The Premier Stocks For Your Portfolio: Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (HLF), BEST Inc. (BEST)

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) shares are 4.70% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 1.55% or $0.76 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +140.76% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -5.63% down YTD and 11.56% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -0.32% and -2.71% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On December 04, 2019, Citigroup recommended the HLF stock is a Buy, while earlier, CFRA had Upgrade the stock as a Buy on August 07, 2020. 4 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 1.20 to suggest that the HLF stock is a “Strong Buy. 0 of the 4 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 4 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $49.91 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $65.00. The forecasts give the Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. stock a price target range of $70.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $62.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 28.7% or 19.5%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 10.50% in the current quarter to $0.87, up from the $0.73 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of $3.46, up 9.50% from $2.82 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between $0.78 and $0.86. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $3.94 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 32 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 37 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 194,700 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 14,949,213. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 15,359 and 14,903,201 in purchases and sales respectively.

ICAHN CARL C, a 10% Owner at the company, sold 14,722,025 shares worth $717.7 million at $48.75 per share on Aug 12. The Director had earlier sold another 9,558 HLF shares valued at $0.48 million on Aug 21. The shares were sold at $50.13 per share.

BEST Inc. (NYSE:BEST), on the other hand, is trading around $4.22 with a market cap of $1.68B and analyst research firms have a positive stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $5.42 and spell out a more modest performance – a 22.14% return. Some analysts are even forecasting -$0.24 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the BEST Inc. (BEST) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

BEST’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -2.50%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $86.65 million. This represented a 92.73% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $1.19 billion. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.01 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.01 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Sep 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $2.84 billion from $2.61 billion over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $75.37 million while total current assets were at $1.32 billion. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$80.81 million, significantly lower than the $18.75 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$80.81 million.

Major holders

Insiders own 19.99% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 35.50% with a share float percentage of 200.56M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with BEST Inc. having a total of 161 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with over 13.38 million shares worth more than $57.26 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. held 5.34% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Wells Fargo & Company, with the investment firm holding over 10.02 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $42.88 million and represent 4.00% of shares outstanding.