Stock Opinions by Karen Firestone, CEO, Aureus Asset Management

COMMENT

Jay Powell's tone last Friday scared some people, but made other investos feel comfortable, including her. The PC number continues to decline. We haven't entered a recession, and 3.5% unemployment is unlikely to lead to that.

Unknown
STRONG BUY

Was upgraded today. This was a huge pandemic winner, peaking at $730. Shares are up 70% this year to $373. She bought it way down, nearly doubling her hold in worth. The braces market is huge for teenagers as well as adults. She has recommended this before and still does.

Telecommunications
BUY
SalesForce.com Inc.

They report later today. Is up 61% YTD after a rough 2022. She forecasts $1.90, up 60% over 2022 YOY, and more cost-cutting. Margins are improving, because we're starting to sales rebounce after bottoming in the first 6 months this year. Expects revenue to rise 10%. Enteprise software has improved. Hopes they can bring in new coporate customers.

computer software / processing
BUY
Visa Inc.

Hitting a new high today. People are travelling and spending, maybe not hugely, but still spending. Also, if interest rates decline, it will be positive.

other services
BUY
CarMax

The used car market will improve, especially if interest rates are indeed peaking as many feel.

Automotive
BUY
Apple Inc

Is moving up this week. This reflects what happens when people who have been sitting on the sidelines start adding to their positions--and Apple is the first place to go. It's a name the market knows and loves. Their services segment is improving; they have new momentum with the new phone. She expects a good number this quarter.

electrical / electronic
COMMENT
Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech this morning

The market paid more attention to what Powell said than Nvidia. Powell's moves have not caused inflation while inflation has fallen. The market is down only 4% from its high, which is impressive. Also, earnings seem okay, not fantastic, as the big companies are holding their own. His comments were neutral and the market is flat. She presumes no rate hikes in September, and watch future earnings.

Unknown
BUY
SalesForce.com Inc.

Reports next week and she expects a good quarter. Shares are up 50% YTD, but so will earnings. They will show better topline numbers.

computer software / processing
BUY
Autodesk Inc

Has been weak the past 18 months, hurt by interest rates. They lead in software used in building construction, but they reported a decent quarter and raised the guidance for the coming year. It's picking up and there's a runway ahead.

computer software / processing
COMMENT

She doesn't expects the S&P to fall to 4,200. Rather, investors who missed buying tech will nibble at these same names during this downturn. We're seeing stocks settling and investors buying. Earnings were decent, better than feared. Consumers are spending. All in, she expects market buying into 2024. PEs of the biggest markets are coming down.

Unknown
WAIT

The stock has been horrible and she's running out of patience for it to recover, but is holding on for now. They still have the dominant market share in online payments, but it isn't performing. She hopes the new CEO can increase revenues, improve performance and raise guidance. 

0
BUY
Autodesk Inc

She expects a decent quarter week. The stock has been in the doghouse. but has built a base and it's time it turned around. Numbers are starting to improve. In 2024, they should be up in sales and earnings by double digits. But it'll come down to the guidance.

computer software / processing
BUY

Had a great move to start the year, has been building a base, and people are starting to spend money on goods. Great product.

Telecommunications
BUY
Fortive Corp

Has owned this for a while, but the stock has done nothing. It's a mini-conglomerate in industrials. But now it's breaking out. Has a great cash flow that trades at market multiples.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS
BUY

It's been punished for being a San Francisco financial, but it's now showing momentum and it offers organic growth as it trades at a low PE.

investment companies / funds
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