Why Amedisys, LightInTheBox, and Manitowoc Are Today's 3 Best Stocks

The S&P trudges its way to a small gain, while Amedisys, LightInTheBox, and Manitowoc surge by double-digit percentages.

Jun 27, 2014 at 5:15PM

The broad-based S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) may continue to pull rabbits out of its economic hat in order to justify new all-time highs, but this week went to the bears. The iconic index advanced on Friday, but ended the week slightly lower.

Longview

The big news event of the day was the end-of-the-month release of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer confidence figure, which came in at a reading of 82.5 for June. This compares favorably with the reading of 81.2 for May, and essentially matched the Street's consensus estimates. Rising consumer confidence signals a more positive short-term and long-term economic outlook for consumers, and may be enough to entice them to spend more. Since our economy is so intricately tied to consumer spending, a rising consumer confidence reading might signal that consumption is about to surge higher.

Despite this positive data, the S&P 500 spent most of its day in negative territory before trudging its way higher by 3.74 points (0.19%), to close at 1,960.96. The index is now up in eight of the past 11 sessions.

Topping all individual stock gainers today was home health and hospice care provider Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED), which advanced 29.8% after it favorably updated its second-quarter guidance. Following care-center consolidation, as well as general and administrative expense cuts, Amedisys announced before the opening bell that it now anticipates reporting $300 million-$305 million in revenue, and $0.15-$0.20 in operational EPS for the quarter. Comparatively, Wall Street was looking for breakeven EPS, and close to $297 million in revenue, so this was a sizable beat.

Www
Source: MyFuture.com, Flickr.

However, as I mentioned earlier today, getting a read on home-health stocks like Amedisys can be challenging. While an aging and growing population should create ample opportunities for the home-health sector to grow over the long run, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid stemming from the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and spending cuts in Congress could weigh on companies like Amedisys going forward.

Not far behind Amedisys was China-based e-commerce retailer LightInTheBox (NYSE:LITB), which gained 25.6% after it, too, raised its second-quarter guidance. Shortly before the opening bell, LightInTheBox announced that it now anticipates $86 million-$88 million in revenue for Q2, implying year-over-year sales growth of 19%-22%, up from its prior forecast of $84 million-$86 million. By comparison, Wall Street was forecasting just $84.8 million in revenue. LightInTheBox attributed its improved performance on improved product offerings and enhanced customer experiences with the site. While always cautious of Chinese small caps, I'd certainly suggest adding LightInTheBox to your watchlist, as its growth potential is intriguing. If it can successfully turn the corner to profitability next year as expected, it could be quite the bargain at its current price.

Images

Source: Free photos & art, Flickr.

Finally, Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW), a supplier of industrial cranes and foodservice equipment, added 10.8% on the day after investment firm and Manitowoc shareholder Relational Investors suggested that Manitowoc spin off or sell its foodservice business. As my Foolish colleague Travis Hoium pointed out earlier, investors reacted strongly to the fact that Manitowoc retained Goldman Sachs as its advisor, meaning the company is taking the prospect of a sale or spinoff very seriously. If Manitowoc were able to separate its two businesses, it's likely that shareholder value would be created simply from investors getting a more transparent view of where and how the company generates its sales and profits. At a trailing 12-month P/E of 36, this might be Manitowoc's only chance to head higher in the near term, as its shares look fully valued otherwise.

These three stocks delivered hefty gains today, but keeping pace with this Warren Buffett darling stock over the long run may prove impossible! 
Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000 per hour. (That's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!) And Warren Buffett is so confident in this company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. An exclusive, brand-new free Motley Fool report details this company that already has over 50% market share. Just click HERE to discover more about this industry-leading stock... and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable landslide of profits!

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers