Wall Street took another small step back last week. I thought my three stocks to avoid for that week — Opendoor Technologies, Adobe, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store — were going to lose to the market. They fell 15%, 5%, and 7%, respectively, for an average drop of 9% for the week.
The S&P 500 moved 0.2% lower, so I was correct. I’ve been right in 63 of the past 99 weeks, or 64% of the time.
Let’s turn our attention to the current week. I see Stitch Fix (SFIX -3.44%), Steelcase (SCS -0.79%), and Carvana (CVNA -6.55%) as stocks you might want to consider steering clear of this week. Let’s go over my near-term concerns with all three investments.
1. Stitch Fix
They say that a stitch in time saves nine, but a Stitch Fix this time might not be much of a savior. The once fast-growing company that intrigued investors with its stylist-curated outfits by mail just hasn’t gotten its groove back on this end of the pandemic. Even now, with employees heading back to the office, the call for the fashionistas at Stitch Fix has been muted at best.
Stitch Fix has rattled off five consecutive quarters of negative revenue growth, and that’s not much of a fashion statement, as it will probably stretch its streak to six this week. Stitch Fix reports fresh financials after Monday’s close.
Stitch Fix brought in a new CEO this year, its third in as many years. These CEOs have the longevity of Spinal Tap drummers, but at least those lads knew how to keep a beat before expiring. This stock has languished under all the short-lived reigns of fresh leadership. The bottom line is getting better, but this company is still a couple of years away from getting out of the red.
This week’s report promises to be grim. Analysts see revenue plunging 23% from the prior year. They also see losses narrowing, but Stitch Fix is still a couple of years away from profitability. Will it get there? The stock is down 97% — yes, 97% — since peaking in early 2021.
Three CEOs, including the concept’s founder, haven’t been able to fix Stitch Fix. It’s the business model and not the leader that’s broken. This is a company that isn’t likely to regain its relevance now that the novelty is gone.
It’s easy to make a bullish case for Steelcase as it heads into a financial update on Wednesday morning. As a maker of office furniture and other workplace essentials, it’s a smart way to play the return to in-office workspaces. The stock’s 4.5% yield is also pretty juicy, even if it’s now less than what the top money market funds are yielding.
However, analysts see revenue posting a 6% year-over-year revenue decline when it announces its fiscal 2024 second-quarter results this week. Earnings per share should stage a similar retreat. Shouldn’t this be the time for Steelcase to shine? The problem is that companies aren’t investing on updating their working spaces. There were plenty of furnishings collecting no wear and tear during the lull. The economy is also still pretty brittle, and pushback from employees could slow the call back into the office.
A bullish point is that Steelcase has blown past Wall Street profit targets with ease over the past year, by at least 11% over its four previous quarterly reports. That could happen again. However, if revenue comes in weak, that will trump any near-term margin gains. Investors will be more concerned about business going the wrong way, and that could sting Steelcase shareholders.
It’s been a couple of months since I selected Carvana in this column, and that’s a good thing. One of this year’s biggest gainers is an 11-bagger in 2023, and it just keeps revving up. Shares of the used-car retailer have more than doubled this summer.
In Carvana’s defense, the chatter has shifted away from when it will go under to its lofty valuation. It has made the most of its buoyant share price to improve its future prospects. Losses are also narrowing, but this is still a company eyeing a nearly 20% decline in revenue this year.
Carvana finds itself at the intersection of a lot of potentially problematic trends. Big-ticket purchases — even secondhand rides — are challenging in this economic climate. Rising rates makes financing purchases even harder. Auto sales were encouraging last month, but it’s a long road trip. As a high-beta stock with a lot of air in its tires this year Carvana is vulnerable to a correction.
The stock market is always on the move. If you’re looking for safe stocks, you aren’t likely to find them in Stitch Fix, Steelcase, and Carvana this week.
Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Adobe, Opendoor Technologies, and Stitch Fix. The Motley Fool recommends Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and recommends the following options: long January 2024 $420 calls on Adobe and short January 2024 $430 calls on Adobe. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.