Insights

3 Stocks to Avoid This Week

Things roughly worked out for my “three stocks to avoid” column last week. The three stocks I thought were going to lose to the market for the week — Shopify, Fat Brands, and Tesla Motors — declined 7%, rose 1%, and surged 9%, respectively, averaging out to a 1% increase. 

The S&P 500 experienced a 4.3% move higher. I was correct, as the average return of the three of the investments I figured would fare worse fell short. I have now been right in 27 of the past 41 weeks.

Where do I go to next? I see Wayfair (NYSE: W), TrueCar (NASDAQ: TRUE), and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) as stocks you may want to consider steering clear of this week. Let’s go over my near-term concerns with all three investments.

Image source: Getty Images.

Wayfair

One of the market’s big winners during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis has buckled like a flimsy sofa. Wayfair was a market darling when we were hunkering down at the start of the pandemic. We were going to spend a lot of time at home, so we were turning to the online retailer of furniture and other home essentials to get as comfortable as possible. A lot of folks also moved to the suburbs to get more bang for their real estate buck, and those new digs needed new pieces of furniture to make the house a home.

It’s a whole new world for Wayfair. Revenue growth has been negative for four consecutive quarters. The bottom line is getting worse. In just the last three months we’ve seen Wall Street estimates for losses more than double for 2022 and almost quadruple come next year. The new shift to enter physical retail won’t be cheap. With sales expected to decline this year and profitability nowhere in sight it’s hard to get excited about Wayfair despite its brand awareness and cool digital tools like letting shoppers use augmented reality to see what a potential purchase would look like in their actual room. Wayfair reports quarterly results on Thursday morning. The market’s already bracing for a bad report, but sometimes that’s not enough. 

TrueCar

The online lead generator for auto showrooms has been up on blocks lately. Revenue is going the wrong way. Losses are mounting. It has posted larger-than-expected deficits in back-to-back quarters. Analyst forecasts for red ink continue to grow. It’s against this uninspiring backdrop that TrueCar reports its second-quarter financial results on Tuesday afternoon.

TrueCar has run into a few speed bumps over the years. It has had to tweak its original shopper-friendly model to appeal to both buyers and showroom dealers, and that’s a delicate balance. This is also a rough time to be selling vehicles with high gas prices and lean inventory for the hotter cars. The stock has shed nearly 90% of its value since peaking eight years ago, and it’s hard to say that it isn’t a lemon these days. 

Tesla Motors

This is the third week in a row that Tesla Motors makes the cut. I was wrong the last two weeks. Is the third time the charm or the harm? The stock has risen this month despite a far from perfect quarterly update and a whirlwind of controversies and distractions.

Tesla has outpaced the market the last two weeks as a high-beta stock on cruise control in a rising market. The stock’s steep valuation seems immune to weakness in the general automotive market, and rising gas prices are naturally an incentive to go electric. After two weeks of big moves, I feel it’s time for Tesla Motors to pull off the road and recharge. We’ll see if I get burned again.

It’s going to be a bumpy road for some of these investments. If you’re looking for safe stocks, you aren’t likely to find them in Wayfair, TrueCar and Tesla Motors this week.

Rick Munarriz has positions in Tesla. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Shopify and Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Wayfair and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $1,140 calls on Shopify and short January 2023 $1,160 calls on Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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