Here’s your Investing Action Plan for Thursday: what you need to know as an investor for the coming day.
X Weight Watchers (WTW) and Planet Fitness (PLNT) are both coming off a big 2017, which saw steep rallies in their shares, but one may offer more potential in 2018 than the other. Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Sonic (SONC) report earnings, and key jobs data are due ahead of Friday’s payroll report from the Labor Department.
Stocks To Watch
Shares of Weight Watchers were down 2.4% at 46.68 on the stock market today, after surging 8% Tuesday on news that DJ Khaled has become a member and is now a social-media ambassador for the provider of weight-control programs.
The stock nearly tripled in 2017 while Nutrisystem (NTRI) climbed 52%, but has essentially moved sideways since August. A new cup-with-handle base failed in October, though another one is forming.
To be sure, Weight Watchers remains a stock to watch, but its massive gain last year and recent sloppiness indicate a longer period of consolidation is possible.
Then there’s Planet Fitness, which operates a chain of “judgment free” gyms. The stock jumped 72% in 2017, and is in the 20%-25% profit-taking zone after clearing a 27.32 flat-base entry in November on a strong Q3 earnings report.
While shares were down 0.5% Wednesday and 4.8% Tuesday on a Jefferies downgrade that cited the risk of increased competition, Planet Fitness appears to be early in its run, unlike Weight Watchers.
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Drugstore giant Walgreens Boots Alliance reports Q1 earnings before the open, and analysts are expecting 15% EPS growth to $1.27 on a 6% revenue gain to $30.33 billion. Watch for any comments about rival CVS Health‘s (CVS) deal to buy Aetna (AET). Rite Aid (RAD) reports late Wednesday.
Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic reports fiscal Q1 results after the close, and analysts expect EPS to climb 4% to 25 cents despite an 18% drop in revenue to $107 million
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports layoffs for December at 7:30 a.m. ET, and ADP releases its private-sector payroll tally at 8:15 a.m., with analysts expecting a gain of 188,000, down slightly from 190,000 in November. At 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department issues its weekly jobless claims report. These data points lead up to the Labor Department’s jobs report on Friday.
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