Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners isn't convinced Genesco's results will improve markedly during the second half of the company's fiscal 2015 and beyond. Several fashion trends — or the clear lack thereof — are working against the shoe and hat retailer, he says, and the rollout of its lower-margin Locker Room chain will hurt profits. But he expects the company will keep its premium valuation, which now is about 14 times earnings, and has hiked his price target to $77 from $70. That leaves about 5 percent of upside for Genesco (Ticker: GCO), which is up slightly year to date.
Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut has begun covering shares of Brookdale Senior Living with a 'buy' rating and a price target of $40, which is more than 20 percent above where the stock (Ticker: BKD) now trades. Tanquilut likes the growth prospects of senior housing in general and says the planned acquisition of Emeritus "will yield better-than-expected synergies and incremental equity value as the combined entity puts up healthy growth and exerts its market power."
Chad McCurdy has been booking some nice paper gains of late on his and his Marlin Capital Partners' stakes in Diversicare Healthcare Services, but that didn't stop him last week from spending almost $500,000 to snap up another 78,000 shares for various personal accounts. Combined, McCurdy's direct and indirect professional and personal holdings now total 22.7 percent of Diversicare. Shares of the Brentwood-based company (Ticker: DVCR) are up more than 40 percent so far this year.
Local RBC Capital Markets analyst Frank Morgan has named Brookdale Senior Living his top pick, saying its attractive fundamentals and market position have it in position to grow nicely. Morgan also has raised his price target to $42 from $38. Brookdale shares (Ticker: BKD) ended trading last week at $31.24 and are up 15 percent so far this year.
Research firm Green Street Advisors says the boom is senior housing construction projects will cut in half operating income growth between now and 2016. That, he says, could cause problems for Brookdale Senior Living, which is in the process of buying competitor Emeritus. On a down day for the markets, Brookdale shares (Ticker: BKD) are down 2.5 percent to $30.32.
Buckingham Research analyst Mark Weintraub isn't too broken up about the end of Louisiana-Pacific's bid to buy Canadian company Ainsworth. He has reiterated his 'buy' rating for the construction materials company and expects its shares to climb over the medium term. In mid-day action today, though, LP shares (Ticker: LPX) are off 3 percent to $14.69.
In mid-day trading, Middle Tennessee stocks are up as much as 4 percent or off up to 2.5 percent. On the downside is Tractor Supply, which was downgraded this morning by John Staszak of Argus Research to 'hold' from 'buy.' Staszak cited the Brentwood-based retailer's relative valuation and a weaker outlook in his move. Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) are down 3 percent over the past month and down 16 percent so far in 2014.
On the positive end of things today is Brookdale Senior Living, which has been added to the focus list at Deutsche Bank. Analyst Darren Lehrich says investors should step in now with the stock (Ticker: BKD) in the low $30s. Once Brookdale brings on Emeritus Corp., he says, the stock should climb to $42.
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