The market has had a modest move up this year, but not every stock is drifting higher. There are plenty of stocks that haven't participated in the rally, and dozens that have actually seen their values cut by more than half in 2018.
Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL), Camping World Holdings (NYSE: CWH), and Sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU) have taken a beating this year. They're among the biggest losers through the first three quarters of 2018. Let's go over why I think they have a shot at bouncing back in the next three months.
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Lumber Liquidators: Down 51%
The retailer of hardwood and other flooring solutions just hasn't been the same since a scathing 60 Minutes report called out the toxicity of some of its China-sourced laminates in early 2015. It finally seemed to be turning things around last year. The stock nearly doubled in 2017 as it settled painlessly with the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission over the allegations. Sales moved higher after back-to-back years of declines.
The good times didn't last. Lumber Liquidators has given up all of last year's gains in 2018. Sales continue to move in the right direction, and comps were positive in its latest quarter. The sticking point for investors has been margins. The company fell well short of Wall Street profit targets in the first two quarters of this year, and analysts see the margin pressure continuing in the near term.
There is still time to get things right. The housing industry is still strong and the economic means to spruce up a home's flooring are still in play. Wedbush analyst Seth Basham even noted last month that Lumber Liquidators has the best upside potential among the five home improvement retailers he covers following Hurricane Florence, in light of the spike in demand for flooring following the storm's massive flooding.
Camping World: Down 52%
Selling RVs in a country where retirees are living longer and hungry to explore blue highways seems like a slam dunk. Having a business celebrity as your CEO (Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC's The Profit) is icing on the cake. Camping World went public at $22 two years ago, more than doubling by the end of 2017. It's now back below its IPO price.
Camping World is holding up better than one would expect. Revenue and adjusted earnings rose in the low double digits in its latest quarter. Consolidating the highly fragmented RV retail market is helping boost Camping World's profile, but investors were more concerned about shrinking EBITDA and folks spending less on RVs. The market still hasn't been won over by its move earlier this year to acquire outdoors retailer Gander Mountain. The integration hasn't been as seamless as it's been for purchases of mom-and-pop RV sellers. However, making a bigger bet on outdoor gear makes sense. It will pay off sooner rather than later, and the sell-off this year is overdone.
Sohu.com: Down 54%
Chinese stocks have taken a beating in recent months, but there aren't many that have shed more than half their value, the way that Sohu has in 2018. The provider of online advertising, search, and gaming in the world's most populous nation is trading at 12-year lows.
Slowing growth is a problem. Revenue rose 5% in its latest quarter, clocking in at the low end of its earlier guidance. A juicy 45% increase in search revenue was almost canceled out by double-digit-percentage declines in gaming and brand advertising.
Investors have grown tired of Sohu's continuing quarterly deficits, and taking its gaming and (more recently) search segments public is just making it easier for investors to pick the parts of the company that they want to ride. The real dagger last time out was guidance implying that revenue will decline in the third quarter based on the midpoint of its forecast.
Chinese growth stocks have corrected sharply, only to bounce back even higher. Sohu has a few problems that are unique to its business, but it's a much larger and relevant company now than it was in early 2006 -- the last time that its share price was in the teens.
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