight straight weeks, the markets moved higher. This recent pullback is being quickly dismissed by many. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me, investors have declared this recession over and done. Stick a fork in it! With stocks jumping like they have, how can you not think the same?
Is the market right?
Only time will tell. But, recent economic data hasn’t been so bad. Economic news is being interpreted as very positive. Take home building for example. The same part of the economy that got us into this mess might be helping us get out. Just look at single family home construction. Amazingly, the pace of new building is moving higher, up 2.8% in April. Normally I’d shrug off this data, but March was showing a slight increase as well. Its got to make you think… two months in a row of increasing homebuilding activity? I can’t believe new homes are still being built with all the foreclosures and short sales on the market. But who am I to argue with the data?
Homebuilding isn’t the only thing. Consumer confidence numbers are also moving higher. Maybe it’s all those confident consumers who are buying new homes! Jobless numbers are still really high. However, they’re below the peak we witnessed just a few months back. If jobless claims continue to slide, expect consumer confidence to jump even higher. Given the data, can you blame investors for thinking the recovery is here?
The bigger question is how do we 123 profit from the quickly approaching recovery? In the US, our economy is dominated by small businesses. While big business gets all the press, small business does all the work. Chew on this statistic… some 45% of workers in the US are employed by small business. But that’s not all. Almost 40 million work for companies with fewer than 50 employees. More than 99% of the businesses in America are small businesses.
So, what’s this have to do with picking stocks? Let’s look at the big picture.
As the economy starts to improve, small business will be the first to feel it. That means ramping sales and marketing, starting new projects, spending capital, and finding new employees. They deliver a product every company needs. What am I talking about? Promotional materials of course. It might be a simple business card, a website, or even company letterhead. Maybe signs or banners. Flyers on new products, mailing labels, brochures, the list goes on and on.
Marketing materials are vital to the small business sales process…
As business activity picks up, you’ll see marketing activities expand. And one company is perfectly situated to profit from this trend. The company I’m thinking of is VistaPrint (VPRT). While VistaPrint services small companies, they’re not a small firm. They count more than 17 million customers worldwide. They ship products to more than 120 countries. And they have operations in the US and Europe. A global recovery certainly won’t pass them by.
VistaPrint’s a good barometer for the small business environment. Just last quarter they did over $127 million in sales – a huge increase of 21% over last year. Gross margins are up. So is operating income -up 44%. Net income was up 24%… I guess it was a good quarter. But the good news doesn’t end there.
Management provided guidance through the end of their fiscal year (ending June 2009). Let’s just say those numbers are looking good as well. Revenue should be between $123 and $129 million, and EPS should be between $0.24 and $0.28 per share.
Now the company has a trailing P/E of 32, but a forward P/E of just over 18x. What that means is Wall Street analysts are estimating big growth for the company. The stock’s recently had quite a run, but if you like this idea, don’t be afraid to buy on pullbacks. If the recovery’s really here, this is a stock that could run for several years!
Brian Mikes is the editor of the Dynamic Wealth Report, a free investment newsletter that offers investment ideas and news you can’t get from the mainstream investment press. Brian and his team bring decades of Wall Street and Silicon Valley experience to help you discover profitable trading ideas you can use today. In addition to stock trade ideas, you’ll also receive FREE updates on penny stocks, options, ETFs, commodities and currencies that offer the best opportunity for immediate profit.