When the CEO talks, it is good to listen. That is especially true when it is concerning the recommendations of Brian S. Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. Ranked 59 of 2376 analysts, Brian has a 60% success rate of recommended stocks and has been on a roll lately. While most people start the New Year buying, Brian has taken a different approach: out with the old, in with the new. As such, this year, Brian has used his recommendations to SELL stocks that he does not deem up to par, including a timely J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) call.
Since the star of the year, Brian corrected recommended six out of his past seven recommendations.
Starting the year off right, Brian recommended to SELL J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), explaining that he doesn’t have high hopes for the chain, but maybe they can turn things around by the end of 2014,. “If J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) can keep posting double-digit sales gains by the third quarter of 2014 and selling things at 40 and 50% off they could turn profitable by the holiday quarter of 2014.” This recommendation netted Brian +18.5% over the S&P 500! On January 10th he reiterated his J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) SELL rating, resulting in an additional +16.1% return.
Having an interest in chain stores (or, at least selling their stocks), on January 6th Brian recommended to SELL Sears Holidngs (SHLD) due to a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, “Sears’ worse-than-expected financials in 2013, and in spite of ample access to liquidity, yields on the company’s debt have crept higher…. Poor inventory planning systems/process…[and] basic Craftsman hardware out of stock.” This recommendation earned Brian a return of +16.5%.
While Brian is currently enjoying a +5.3% return from his SELL recommendation for Target (TGT), 0.9% after recommending SELL Family Dollar (FDO) and +1.4% for SELLing Aeropostale (ARO), Brian is currently down -4.1% from his recommendation to SELL Best Buy (BBY).
On January 30th, Brian recommended to SELL BBY due to Best Buy’s Mobile store strategy. “In light of Best Buy signaling to the Street that another significant restructuring plan was in the works recently, and considering that Best Buy Mobile was opened aggressively under former CEO Brian Dunn, we have reason to believe there is a broader internal re-think into operating a good portion of these stores,” Brian explained.
Since this recommendation, stock has gone up, resulting in a loss for Brian. However, as the days go by, will Brian’s assessment of Best Buy prove accurate, or will Best Buy prove Brian wrong and show the strength of the company?
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