I follow quite a lot of companies, so the usefulness of a watchlist to me cannot be overstated. Without my watchlist, I'd be unable to keep up on my favorite sectors and what's really moving the market. Even worse, without my watchlist, I'd be lost when it came time to choose what stock I'm buying or shorting next.
Today is "Watchlist Wednesday," so I'm discussing three companies that have crossed my radar in the past week and at what point I may consider taking action on these calls with my own money. Keep in mind, these aren't concrete buy or sell recommendations, nor do I guarantee I'll take action on the companies being discussed weekly. What I can promise is that you can follow my real-life transactions through my profile, and that I, like everyone else here at The Motley Fool, will continue to hold the integrity of our disclosure policy in the highest regard.
Buffalo Wild Wings (NAS: BWLD)
Springtime weather is in full effect across the nation, and that means big business for the nation's casual-dining restaurants -- especially Buffalo Wild Wings. The company itself has already had an impressive run over the past year, but that doesn't mean it can't continue to motor higher.
Based on comments from Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith, same-store sales through the first six weeks of the ongoing quarter showed growth of 12.9%, which would be far and away higher than in any quarter over the past five years. There's also the fact that many of Buffalo Wild Wings' competitors just aren't executing well at all.
Ruby Tuesday (NYS: RT) pirouetted into the deep end of the pool after its sales missed Wall Street's expectations. Ruby Tuesday's excuse-filled earnings report highlights a trend prevalent among many restaurants: Costs are creeping up more quickly than they can pass them along to customers. This is one key area in which Buffalo Wild Wings is crushing the competition, as it's had no trouble adjusting its prices higher. These are some hot wings indeed!
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYS: CLF)
What, you actually thought I'd give up on my man-crush on anything coal-related? Cliffs Natural, which sells iron ore as well as metallurgical coal, has seen its stock price depressed on worries concerning a slowdown in China's growth. All I can say is "Relax!" -- because Cliffs is in fantastic financial shape and its highly revamped dividend demonstrates this.
Last month, Cliffs instituted a new policy aimed at maximizing shareholder returns, which included a 123% dividend hike. The new quarterly payout of $0.625 is just short of a sevenfold increase since its quarterly payout in February 2010. The steel market will have its own ebb and flow, but I wouldn't get too worked up over China growing GDP by "only" 7.5%. Let's also keep in mind that there are other emerging markets demanding steel in bulk. Cliffs looks like a safe bet moving forward.
Clorox (NYS: CLX)
I can actually hear you yelling through your laptop or iPad screen, "Oh my gosh... Clorox? Borrrrring!" Well guess what? Boring is what will save your behind from these inevitable corrections that we're currently experiencing. While the indexes themselves have dipped in the neighborhood of 4%, Clorox has hardly budged. Why? Because it offers consumer goods that are non-cyclical and that people will need regardless of whether the stock market is up or down for the week.
This boring company is also dipping its toe into the social media pool by targeting its core audience through Facebook digital advertising campaigns. According to Nielsen, the market for online packaged goods is expected to reach $14 billion by 2014 and Clorox has wisely decided to go after its piece of the pie. Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) , another one of those "boring," diversified, non-cyclical companies, opened its own eStore in 2010 to bring its products directly to the consumer. These might still be your grandparents' companies in many ways, but they're doing their best to reach out to younger generations, so take notice!
Is my bullishness or bearishness misplaced? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and consider following my cue by using the links below to add these three companies to your free personalized watchlist to keep up on the latest news with each company.
Add Buffalo Wild Wings to My Watchlist.
Add Cliffs Natural Resources to My Watchlist.
Add Clorox to My Watchlist.
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He's a total nerd when it comes to making lists. 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 owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Buffalo Wild Wings and Procter & Gamble, as well as writing covered calls on Buffalo Wild Wings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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 that believes transparency comes first.
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