High-end housewares company Williams-Sonoma (WSM) has been a best-in-breed consumer cyclical stock this year. W hile the rest of the industry slipped almost 4% since January, WSM is up more than 7% over the same stretch. That makes Williams-Sonoma another name that's holding up its momentum in 2014, even if many investors would consider it an unexpected addition to our Rocket Stocks list.
Williams-Sonoma operates 585 stores across the world under the Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Rejuvenation brands. The firm is also one of the largest e-commerce sellers of home furnishings. WSM sells brand name kitchenware, furniture, and accessories, and as a result, it's able to bring thick margins to the bottom line. International growth has been a major catalyst for upside, and WSM's decision to get exposure to the Middle East through franchises is an excellent low-risk way to gain exposure to emerging market growth without making huge investments.
Financially, Williams-Sonoma is in stellar shape. The firm has historically avoided borrowing to grow its store footprint, and as a result, the firm has a balance sheet with more than $330 million in cash and less than $4 million in debt. With rising analyst sentiment in WSM this week, we're betting on shares of this Rocket Stock.