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Focus on General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM)

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We are going to take a deep look at General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) to get a better view of the company and its prevailing status, as well as the prospect it may offer for investors. Today’s prime focus will be a fundamental assessment of the equity from top to bottom.

As such, let’s begin with the top line, i.e. revenue trends. Last quarter, the firm saw its overall revenue come at $36.98B. That represents a change in revenues, on a quarterly/yearly basis, of -0.15%. If it is translated into sequential terms, the firm witnessed sales decline by -0.11% from quarter to quarter.

It’s important to track the top line data. There’s no better way to compute the end market’s reception of a firms products. But no one wins without bottom line performance, which is what is required to look at next. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is intriguing when segregated to its core data. The cost of selling goods in preceding quarter was $31.19B, resulting in a gross basic income of $5.79B. For shareholders, provided the total diluted due shares of 1.52B, this means earnings per share of $1.64. Note, this assesses with a consensus analyst projection of $1.40 in EPS for its next quarterly report.

Given that data, now is the time to turn to a thorough glance across analyst projections for the firm going forward. At present, analysts have a consensus average recommendation of Overweight. This is grounded on a total of 26 analyst. While we don’t recommend taking analyst calls as face value strategies for action in a portfolio, we do consider it is vital to note where consensus is on an equity to understand what basic assumptions are possibly already discounted into the pricing of shares. As far as price targets, market analysts have an average target of $39.94. In addition, for next year, estimates of a fiscal year forecast is 5.89 in total EPS. On a median price to earnings ratio, that outlook results in a valuation of $6.42 times earnings.

For General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), the firm presently holds around $18.38B in cash. That cash is balanced against around $30.01B in total current liabilities. The firm’s debt is $growing, while total assets are $240.3B balanced by total liablities of $194.58B. The free cash flow last quarter was $(1.79B), representing a net change in cash of $4B. On a net operating level, the cash flow was about $5.52B.

Let’s take a look at the technical analysis. The Barchart Technical Opinion rating is a 96% Buy with a Strongest short term outlook on maintaining the current direction. Longer term, the trend strength is in the Top 1%. Long term indicators fully support a continuation of the trend. The market is in highly overbought territory. Beware of a trend reversal.

We will apprise the interesting story of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) as new events transpire.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of argusjournal.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please click HERE

I graduated from UCSD with a degree in Journalism. With more than 5 years of experience in freelance journalism, my forte is covering stock fundamentals.

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Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) under the microscope

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In the spirit of strong objective analysis, we are going to take a close look at Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) from a technical chartist point of view today.

In short, technical analysis assumes that all publicly available facts about a stock are already discounted by knowledgeable buyers and sellers. And it is from there that the real work begins: examining the stocks behavior on the chart.

As such, we will begin with a quick check of the primary oscillators: the 14-day Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) and the 20-day fast stochastic. Both of these measures report on the degree to which a security is overbought or oversold ie, whether it has gone too far too fast in one direction or the other, and some kind of mean-reversion is called for. In each case, an indicator score of above 75 is considered overbought, while a score under 25 is considered oversold. In the case of Micron Technology Inc., the 14-day RSI stands at 41.85%, while the past month of action shows a score of 17.52% on the fast stochastic.

Well, what if we now look away from mean-reversion and towards the concept of trend That comprises our next step. To do this, we will start off by examining the most common systematic technical method of determining the direction of long-term trend in a stock: moving averages.

In the most basic sense, we can see that MU has recently been exhibiting a bearing on the chart that suggests an overall bullish mode of behavior. This read comes from a look at the relative positioning of the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages: if the 50-day is trading above the 200-day, momentum is to the upside making a bull case for trend; if the 50-day is trading below the 200-day, momentum is to the downside, making a bear case for trend. In this example, that system makes a bullish case, which naturally implies a positive money flow scenario for the stock.

So, we’ve spent some time looking at price as a factor. But what about volume In fact, many technicians view volume as more important than price. Volume defines the total level of participation involved in a stock. Its a coefficient of meaning that should be metaphorically multiplied times price action to equal conviction. In this case, we want to examine relative volume measures to get a feel for interest in the stock of late. Right now, this stock has been showing strong relative volume, which indicates interest among those making a market for shares of the stock.

Next, we will turn to key levels. We always like to start this with a look at the key Fib levels. Fib refers to Fibonacci, which is the number series that works toward a ratio limit of the Golden Ratio, often found as a key in nature as well as markets. In this case, the critical 38.2% level drawn off the 52-week high of $49.89 sits at $37.93. MU also has additional resistance above at the stocks 200-day simple moving average, which sits at $ 32.73.

While price action, trends, and volume are important, for traders, volatility may be as important as anything in defining the potential opportunity in a stock. Hence, we want to take a moment and consider this stocks overall range of movement, as well as its relative performance.

MU has moved $-1.49 over the past month or so. Over the trailing 100 days, the stock is outperforming the S&P 500 by 23.73%. This movement has come on a more volatile bearing from one day to the next relative to the broader market, according to the stocks 36-month beta. Similarly, we can see that the stocks recent action has come on a historical volatility score of 49.81%. To get that score, one has to take the standard deviation of returns for a random trading input assuming buying the stock at a given average price during the specified period.

On a more basic level, one might look at the 20-day ATR as a percentage of its 20-day moving average. That measure gives us a volatility score of 3.77%. Naturally, we will continue to keep close tabs on the stock and update this picture again soon.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of argusjournal.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please click HERE

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) : A Birds Eye View on Fundamental Trends

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Todays object of technical analysis is Microsoft Corporation (MSFT). After one does a thorough job of checking for chinks in the armor on the fundamental side, the work of due diligence is only just beginning. The next step is to make sure the technical character of the chart matches the story in an advantageous way. We will look at some of the key points in that analysis today for MSFT.

First off, when looking at the overall directional impact of recent money flows, we will use the relative positioning of the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages. In other words, if the 50-day moving average is trading above the 200-day, it is traditionally seen as a bullish chart trend. Conversely, if the 50-day moving average is trading below the 200-day, it is traditionally labeled a bearish trend or bearing.

In this case, for MSFT, that adds up to a bullish designation, which suggests that flows have been working in an overall positive direction on the chart. With that established, the question now turns to whether or not key indicators suggest the action has pushed too far too fast, leading to a statistically likely mean-reversion probability going forward.

For that, we rely on our key overbought/oversold oscillators. There are many out there, but we prefer the 14-day Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) and the 20-day ?fast stochastic?. For both of these measures, if we see a score above 75 (overbought) or below 25 (oversold), history suggests one is wise to expect some reversion to the mean. For MSFT, the 14-day RSI shows a score of 48.73%, while the 20-day fast stochastic shows a score of 38.48%.

From there, we want to next turn our attention to relative performance and volatility scoring, or Beta. Microsoft Corporation has moved -2.24 over the past month or so. Over the trailing 100 days, the stock is outperforming the S&P 500 by 5.35.

This movement has come on a less volatile bearing from one day to the next relative to the broader market, according to the stock?s 36-month beta. In addition, we can see that the stock?s recent action has come on a historical volatility score of 18.97% (as indicated by taking the standard deviation of returns for a random trading input assuming buying the stock at a given average price during the specified period). Furthermore, the 20-day ATR as a percentage of the 20-day moving average grants another key view into relative volatility scoring. By that measure, we reach a score of 1.47%.

That brings us neatly to an examination of key levels of support and resistance on the chart. For this, we generally bias toward range markets, fib levels, and moving averages. In any of these cases, it?s important to understand that the concept of support and resistance is a bit like what we might call ?social gravity?. It?s a game theory concept. It?s the point where people assume other people will be acting.

Keynes called this type of logic the beauty contest. The idea is based on a fictional newspaper contest in which people are asked to pick which of a series of pictures of women?s faces will be the most popular picks for ?most beautiful?. Given that the winner will be someone who guesses what other people picked the most, the goal has nothing to do with picking the most beautiful face. It is figuring out which picture the most other people will think the most other people will think is the most beautiful. This is called ?recursive logic?. And it forms the basis for key support and resistance in markets as well.

In short, popular meeting points on the chart tend to be established either where they have been before (range extremes), or at key Fibonacci levels or moving averages. In this case, the critical 38.2% level drawn off the 52-week high of $86.20 sits at $76.12. MSFT also has additional resistance above at the stock?s 200-day simple moving average, which sits at $ 72.30.

Lastly, we need to quickly cover relative volume. Here, we want to examine relative volume measures to get a feel for interest in the stock of late. Right now, this stock has been showing strong relative volume, which indicates interest among those making a market for shares of the stock, and that should be seen as a key factor in drawing conclusions about your level of interest as well.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of argusjournal.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please click HERE

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Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) on life support?

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We turn our attention to the charts today. Technical analysis. It?s the artistic side of the analysis. Here, we deal with lines and angles and patterns. Here, we try to listen to the market; to hear its opinion of a stock, quite independent of the seeming facts of the business. Here, we look to paint a picture, as it were. Today?s subject in this exercise is Marriott International, Inc. (MAR).

Let?s start with a quick evaluation of relative volume measures. Here, we want to examine the degree to which traders, investors, and money managers are more or less interested over the past month in transacting in this security. At this point, this stock has been showing weak relative volume, which indicates lack of interest among those participating in the market for shares of MAR over the past month. That sets us up to look at relative performance of the stock along with range and volatility measures. This boils down to the concept of what is known as ?beta?.

First off, we can readily state the facts on relative performance. MAR has moved +6.72 over the past month or so. Over the trailing 100 days, the stock is outperforming the S&P 500 by 19.81. As to the point of beta, we can see the stock has been generally moving more than the rest of the market on a day to day basis. That is according to the 36-month beta score. Another way to look at this is through taking the standard deviation of returns calculated as representing a hypothetical buyer of the stock at a random point at a given average price during the specified period. That gives us a historical volatility score of 13.87%. Finally, in this class of data, we can look at the 20-day ATR as a percentage of the 20-day moving average, which gives us a natural volatility score of 1.56%.

Now, it?s time to look at trend and extent of movement. From a certain point of view, these are the natural opposites in technical analysis. On the one hand, we know experienced traders and technical manuals teach us that ?the trend is your friend.? However, at the same time, we know it?s wise to fade extreme, overdone movement. That posits a natural tension for analysts, and unfortunately, the best we can do is to look at the facts.

In the first place, the broad impact of money flows should be viewed through the tried-and-tested lens of moving average analysis. In this case, we look at the relative positioning of the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages. In other words, if the 50-day moving average is trading above the 200-day, it is traditionally seen as a bullish chart trend. Conversely, if the 50-day moving average is trading below the 200-day, it is traditionally labeled a bearish trend or bearing. For MAR, that adds up to a bullish designation, which suggests that flows have been working in an overall positive direction on the chart.

To counter that notion, we now turn to a look at mean reversion oscillators. Our key indicators of note attempt to score the action as to whether or not a security has pushed too far too fast, leading to a likelihood of some kind of reversion to the mean movement becoming highly probable.

There is a host of oscillating indicators that can offer up such an analytic perspective. We have learned to rely most on RSI and stochastics. Specifically, we look at the 14-day Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) and the 20-day ?fast stochastic?. For both of these measures, if we see a score above 75 (overbought) or below 25 (oversold), history suggests one is wise to expect some reversion to the mean. For MAR, the 14-day RSI shows a score of 75.33%, while the 20-day fast stochastic shows a score of 87.38%.

We close today?s analysis with a quick check of key levels. For our means, we like to quickly check the key Fibonacci retracement zone as well as the primary institutional long-term moving average (the 200-day simple average). In the case of is Marriott International, Inc. (MAR), the critical 38.2% level drawn off the 52-week high of $129.56 sits at $110.88. MAR also has additional resistance above at the stock?s 200-day simple moving average, which sits at $ 103.96.

Hopefully, this analysis has offered up some useful perspective. We will catch up with this stock again soon.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of argusjournal.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please click HERE

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