2014

Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Wyndham Worldwide, La-Z-Boy and Big Five Sporting Goods

CHICAGO, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Features: Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) and Big Five Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV).

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Final 4 Stocks for March Madness

The Madness starts today, in fact, by the time you start reading this your bracket should already be filled out and submitted. Picking upsets is fun, but the real winner of your local pool will likely have selected the overall winner. I suggest that you pick THE Ohio State Buckeyes if you want to take it all down, but what four stocks that could benefit from the Madness.

I scanned the list of Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and #2 (Buy) stocks to see which ones might correlate to the NCAA men's basketball tournament that starts today.

Traveling Teams

The Ohio State faithful travel with their team, be it football or basketball or just about any sport. The same can be said about many other teams, but main idea is that they are going to have to rest their travel weary heads on a soft pillow at the end of the night.

Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and operates hotels and resorts throughout the country. Chances are that the Buckeye fans will not have to stay in a hotel in Dayton Ohio for the first round matchup against Iona... but there are 62 other teams with traveling fans.

When I look at WYN, I see an impeccable earnings history. The company has posted positive earnings surprises in each of the last 26 quarters. That is some sort of win streak! The Buckeyes only need to win 5 straight to bring home the hardware.

Earnings estimates for WYN have been moving higher throughout 2012, with 2013 estimates moving from $3.39 at this time last year to the current level of $3.69.

Watching At Home

I have a full day to wait to see my Buckeye's in action against the Gaels. So I will relax in comfort watching some of those other teams win or lose in a comfy chair. I think there will be plenty of others doing the same thing.

A lot of hoop fans will be in their favorite La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) chair. As a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) they could add it to their portfolio as well!

When I take a look at LZB, I see a stock that has seen its revenues grow nicely over the last several quarters. The Jan 2013 quarter saw revenue of $349M, up from $317M in the year ago period or an increase of more than 10%. They also have a net margin of 3.7%, better than the 3.3% industry average. The Buckeyes, however, brought in $16M in revenue in 2011 against $4.5M in expenses for a profit of $11.6M or a margin that was tops in the Big Ten.

Estimates have recently ticked higher for LZB for 2013. We started the year with estimates of $0.76, but that has increased to $0.77 in February and now stands at $0.79. There have been similar moves for 2014 estimates which now stand at $1.10.

Wearing Your Colors

My inclusion of Big Five Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV) comes with a Stephen Colbert-esque 'wag of the finger.' Seems this west coast based sporting goods retailer doesn't carry any Ohio State University products. Granted I just did a single search on the website that revealed only PAC-12 teams or other western schools. I can only suggest they start to carry gear of the likely winner of March Madness (and probably the National Championship in football next year too).

Everyone likes a winner and BGFV has delivered some earnings "wins" of late. Think of the "wins" as positive earnings surprises, of which BGFV has had 3 straight. over the last seven quarters there was only one earnings miss. Over the last seven games, the Buckeyes have 7 wins.

Estimates for BGFV have been trending higher, with the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 moving from $0.77 in August 2012 to the current level of $1.07. That is a big move of 39%!

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