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After a bit of a hiatus, the week’s coming earnings are once again back on my radar. As we head into this week (October 17) it’s a notable stretch for finance companies like Bank of America
, Charles Schwab, Goldman Sachs, NASDAQ
, and American Express
. The finance space is undeniably fascinating and one to watch, but my primary focus remains on the consumer and retail space for a few reasons. This past month’s Census Bureau retail findings (more on that later, I promise) revealed key news about what consumers are willing to buy right now. That consumer choice has a direct impact that helps to form a clearer understanding not only of what consumers prize but also of the finances involved. Earnings also help contribute to the quest. Here are some consumer-related stocks I will be watching this week and my question.

United Airlines-Reporting Tuesday After Close

American Airlines/Alaska Airlines

-Reporting Thursday Before Open

Why: It’s understood that airlines and their peers suffered specific challenges and financial fallout during the height of COVID-19, but the aftershock that carried over into this past summer’s travel season was, to say the least, a “pain point.” Delays, lost luggage, staff shortages, and straight up cancellations became the situation du jour at airports across the globe, but an increasing number of consumers continued the uptick in their demand for tickets outta Dodge or for business travel accommodations, especially when compared to summer 2020. Air travel still often remains the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B despite inconveniences, and as the globe heads toward the collective Holiday and Winter high season travel period, there is plenty of reason to keep an eye out.

My Question: How much did the last quarter’s issues impact these companies’ bottom lines and what are they planning to do for the upcoming major travel windows like Holiday, Winter, and even Spring Break?

JB Hunt-Reporting Tuesday After Close


-Reporting Thursday After Close

Why: Shipping! If you follow what’s been going on in the world of shipping, at some point, you might have gotten a little bit of whiplash. Consider the obstacles: port disruption, supply chain fallout, potential labor shortages, and so forth, and it’s easy to see why some companies have opted to lease their own barges and open up more fulfillment centers to help ease any shipping woes. Even though JB Hunt is primarily trucking and CSX is affiliated with rail transportation, together they are a dynamic duo that tells us more about the current state of shipping overall.

My Question: How did these two handle the aforementioned issues, et al, and what were the impacts? Can they see a way forward?


P&G-Reporting Wednesday Before Open

Why: P&G is a legacy name in consumer goods and staples. With costs going up across-the-board as consumers have less spend power, consumer staples are often immune or protected from being dealbreakers. Instead, the consumer discretionary sector feels the squeeze. P&G also landed on Forbes Advisor’s Best Consumer Staple Stocks of 2022 list, further indicating that there’s strength in simple things dubbed necessities like paper goods and shampoo.

My Question: With inflation where it is and consumer needs continuing despite that, is the impact a negative or positive for P&G?


-Reporting Thursday After Close

Why: Whirlpool made my list last time around when I noted that headwinds in the sector included materials costs and inventory shortages. My question then tackled supply and demand and wondered how they intended to cope going forward, a theme I return to often with this question session. On the company’s conference call, Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer acknowledged the woes, but added, “thanks to our strong balance sheet, transformation efforts, and the hard work of the team, Whirlpool continues to perform better today than in the past and we will see a record performance over the medium term.” Bitzer also shared that raw material inflation was a “significant headwind” that created a negative impact at Whirlpool to the tune of 750 basis points.

My Question: This time around, what new issues, if any, presented themselves and how has Whirlpool fared in light of them?

Winnebago-Reporting Wednesday Before Open

Las Vegas Sands-Reporting Wednesday After Close

Why: If there was a “tug-of-war” happening in consumer discretionary, I’d put these two as competitors on opposite sides of the line. You can’t get more different yet versatile when considering these two. Winnebago was a huge winner during the COVID-19 days as the company saw an increasing number of people hitting the road in their vehicles. But the more indoor venues suffered a decline since customers opted to skip conventions, avoid indoor venues, and opt for at-home entertainment instead in some instances. The recovery and rebound for indoor spaces of leisure and entertainment has no doubt begun, but the RV craze still rolls on.

My Question: Mostly, I’m fascinated about the consumer demand story at both companies during this past quarter. Summer is made for adventure and travels, so where did people go and how did they get there?

Before we wrap this week’s earnings to ponder up, other names I’m watching include Netflix
, Samuel Adams, SNAP, and Albertsons
. Given the market flux, it’s anybody’s guess how these and all companies’ reports this week will fare, but take heart. Either way, the quarterly reports will help to shed some necessary light on consumer spending and priorities.


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