20 Companies That Turned Their Fortunes Around in 2017

20 Companies That Turned Their Fortunes Around in 2017

Turning around the fortunes of a struggling company can be a daunting task. It can mean changing the company’s culture, laying off workers, or paring management — upheavals that can roil a business for years. Sometimes, the turnaround strategy does not immediately translate into higher earnings for the company, trying the patience of investors.

Attempting a turnaround can also mean fighting against new business trends, such as brick-and-mortar retailers battling to stay relevant as e-commerce hacks away at their business model.

But there are success stories, and 24/7 Wall St. has chronicled 20 of them that unfolded in 2017.

These companies adopted business plans that in many cases helped to halt stock price and earnings declines and reversed the sliding fortunes of publicly traded companies. Many of these strategies were crafted by visionary chief executives, who stuck with their plans in defiance of skeptics and perhaps what might have been conventional wisdom at the time.

Some of the reversals of fortune at these companies are because of circumstances beyond their control such as the rebound in oil prices that improved the balance sheets of energy companies or the rebuilding opportunity brought on by natural disasters.

Here are the 20 companies that reversed their fortunes in 2017.

To identify the companies that turned their fortunes around this year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed stock prices in 2016 and 2017, analyst price and earnings estimates, as well as analyzing the particular dynamics of a given industry of each company considered. To be considered as making a comeback, the company’s stock price had to hit a trough in 2016 or early 2017 and climb since. The forecast earnings per share (EPS) for each company’s current year also needed to exceed last year’s EPS.

We also took into account earnings estimates for next year when available. Only public companies were considered. Data was retrieved from Yahoo Finance and financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Scant Data and News as Yearend Draws Closer

Scant Data and News as Yearend Draws Closer

Scant Data and News as Yearend Draws Closer

December 27, 2017

The euro rose slightly against the dollar and yen. Oil settled back but remains above $59.00 per barrel. Gold is littloe changed, and 10-year U.S., German and British sovereign debt yields are marginally lower.

In contrast to the lower Richmond Fed manufacturing index in December, the Dallas Fed manufacturing index jumped 10.3 points to a new high of 29.7.

Japanese housing starts posted a fifth straight on-year decline, but the drop was only 0.4%. Construction orders were 20.5% higher in November than a year earlier, their biggest 12-month increase of 2017.

The Swiss UBS consumption indicator dipped 0.01 to 1.67 in November from an upwardly revised October reading. The ZEW Swiss expectations index improved further to 52.0 in December from 40.7 in November and 30 in October.

Chinese corporate profits exceeded their year-earlier level by 14.9% in November.

South Korean consumer confidence dipped 0.1 to 11.1 in December, while Finnish consumer confidence rose a point to 24 in December. Czech consumer confidence slipped while business sentiment improved in December.

Singapore industrial production was 5.3% greater in November than a year earlier.

U.S. pending home sales and the Conference Board U.S. consumer sentiment index get reported later this morning.

Copyright 2017, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission. 

Tags: Japanese housing starts and construction orders




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Commodities Technical Analysis, January 1st — January 5th

Commodities Technical Analysis, January 1st — January 5th

The technical analysis, that includes the indicators’ data and major pivot points for WTI Oil, Gold, Silver and Copper as traded on spot market as of December 31st, 2017:

Crude Oil

Indicators

Moving Averages RSI Parabolic SAR CCI
Long Neutral Long Long

Crude Oil - Indicators as of Dec 31, 2017

Floor pivot points

3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res
56.57 57.43 58.77 59.63 60.97 61.83 63.17

Crude Oil - Floor pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Woodie’s pivot points

2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res
57.55 59.02 59.75 61.22 61.95

Crude Oil - Woodie's pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Camarilla pivot points

4th Sup 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res 4th Res
58.91 59.52 59.72 59.92 60.32 60.52 60.73 61.33

Crude Oil - Camarilla pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Fibonacci retracement levels

0.0% 23.6% 38.2% 50.0% 61.8% 100.0%
58.28 58.80 59.12 59.38 59.64 60.48

Crude Oil - Fibonacci retracement levels as of Dec 31, 2017

Gold

Indicators

Moving Averages RSI Parabolic SAR CCI
Long Overbought Long Long

Gold - Indicators as of Dec 31, 2017

Floor pivot points

3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res
1247.44 1260.29 1281.67 1294.52 1315.90 1328.75 1350.13

Gold - Floor pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Woodie’s pivot points

2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res
1262.42 1285.93 1296.65 1320.16 1330.88

Gold - Woodie's pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Camarilla pivot points

4th Sup 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res 4th Res
1284.21 1293.63 1296.76 1299.90 1306.18 1309.32 1312.45 1321.87

Gold - Camarilla pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Fibonacci retracement levels

0.0% 23.6% 38.2% 50.0% 61.8% 100.0%
1273.15 1281.23 1286.23 1290.27 1294.30 1307.38

Gold - Fibonacci retracement levels as of Dec 31, 2017

Silver

Indicators

Moving Averages RSI Parabolic SAR CCI
Neutral Neutral Long Long

Silver - Indicators as of Dec 31, 2017

Floor pivot points

3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res
15.61 15.94 16.44 16.77 17.27 17.60 18.10

Silver - Floor pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Woodie’s pivot points

2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res
15.98 16.53 16.81 17.36 17.64

Silver - Woodie's pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Camarilla pivot points

4th Sup 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res 4th Res
16.48 16.71 16.79 16.86 17.02 17.09 17.17 17.40

Silver - Camarilla pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Fibonacci retracement levels

0.0% 23.6% 38.2% 50.0% 61.8% 100.0%
16.27 16.47 16.59 16.69 16.78 17.10

Silver - Fibonacci retracement levels as of Dec 31, 2017

Copper

Indicators

Moving Averages RSI Parabolic SAR CCI
Long Overbought Long Neutral

Copper - Indicators as of Dec 31, 2017

Floor pivot points

3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res
314.03 318.05 323.14 327.16 332.25 336.27 341.36

Copper - Floor pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Woodie’s pivot points

2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res
318.32 323.68 327.43 332.79 336.54

Copper - Woodie's pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Camarilla pivot points

4th Sup 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res 4th Res
323.22 325.72 326.56 327.39 329.07 329.90 330.74 333.24

Copper - Camarilla pivot points as of Dec 31, 2017

Fibonacci retracement levels

0.0% 23.6% 38.2% 50.0% 61.8% 100.0%
322.07 324.22 325.55 326.63 327.70 331.18

Copper - Fibonacci retracement levels as of Dec 31, 2017

If you have any questions or comments on this commodity technical analysis, please feel free to reply below.
delay: 1h

The #BitcoinBreakdown: Predicting Bitcoin Prices

The #BitcoinBreakdown:  Predicting Bitcoin Prices

Published December 28, 2017
By Evan McDaniel, @sellputs –

Sometimes you have to say an unfortunate truth:

I see a lot of blowhards on CNBC, the trader’s wallpaper, which I watch most of the day and most every day.  As the Dow has tripled upward since 2009, from less than 7000 to 24000 and rising, these doomsayers have predicted the inevitable correction, sudden bear-market turn or cataclysmic crash, again and again.

They have been wrong, again and again. It would be unkind, in this generous holiday season, to name names, so I won’t do that… besides, you already know who fits the description.

One day the handwringers will be right: A crash will come, it always does. In the meantime, you missed out on HUGE gains if you listened to these on-air doubters. They know that no stockpicker ever got fired for causing a client to miss out on an upside opportunity.  You do get killed, though, especially in a market panic, for meting out advice that results in your client’s losing money on the downside.

So, when chaos or catastrophe descends on the markets, TV gets timid. Most everyone utters solemn and somber warnings of more doom to come. Instead of searching for hope, they keep serving up fearfulness.

This bias toward timidity is something you should keep in mind if you are betting on bitcoin and the pixel pundits start with the dire warnings on the Bitcoin Bubble. You likely will hear all kinds of panicked advice— “You’re dead meat, man! Get out! Get out!!!”—and almost no reassuring words to help you ride out a decline.

Invoke “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”: Don’t Panic.

It is a difficult instruction to follow, given that bitcoin’s main driver is rank emotion and its path is so volatile. Yet volatility is a trader’s opportunity.

Right now, it’s a little scary, compounded by the lack of data to help us predict where bitcoin is headed: scant market data on trading trends, no news events that can be anticipated, no earnings flow on which to slap a multiple as we do for, say, Apple, no new-product unveilings that can stoke a stock price, no prospects for takeover activity.

Making things all the more obtuse is that bitcoin was designed explicitly with an emphasis on secrecy, privacy, encryption and invisibility, making it impossible to trace—so you can’t gauge trading volumes and who’s buying and who’s selling and all those other market hints that accompany stocks, bonds and futures.  In the absence of transparency, rumors run wild with no way to quash them. Emotions dominate.

In part four of this series, we posed a question:

So, what holds up the price of bitcoin? Not GDP growth or earnings at any particular company; not the price of gold. The main thing keeping bitcoin prices aloft is little more than speculative frenzy and the virally spreading desire to own a piece of this newfangled invention.  This is emotional, and it is important to force the emotional to bow to the rational.

Speculative frenzy and human desire: those elements are difficult to quantify and track.  We must look elsewhere for clues to bitcoin’s prognosis—and I have just come across a striking possibility:

Bitcoin has been shadowing the almighty U.S. dollar.  I have put together a chart on this (see above), and it shows a rather cool correlation between the two.  As the U.S. dollar rises against other currencies on the world markets, so that it costs ever more euros, let’s say, to buy dollars, bitcoin rises in pursuit. As the dollar’s strength ebbs a bit and traders pull back, bitcoin prices pull back, as well.

For instance, in the two charts below i have highlighted an interesting (predictive) correlation between the price of bitcoin (tracked by their futures exchange traded derivative counter parts the XBT and BTC contracts, and the US dollar index. With that said, the purple line in both charts is the US dollar index, which as you can see lays directly over the price of bitcoin.

XBT (CBOE) Bitcoin contract. Each candle represents 4 hours. US dollar index is the purple line

This correlation has remained consistent since the listing of the contracts on the CME and CBOE, thus where the dollar goes, bitcoin goes. The US dollar has been downtrending from from the 94 level into its lowest level in months today, $92.19. The Bitcoin index is down 9% today, while the US dollar index is down half a percent. So the correlation ratio is is for every half percent the dollar loses, bitcoin drops around 10-15%, and of course the same hypothesis works on the upside as well. Any rally in the dollar is met with a rally in th US dollar index, as well as the US equity indexes.

BTC (CME) bitcoin contract, each candle also represents 4 hours. US dollar index is the purple line.

It’s a cool correlation, and I’m unsure whether anyone else has noticed this (and I’d like my theory better, perhaps, if someone had). The correlation is all the more surprising given that bitcoin is supposed to be, in some ways, a rival to the dollar, an in-the-cloud play to replace the greenback with something new and vanquish the antiquated notion of a fiat currency based on pieces of paper printed by government.

I have watched this connection between bitcoin and the dollar since bitcoin futures began trading on the CBOE a couple of weeks ago; we shall see if it continues.

The U.S. dollar has been the wind at the back of the U.S. markets and their recovery—and the stunning 5,000-point gain in the Dow Jones Industrial index in the year since Donald Trump got voted into office.  (I recall a Nobel Prize winner in economics, writing for The New York Times and predicting a cataclysmic selloff in stocks if Trump were to win the election. What the Krug, man; the nominating committee wants its medal back.)

Thus, of course, if the dollar falls in value against other currencies, it may be likely that stocks will fall as a result, and so might bitcoin decline, following suit. That means forecasts for the U.S. dollar are worth studying for a possible hint to where bitcoin might go, in puppydog pursuit.

I’d argue that bitcoin is following the U.S. dollar, rather than the dollar following bitcoin.  Bitcoin’s total market cap, at $15,000 per coin for a total 21 million coins in “existence,” is at more than $300 billion, compared with trillions for the equity markets and dollars in circulation.

So, it is as if bitcoin itself has become just another risk asset—and not the mythical cryptocurrency that will supplant the dollar to become the fiat currency of the 21st century. It may turn out that bitcoin most often will track the price path of U.S. dollar and stocks, and like those assets it will run counter to the price direction of gold and bonds

And if bitcoin gets relegated to merely another risk asset alongside stocks, bonds, futures and options and gold, what will make it so special that millions of people desire to own it, so special that its price deserves to go up twenty-fold in a year, as it just did?  Old sayings exist for a reason, no? To wit: Familiarity breeds contempt.

Next up:  Bitcoin catfight: Buy the original or the new kids on the blockchain?

Evan McDaniel, aka @sellputs, is a derivatives trader, algorithm wizard and advisor to hedge funds. You can reach him at evan@hedgeaccording.ly


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Zillow Case-Shiller Forecast: More Solid House Price Gains in November

Zillow Case-Shiller Forecast: More Solid House Price Gains in November

by Bill McBride on 12/28/2017 06:43:00 PM

Friday:
• At 9:45 AM ET, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for December. The consensus is for a reading of 61.8, down from 63.9 in November.

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for October were released on Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Svenja Gudell at Zillow: Case-Shiller October Results and November Forecast: Still Defying Gravity

The last few months of 2017 have clearly demonstrated the extent to which the housing market refuses to be knocked off its stride. Sales of existing homes have risen strongly and unexpectedly, despite a severe and worsening shortage of homes actually available to buy. To cope, buyers simply linger longer on the market, even into the slower winter months if needed.

The Case-Shiller National Index of home prices for October climbed 6.2 percent year-over-year, while its gain from September was 0.7 percent.

The 10-City Composite Index increased 6.0 percent year-over-year and 0.7 percent from September, while the 20-City Composite Index grew 6.4 percent year-over-year and 0.7 percent from September. Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego continued to post the strongest annual gains among the 20 cities, with increases of 12.7 percent, 10.2 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.

Home builders have managed to start construction on more homes than at any point since prior to the recession, despite high and rising land, labor and materials costs. An economy that keeps adding jobs and wages that continue to grow both have consumers feeling confident. And they’re boosted by mortgage interest rates that remain near all-time lows, defying expectations and conventional wisdom alike that both say – and have been saying for years – that rates have to begin rising at some point.

The Zillow forecast is for the year-over-year change for the Case-Shiller National index to be smaller in November than in October.   Zillow is forecasting a larger year-over-year increase for the 10-city index, and a smaller increase for the 20-city index in November.

Zillow forecast for Case-Shiller

Softer Dollar

Softer Dollar

Softer Dollar

December 28, 2017

The dollar is mostly softer. Stocks show little net movement. Ten-year sovereign debt yields have risen, and gold is firmer.

Japanese industrial production grew 0.6% on month and 3.7% on year in November, prompting the first upgraded assessment in 13 months to “picking up” from “signs of picking up.”

Japanese retail sales leaped 1.9% in November, much more than forecast, and were 2.2% higher than a year earlier. Motor vehicle output registered on-year growth of 0.9% in November, least in at least five months.

Austria’s manufacturing purchasing managers index rose 2.4 points to 64.3 in December, a record high.

Russia’s manufacturing PMI increased 0.5 points to a 5-month high of 52.0.

U.S. jobless insurance claims amounted to 245K last week, same as in the previous week.

China’s current account surplus widened to $40.5 billion in the third quarter from $37.1 billion in 2Q.

In the year to November, South Korean retail sales advanced 6.5%, but industrial output fell by 1.6%.

Sweden recorded a larger trade deficit in November, whereas Hong Kong’s trade gap shrunk a bit.

According to the British Bankers Association, mortgage approvals in the latest reported month slipped below 40K.

Tomorrow is the last business day of 2017,

Copyright 2017, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

Tags: Japanese retail sales and industrial output




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Funds short grains

Funds short grains

Corn Fundamental Support: Very calm trade continued in corn on Tuesday as we would expect during this week between holidays. There was some expectation that we might see some fund short covering like we appeared to see Wednesday through the end of the week last week. What is most interesting is that the COT report showed funds as net sellers of 25k giving a new short position of 222k. This is very close to their all-time record of 231k. It is important to look at the details here.

That COT report measured up to Tuesday’s close and the short covering last week didn’t appear to start until Wednesday morning. This is how the COT ended up showing selling even though the week ended with small short covering. Today’s volume of trade was extremely thin even for this time of year which makes it obvious funds were not involved. If funds remain quiet this week direction will be based on Thursday’s ethanol report as well as Friday’s export report. Short term we will also want to watch for spill over influence from beans/wheat as long as corn has little news of its own. RE

Bulls

Ethanol should be strong again this week to allow general support.
Bulls will want to look for more end-of-year short covering but should not anticipate it.
Spill over support would likely be best seen from wheat this week rather than beans if that market can continue grinding higher.

Bears

Best case for bears this week would be if wheat starts to ease back offering spill-over pressure to corn.
Funds were reported short 222k, near the all-time record of 231k. Bears should not expect any additional fund selling this close to record short.

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