It’s that time of year, when we get ready for a big holiday party. I’m talking about the Santa Claus rally. And you know what you don’t want to be holding during such a rally? Turkeys! I mean the stocks that WON’T rally with Santa.
Strictly speaking, the Santa Claus rally usually comes in the last two weeks of December. Some years, Santa comes early. Sometimes, he doesn’t come at all! But considering that the S&P 500 was up 15.5% through mid-November, Santa might be extra nice to us this year.
But I can think of three turkeys that you don’t want to own. Give them the ax!
Let’s go over my naughty list …
Turkey #1: Tesla
It’s no secret that I think Tesla (Nasdaq; TSLA) is on the road to ruin. I made this point during my recent speech on energy metals in Vancouver. And I pounded the table about this in a column on Aug. 30. Tesla made a double top very soon after that, and is down about 20% from its top.
Can this elite, beloved carmaker go lower? Yes! Why? Competition.
See, Tesla was unique for a long time. But going forward, it isn’t going to be the only girl at the dance.
GM makes about as many cars in three days as Tesla made all of last year. GM just announced plans for 20 new all-electric models by 2023, including two within the next 18 months.
Meanwhile, the world’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, plans to offer 80 new electric car models by 2025.
In fact, every major carmaker is exiting the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) highway and taking a fast detour to electric city.
Sure, Tesla is rolling out a new electric semi truck. But it’s also facing serious delays on production of its Model 3. I think investors will get tired of this in a hurry – and send Tesla lower.
Tesla gets a “D+” from Weiss Ratings. That’s a “sell.” That seems right to me.
Turkey #2: Kohl’s
The American retail business is a knife fight. I see only three real winners: Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD). They’re feeling stabby, and not taking prisoners.
That leaves losing combatants bleeding all over the place. Look at the horrific bloodshedding at Office Depot (Nasdaq: ODP), Macy’s (NYSE: M) or Target (NYSE: TGT).
One “loser” has managed to stem the bleeding recently. Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS). Some big hedge funds have piled in. They think Kohl’s partnership with Amazon will save its bacon. Kohl’s is selling the e-commerce giant’s products in some stores and accepting returns from Amazon customers.
Kohl’s has a dividend over 5%. Revenues went up in the last quarter. Recently, it was 24% off its 52-week lows.
So what’s not to like? Plenty.
I believe that rise in the share price comes from hedge fund managers and others in the white-shoe crowd taking positions and talking the stock up. They’ll sell to the retail crowd as the Santa rally roars into town.
Meanwhile, Kohl’s gross margin is declining. It can’t compete with the big boys like Wal-Mart and Amazon. And its profits are getting squeezed mercilessly.
So, I expect this stock to rally into year end, then go on the discount rack as reality sets in and earnings roll around.
Kohl’s rates a “C” in Weiss Ratings, which is a “hold.” But I think that rating will be ripe for review in the new year.
Turkey #3: Antero Midstream GP
I believe we are in the next leg of the oil and gas bull market. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the U.S. is the new Saudi Arabia. So, oil and gas companies that can’t pull their weight should be dumped without mercy. You want to concentrate on the movers and shakers, not the losers and fakers.
Antero Resources (NYSE: AR) is a big U.S. natural gas producer. Its midstream assets are handled by Antero Midstream Partners (NYSE: AM). And Antero Midstream GP (NYSE: AMGP) is the general partner of Antero Midstream. It IPO’d earlier this year and it’s been on a bumpy road lower since.
I think it’s going much lower yet.
Antero Midstream GP missed its last earnings estimate. In a rising oil and gas price environment, how did that happen? I bet they’ll miss next time, too.
The company is burdened with debt. And it is closely linked with Antero Resources, which has its own struggles.
Here’s one example: If Antero Midstream GP is anything like its parent company, it’s going to see shareholder dilution. Antero went from 277 million shares in mid-2016 to 315 million shares recently.
Antero Midstream GP just made its debut in June. It’s not on the right path. I’d stay away from this turkey.
Weiss Ratings gives Antero Midstream GP a “D+”, or “sell” rating.
The bottom line is there are plenty of great oil and gas companies to ride this new bull market. So why waste your time with a turkey like Antero Midstream GP?
Many markets are looking bullish right now. I can see tremendous, positive trends in energy metals, solar and renewables, electric vehicles, and tech of all sorts. Gold is starting to shine again. And energy is hot and getting hotter.
In that kind of environment, you want to soar with the reindeer. The turkeys will only drag you down.
All the best,