The Motley Fool's readers have spoken, and I have heeded your cries. After months of pointing out�CEO gaffes�and faux pas, I've decided to make it a weekly tradition to also point out corporate leaders who are putting the interests of shareholders and the public first and are generally deserving of praise from investors. For reference, here's�my previous selection.
This week, we'll "step" into the retail sector and examine why Foot Locker (NYSE: FL ) CEO, Ken Hicks, is truly a class act.
Kudos to you, Mr. Hicks
Ken Hicks took the reins at Foot Locker during one of the toughest times in recent retail history. Since becoming CEO on Aug. 17, 2009, Foot Locker's dividend-adjusted share price has catapulted by 268%, or an average of about 2.9% per month!
However, the retail industry certainly isn't a walk in the park -- even for Foot Locker. Shoe retailers and footwear companies have all struggled to some extent as higher payroll taxes and delayed tax refunds have weighed on consumer spending habits domestically. Overseas, slower GDP growth in China has drastically slowed down Nike's (NYSE: NKE ) plans of dominating the region. In Nike's most recent quarterly report, it grew its sales in all regions, except for China and Japan, where it was forced to step up discounting to move higher-than-expected inventories.
5 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Invest In Right Now: CannaVEST Corp (CANV)
CannaVEST Corp., formerly Foreclosure Solutions, Inc., incorporated on December 9, 2010, is engaged in the business of developing, producing, marketing and selling end consumer products to the nutriceutical industry containing the hemp plant extract, Cannabidoil (CBD). The Company produces raw ingredients for neutraceutical markets. This substance can be used with foods and nutritional supplements for consumer health and wellness benefits, as well as in the pharmaceutical industry. On March 4, 2013, the Company acquired KannaLife Sciences, Inc. On December 31, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of PhytoSPHERE Systems, LLC (PhytoSPHERE). It also secured the license to the name PhytoSPHERE and PhytoSPHERE Systems for use in the development and commercialization of hemp-based products.
The Company focuses to develop applicable raw ingredients, and provide raw ingredients for the production and development of multiple existing and developing product applications. Its focus is to produce, market and distribute hemp-based consumer products, as well as acquire existing businesses involved in the industrial hemp industries.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
The Marijuana Index is Really Getting Stoned. The Marijuana Index, which is the first and only registered equity tracking index for marijuana stocks, cannabis stocks and hemp stocks,�experienced significant volume and price fluctuations throughout the month of February when is started the month at the $25 level only to close the month at $56.21 for a 125% gain as some marijuana stocks experienced all time highs. Notable gainers included Abattis Bioceuticals (OTCMKTS: ATTBF)�being up 194%, Advanced Cannabis Solutions (OTCQB: CANN) being up 132% and CannaVest (OTCMKTS: CANV) being up 116%. You can see all of the�Marijuana Index�� advancers and decliners at http://www.marijuanaindex.org.
- [By Dan Burrows]
But it doesn’t end there. Investors should run away from all OTC marijuana stocks, including Medical Marijuana (MJNA), Cannabis Science (CBIS), CannaVest (CANV), MediSwipe (MWIP) and GreenGro Technologies (GRNH). As the SEC warns:
Top 5 Consumer Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Rite Aid Corp (RAD)
Rite Aid Corporation, incorporated in 1968, is a retail drugstore chain in the United States. As of March 3, 2012, the Company operated drugstores in 31 states across the country and in the District of Columbia. As of March 3, 2012, it operated 4,667 stores. In the Company�� stores, it sells prescription drugs and a range of other merchandise, which it calls front end products. During the fiscal year ended March 3, 2012 (fiscal 2012), prescription drug sales accounted for 68.1% of its total sales. The Company carries a range of front end products, which accounted for 31.9% of its total sales in fiscal 2012. Front end products include over-the-counter medications, health and beauty aids, personal care items, cosmetics, household items, beverages, convenience foods, greeting cards, seasonal merchandise and other everyday and convenience products, as well as photo processing. It offers a variety of products under its private brands, which contributed approximately 17% of its front end sales in the categories where private brand products were offered in fiscal 2012. As of March 3, 2012, the Company had opened over 2,100 GNC stores-within-Rite Aid-stores. During fiscal 2012, the Company sold two owned operating stores to independent third parties.
During fiscal 2012, its stores filled approximately 295 million prescriptions and served an average of 2.1 million customers per day. The overall average size of each store in its chain is approximately 12,600 square feet. As of March 3, 2012, 60% of its stores were freestanding; 51% of its stores included a drive-thru pharmacy; 24% included one-hour photo shops, and 46% included a GNC store-within-Rite Aid-store. The Company�� customers may also order prescription refills over the Internet through www.riteaid.com, or over the phone through its telephonic automated refill systems for pick up at a Rite Aid store. It has a strategic alliance with GNC, a retailer of vitamin and mineral supplements.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is a turnaround which keeps on turning. That is the theory from Goldman Sachs at least. The brokerage firm upgraded shares of the retail drug store to Buy from Neutral. Perhaps more important is that the price target was raised to $8 from $5 in the call.
Top 5 Consumer Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Koss Corporation(KOSS)
Koss Corporation, together with its subsidiary, Koss Classics Ltd., designs, manufactures, and sells stereo headphones and related accessories primarily in the United States and Europe. It offers a line of high-fidelity stereo headphones, speaker-phones, computer headsets, telecommunications headsets, active noise canceling stereo headphones, wireless stereo headphones, and compact disc recordings of American Symphony Orchestras under the Koss Classics label. The company sells its products through national retailers, international distributors, audio specialty stores, the Internet, direct mail catalogs, regional department store chains, discount department stores, military exchanges, and prisons under the Koss name. It also sells its products to distributors for resale to school systems, and directly to other manufacturers. The company was founded in 1953 and is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
The Q3 2014 earnings report for small cap audio stock Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ: SKUL), a potential peer of other audio stocks like mid cap Harman International Industries Inc (NYSE: HAR) and small cap Koss Corporation (NASDAQ: KOSS), is scheduled for after the market's close on Wednesday (November 5th). Aside from the Skullcandy Inc earnings report, it should be said that Harman International Industries Inc reported Q1 2015 earnings on October 30th (net sales increased 22% to $1.4B and net income rose 37% to $92M thanks to robust demand for car audio products) while Koss Corporation reported Q1 2015 earnings on October 22nd (sales fell 19.9% to $5,469,486 as sales continued to be soft in Europe and there was a net loss of $94,998 verses net income of $79,402). Traders with long memories though might remember that in�late 2012, Skullcandy Inc had the dubious distinction of being the market�� most shorted stock (see: Long Live the Shorts or the Short Squeeze? SKUL, AM & UBNT) with short�interest of 86.47%.
Top 5 Consumer Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Sealed Air Corporation(SEE)
Sealed Air Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides food safety and security, facility hygiene, and product protection solutions worldwide. Its Food Packaging segment provides shrink bags and vacuum packaging products; packaging materials for cook-in applications; laminated and coextruded rollstock packaging materials used in thermoforming and form, fill, and seal applications; and associated packaging equipment and systems, including bag loaders, dispensers, and vacuum chamber systems. The company?s Food Solutions segment offers case-ready packaging offerings; ready meals packaging technologies; vertical pouch packaging solutions for packaging flowable food products; foam and plastic trays; absorbent products for food packaging; and related packaging equipment, including vacuum chamber systems. Its Protective Packaging segment provides air cellular packaging materials; polyolefin performance shrink films for product display; shrink packaging equipment systems; pol yurethane foam packaging systems that provide protective packaging; lightweight and tear-resistant mailers and bags; inflatable packaging systems; paper cushioning systems that include recycled paper and automated dispensing equipment; paper packaging products; and suspension and retention packaging products. The company?s Diversey Segment offers a range of products and services, such as kitchen cleaning products; food and beverage and manufacturing and processing products; floor care products and systems; restroom care and other housekeeping products; and laundry products, as well as consulting services. Sealed Air Corporation also provides specialty materials products to fabricators and manufacturers; and medical applications products and solutions to medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. The company markets its products primarily under the Bubble Wrap, Cryovac, and Diversey brands. Sealed Air Corporation was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in El mwood Park, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
On the upside, Sealed Air (SEE) has gained 8.4% to $30.90 after it said it earned 39 cents share, beating forecasts for 34 cents, and offered strong guidance. Gilead Sciences (GILD) has risen 4.3% to $72.50 after it reported a profit of 52 cents, beating forecasts for 48 cents.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Sealed Air�(SEE) has fallen 0.7% to $28.35 after the food-safety company was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at�Barclays.
Towers Watson�(TW) has dropped 0.5% to $102.49 after it was cut to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. It was also upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
- [By ovenerio]
The company has a current ROE of 14.5% which is higher than the industry median. Also, it is higher than the ones exhibit by Sealed Air Corp (SEE) and Sonoco Products Co (SON). In general, analysts consider ROE ratios in the 15-20% range as representing attractive levels for investment. So for investors looking at those levels, MeadWestvaco Corp (MWV) and Packaging Corp of America (PKG) could be the options. It is very important to understand this metric before investing, and it is important to look at the trend in ROE over time.
- [By Tom Rojas and Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); ]
Sealed Air Corp.'s(SEE) third-quarter earnings topped consensus estimates and it again raised its 2014 bottom-line guidance as the packaging company benefits from higher prices.