Forget the bulls, bears and pork bellies --
analyst Felicia Kantor recommends investing in hogs.
hogs, that is. The analyst reiterated her strong buy rating on the company after hitting the road and checking out how Harley was really doing on the retail level. The analyst visited dealerships and found that waiting lists were long, prices were high and demand was robust.
"Harley Davidson is our most compelling buying opportunity in our leisure universe," she wrote to investors this morning. "After visiting 25 dealerships along the East Coast, we learned that waiting lists average one to 1 1/2 years at those dealers selling bikes at the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Dealers selling at a premium do have inventory, though they are pricing their bikes, on average, at 27% above sticker."
That's a pretty good recipe for profits. If you want a hog now, then be prepared to pay more for it. And if you don't want to pay more than the sticker, be prepared to wait. With Harley's 100th anniversary right around the corner, Kantor said that demand would stay robust. New anniversary-themed models hit stores in August 2002, and dealers are clamoring for them.
Harley Davidson releases earnings on April 10.
Airlines face a pretty rough cavalcade of calamity. Labor disputes threaten to grind the industry to a halt, while still-strong fuel prices and poor weather cut into profits. To make matters even worse, America faces a manufacturing recession, which
Glenn Engel believes could cut into airline revenues and profits.
"Even when the economy has avoided recessions, sharp business downturns (1986, 1989, 1995, 1998) have caused revenue comparisons to briefly turn negative. We now forecast revenues to fall 1% year-over-year in the second quarter," he wrote to investors in a note this morning.
He reduced estimates on nine major airlines.
Allied Riser Communications
: DOWN to market outperform from U.S. recommended for purchase list at Goldman Sachs.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
, and DOWN to market outperform from U.S. recommended for purchase list at Goldman Sachs.
: DOWN to neutral at W.R. Hambrecht.
: NEW market perform at Goldman Sachs.
: NEW buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $16.
: NEW buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $24.
Williams Communications Group
: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs; price target: $23.
Credit Suisse First Boston's Phillip Pace took a look at the exploration and production sector and told investors to overweight the sector in a note this morning. In his words, the move was "based primarily on valuation but also with a view that long-term natural gas fundamentals remain positive."
were all raised to strong buy from buy.