Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Companies that may Point to Recovery

There is no question that we are now in a recession and it is a severe one at that. Now the thing people will look for are indicators that the economy is improving. Some companies might provide the signs of when the economy is finally heading in the right direction (according to 247WallSt.com).

Target. The giant retailer is known as one who caters to people who are seeking a little more than what they can get from Walmart. That "little more" includes slightly higher prices (if, for no other reason than the fact that Target cannot buy at the volume of Walmart) and that has led to some economic slowdown for the store. So far Target sales has seen a noted drop this year. When Target begins to see an increase in sales, you might also see a turn around in the economy.

Starbucks. At the height of rapid economic growth, Starbucks was an economic pleasure palace for the happy middle class. However, with declining prosperity, people are bailing out on the coffee shop and many have remorse for the dollars they spent on a small cup of coffee. Part of the problem is plain out saturation. Even after closing hundreds of stores in 2008, I personally know an area in the very affluent Galleria section of Houston that has at least 4 locations in less than a square mile area. When these come back, the economy will be on the mend as well. You will likely see that after a turn around at Target.

CBS. It is now the only major broadcast TV network that largely has all its eggs in one basket (TV). Its competitors -- Fox (which owns radio, print, web platforms, and TV), ABC (Disney World and other entertainment venues), and NBC (whose parent company is GE, which seems to own everything) are far more diversified. The Stock Market has punished CBS' lack of diversification as its shares have dropped. When those shares rise, so will the economy's prospects because this form of broad base advertising is expensive and it will show businesses are believers in the prospects of growth. This too will come a little later in the recovery process, in my opinion.

Dell. The Dell Computer company, which was once considered a leader in its industry, is now considered one of the weakest. In spite of its efforts towards innovation and customization, it still finds itself limping behind. When Dell has a turn around, the economy as a whole will be enjoying serious recovery. Mind you though, Dell was struggling when the economy was fairly strong, so it too may take a while to catch up.

E*Trade. The weakest of the big three online trade companies has been among the longest to suffer. This company, too, is an indicator of how the economy is fairing.

With the current policies of the Obama Administration, it will be surprising to see these (or other businesses) improve. However, when their is a turn around, these five companies will be among those to watch.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am), AOL Radio, and CBS Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com.

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