The stock market rose broadly, though incrementally, on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 advancing 0.03% and the Nasdaq
On Thursday, the Labor Department released that initial jobless claims for the previous week came in at 340,000, marking a new low in the post-pandemic era. This sets the stage for Friday’s August nonfarm payroll report, which is expected to reflect around 720,000 new jobs added in the month. Additionally, economists predict that the headline unemployment rate will have fallen from 5.4% to 5.2%.
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Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)
Costco Wholesale Corporation nicked up 0.2% Wednesday to $456.52 with 1.3 million shares on the docket. The stock climbed an additional 1% Thursday to $460.97, leaving it up 22.3% for the year and nearly $13 over the 22-day price average. Costco trades at 40.8x forward earnings.
Costco is trending this week after instituting purchase limits on some items in response to the delta variant’s resurgence. According to its website, Costco noted that “some warehouses may have temporary item limits on select items.” Currently, the wholesale warehouse chain has not indicated which items might see limits. But if panic-buying trends from 2020 repeat themselves, consumers may find shelves empty of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bottled water.
Over the last three fiscal years, Costco’s revenue has grown almost 32% from $141.6 billion to $166.8 billion, with operating income climbing 55% from $4.5 billion to $6 billion. Meanwhile, per-share earnings climbed 50% from $7.09 to $9.02. Return on equity is the only metric we track that dipped, from 26.3% to 23.7%.
At this time, Costco’s forward 12-month revenue is expected to grow around 5% in the next year. Our AI rates this wholesale retailer A in Low Volatility Momentum and C in Technicals, Growth, and Quality Value.
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation (AP)
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation closed up 0.8% Wednesday to $4.84, trading 21,102 shares on the day to fall flat with its 10-day average. The stock sits down 11.7% for the year.
Ampco-Pittsburgh is a specialty steel manufacturer that sells high-performance products and customized equipment globally. It’s a leading producer of items such as open-die forged products and cast rolls for customers in the steel, aluminum, plastic, and oil and gas industries. Ampco-Pittsburgh operates out of plants in the United States, England, and Sweden, as well as select ventures in Slovenia and China.
The company has been trending off and on ever since releasing its Q2 2021 earnings report. The specialty steel manufacturer listed sales of $92.4 million in the quarter and a net income of 5 cents per share, or $1.1 million.
Over the last three fiscal years, Ampco-Pittsburgh’s revenue slipped from $419 million to $329 million, with operating income halving from $11 million to $5.5 million. In the same period, per-share earnings sunk to a tenth of their former glory at 54 cents. Return on equity plunged to nearly a third of its previous high, too, from 34.2% to 13%.
Currently, our AI rates Ampco-Pittsburgh C in Low Volatility Momentum and Quality Value and D in Growth. Our algorithms declined to give a value in Technicals at this time.
Caesars Entertainment, Inc (CZR)
Caesars Entertainment, Inc nipped up 0.3% to $101.89 per share with 1.8 million trades on the docket, with Thursday’s session seeing gains of 1.6%. Caesars is trading substantially above its 10- and 22-day price averages of $95.88 and $92.15, respectively. The stock sits up 39.4% for the year and trades at 138.76x forward earnings.
Caesars Entertainment is trending this week after cancelling the QAnon-hosted “For God & Country Patriot Double Down” conference that was set to occur at their Las Vegas property in mid-October. The organizing group, Patriot Voice, had initially sold tickets ranging in price from $650 to $3,000, though the ticket function on their website no longer works.
Patriot Voice had arranged for two guest speakers of note: the Trump administration’s short-lived national security advisor Michael Flynn, as well as pornography guru-cum-forum creator Jim Watkins, who designed 8kun where the anonymous “Q” posts their conspiracy theories.
In the last three fiscal years, Caesar’s revenue has soared 248% from $2 billion to $3.5 billion, with per-share earnings surging from $1.22 to $13.52 and return on equity climbing from 9.6% to 57.2%. But in the same period, operating income plunged to just over a tenth its former price to $38 million compared to $341 million three years prior.
At this time, Caesars Entertainment is expected to see 12-month revenue growth around 11.6%. Our AI rates this stock B in Technicals and F in Growth, Low Volatility Momentum, and Quality Value.
Nordstrom, Inc (JWN)
Nordstrom, Inc slipped 0.7% to $28.41 per share on Wednesday, ending the day with 5.2 million trades on the books. The stock sits down $3 from its 10-day price average and 9% for the year. Currently, Nordstrom trades at 13x forward earnings.
Nordstrom has been trending – and downward, we might add – ever since the company’s Q2 2021 earnings report, which marked revenue that fell below 2019 levels. Several analysts have since put words to the market’s response, noting that although the company beat Wall Street estimates, its recovery has lagged that of its peers.
For the quarter, total company net sales increased 101% compared to the year-ago quarter, though sales decreased 6% compared to the same quarter in 2019. Meanwhile, net income came in at $80 million compared to a net loss of $255 million in Q2 2020.
Over the last three fiscal years, Nordstrom’s revenue sank from $15.9 billion to $10.7 billion. Operating income saw a less drastic decline from $837 million to $822 million. But in the same period, per-share earnings surged from $3.32 to $4.39, while return on equity leapt to 107.5% compared to 61%.
At this time, Nordstrom is expected to see forward 12-month revenue growth around 2.6%. Our AI rates this struggling retailer C in Technicals and Quality Value and D in Growth and Low Volatility Momentum.
Pfizer, Inc (PFE)
Pfizer, Inc nicked down 0.07% Wednesday, closing out the session at $46.04 with 32.9 million trades on the docket. The stock gained 1.7% Thursday, trending up 27.3% for the year to within a dollar of its 10- and 22-day price averages. Currently, Pfizer trades at 10.9x forward earnings.
Pfizer is trending this week after announcing on Wednesday that it’s implementing trials for their experimental oral antiviral, which blocks a key enzyme that the Covid-19 virus uses to multiply. It’s latest mid-to-late-stage trial will involve giving its new pill plus a dose of ritonavir, which is used in combination treatments to target HIV, to 1,140 non-hospitalized patients with mild Covid-19 infections.
If successful, Pfizer’s pill will mark the first easy-to-administer oral treatment for the disease. However, the company is far from the only one pursuing novel Covid-19 treatments – on the same day, Merck
Over the last three fiscal years, Pfizer’s revenue grew from $40.8 billion to $41.9 billion, with operating income climbing from $7.4 billion to $10.1 billion. In the same period, EPS dropped ten cents to $1.71, though return on equity nearly doubled from 5.7% to 11%.
At this time, Pfizer is expected to see around 2.1% revenue growth over the next year. Our AI rates this pharmaceutical company A in Growth and Low Volatility Momentum and D in Technicals and Quality Value.
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