A couple of weeks ago, my son told me about an episode of “South Park,” where the character Cartman was roped into a vegan diet by his girlfriend.
He comes up with a brilliant idea to tell her he discovered a vegan version of Kentucky Fried Chicken: “Beyond” KFC.
I thought about this yesterday, as shares of Blue Apron (APRN) raced 80% higher on the news they would start using Beyond Meat (BYND) products.
The stock settled down to +36% by the closing bell, but that spike was mind-boggling. There is no doubt the growing ‘healthy living and eating’ movement that includes veganism and organic food is sweeping the nation. However, I think the move in Blue Apron spoke to something beyond healthy eating.
The spurt higher underscores a growing appetite among the increasing pool of would-be stock market bottom-fishers seeking value. For some, the word “value” means depressed and underperforming. For me, however, it’s about stocks that have unrealized potential held back by several possible issues, including the history of poor management execution.
What’s remarkable with the stock market is how quickly real value ideas can spurt higher. Consider that in the past year, Delta Airlines (DAL) and Walmart (WMT) struggled with several experts telling investors to avoid them.
They are now changing hands at all-time highs. It happens in the blink of an eye.
I got nervous and issued an alert, saying we are taking profits in the model portfolio on Cintas (CTAS), one of my favorite and proxy for the working men and women in America because of increased volatility. This morning, the stock is going to open substantially higher. What Delta, Walmart, and Cintas all have in common is their businesses are growing organically.
They are great American businesses that have stumbled from time to time and saw exaggerated selling in their underlying shares. The Wall Street reactions are almost always overdone. Once stocks stumble, they become vulnerable until they stop dropping and investors tend to stop paying attention.
Value is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess, but it doesn’t mean taking exaggerated risks. Buying shares in great, proven companies seem boring, and they don’t pop 35% in a day – but give them more time.
Rally Takes a Break
Yesterday, market breadth was more bearish than the print of major indices at the close, but the value theme ruled. Material and Industrials led the way, and after the close, United Airlines (UAL) posted strong results. It’s consolidation time in general, but there is a lot of money out there eager to catch up.
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