Recently in the news Panera Bread is being bought by JAB for $315 a share. Nothing stands out as negative as it is somewhat normal for companies to be bought and for many different reasons. For those unfamiliar, Panera Bread is a restaurant that sells relatively healthy foods, along with a bakery that sells breads and bagels. They are popular because they offer free Wi-Fi, which attracts people who want to get out and study. Also, they offer a sit down option that also allows for quick dinning if you only have twenty minutes to spare. 

 fundamentals food   panera bread consumer food manufacturers

Foot Locker is a company that specializes in shoes for men, women, and children. Not only shoes, the company also sells athletic apparel from socks to shorts and other popular items. With the recent news of Payless Shoe Source, it would be a good time to take a look at this sector of the retail as the space continues to consolidate and stores begin failing. Payless is closing around 400 stores, and this could benefit Foot Locker as they may gain more customers who are looking for an alternative.

 fundamentals retail   foot locker consumer cyclical footwear & accessories

With the every consolidating retail space, Staples had failed to combine with Office Depot in the past, but now is looking at selling to private equity firms. Sales have been declining with competitors such as Amazon and Walmart maintain their firm grasp on the market. This sale could be welcomed relief for people of the company as it has been struggling and continues to struggle today. Similar to many other companies, they have been unable to transition to the online space as effectively as others and it is hurting. Also, people are no longer going into these stores when everything can be delivered right to their door.

 fundamentals retail   staples industrial office equipment and supplies non-it

As many of you may remember, Chipotle ran into an issue where their food was contaminated and people were falling ill. This resulted in sales that were hurt and the stock came tumbling from its previous levels. However, people are beginning to forget about the past of Chipotle and are slowly beginning to return. This company is a great story of how something can bring a brand image down. Luckily they have been able to rebound to a certain extent, but it is going to take a little longer before they are back to their previous levels. 

 fundamentals retail   chipotle mexican consumer cyclical restaurants restaurants hotels motels

As the traditional mall in America begins to face pressure from failing brands, Simon Property Group has continues to generate returns for their investors by growing the stock price. This company owns the property that malls are situated on and generate revenue in various different ways. As many of you know, the retail sector is going through a transition where stores are consolidating and going bankrupt as people move their shopping online. Recently, Sears has come out stating they may not be able to sustain their operations into the future, and this should be worrisome as they anchor many malls across America. Despite the recent pull back in stock price, the company has been able to generate massive returns, depending on when you invested. 

 fundamentals retail   simon property real estate retail and malls real estate reit - retail

As interest rates begin to rise, the financial sector will benefit, as they will raise interest rates on their products. Fifth Third Bank is a Midwest bank that is well known throughout. Being in the financial sector could prove wise, as the returns should be increasing for the banks. Of course you want to remain diversified because at any moment, the Fed could decide to pause the interest rate hikes, causing a slow down in the financial sector. 

 fundamentals finance   fifth third financial services banks - regional - us banking

The smoking industry has been under pressure for quite some time, and continues to be as I sit and type this today. However, it does create an addiction so there is still sadly the consumer needing this product. Altria, a company that is well known for the brand Marlboro, could potentially be in a place to ride out the storm, but once the older generation passes, the smoking industry could be really affected as the younger people no longer find smoking attractive. It should be worth noting the company has a small stake with Anheuser-Busch InBev.

 fundamentals retail   altria consumer defensive tobacco tobacco products

If you’ve ever had the privilege of walking into a Casey’s store, you will understand why this company is growing. Not only do they offer gas and the usual products that come with a gas station, they also offer pizza in many of their stores. The pizza is great and adds a dynamic to the store that helps diversify revenue. Similar to other stores, these have their place in the American culture and should continue to thrive as long as they maintain what they’ve done in the past in terms of brand image.

 fundamentals other   caseys general consumer defensive grocery stores retail

Whirlpool is the creator of many products, including our washers and dryers. Throughout the years, the company has been a brand many could recognize and continue to today. You have to keep in mind that these companies could be affected by a market slow down because they sell big ticket items. However, Whirlpool has been able to stand the test of time and looks primed to continue in that direction. Now, let us take a look at the most recent numbers to determine if the company is going to continue in the right direction. 

 fundamentals industry   whirlpool consumer household appliances and hardware consumer cyclical home furnishings & fixtures

Facebook has just unveiled a new feature for the platform, and that is Facebook Stories. Following in the footsteps of Snpachat and Instagram, the company has added this feature to remain competitive with their peers. This is great for Facebook users as they can begin telling their stories in one place, and it also helps businesses because they can market and advertise all in one spot. Who this hurts is Snapchat, because these companies are taking the features of their mobile platform and integrating it into theirs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the near term. 

 fundamentals other   facebook technology internet content & information business services

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