IBI Plus is now tracking a portfolio of 20 publicly traded stocks in the marine industry in a revamped one-page format, including user-friendly graphics and key statistics at a glance.  (For a full-size copy of the summary page Click Here).

Market Highlights

US stock exchanges are in a holding mode awaiting news of an expected interest rate raise from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday.  European investors were also evaluating the potential for a rate raise in a speech given today by Mario Draghi, chief of the European Central Bank, but he provided no hints of a near-term hike.  The markets will also be watching for the outcome of the election in Netherlands on Wednesday, and news from Scotland that it may seek a new referendum on independence from the UK.

CAB – US sporting goods retailer Cabella’s share price is trading at about US$46 – a 24% decline over the past three months – and a clear investor response to challenges facing the company on several fronts.  The company recorded poor fourth-quarter  results last month, missing earnings estimates by 13%.  Fourth quarter revenue was down -4.9% to US1.3b, hurt by poor store traffic, unfavourable comparable store sales, along with a sharp decline in merchandise sales. Total revenues for 2016 were up 3.3% to US$4.1b.

The Federal Trade Commission also put a damper on Cabella’s buyout by its rival Bass Pro Shops, a cash-deal worth US$ 5.5 billion announced last October.  The merger was expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, but in January regulators raised concerns about the combined entity which would control over 20% of the American fishing, camping and hunting market.  The regulatory request for additional information on the transaction has also potentially jeopardised the sale of Cabella’s financial arm to Capital One, a second part of the overall deal which included Cabela’s co-branded credit card business.

CAT -  Caterpillar’s share price continues to be buffeted by news that it is under federal investigation for potential tax evasion, trading at nearly US$93 today, down from more than US$98 before the news broke.

According to a New York Times article published last week, a report commissioned by the US government concludes that the company was carrying out tax and accounting fraud.  "I believe that the company's noncompliance with these rules was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price. These actions were fraudulent rather than negligent," said Leslie Robinson, an accounting professor and the author of the report.  On Friday, however, Caterpillar issued a statement saying it was compliant with tax laws.  “We disagree with the IRS' position, have cooperated for requests for information," Caterpillar said.

BEN – Shares of the Bénéteau Group are trading up 3.21% today on the Paris exchange.  Since reporting strong European and American sales during the Miami show, the stock price has seen a slight uptick and is now trading slightly above its 50-day average price of €12.02.

Over a longer period, Bénéteau’s share price is down -7.15% during the past 12 months with investors taking a more cautious view of the company since it predicted a slowdown in turnover growth on 27 January - from a 12% increase in revenues for 2016 to 4.5-7% growth for 2017.  Bénéteau will be releasing first-half results on 4 April.

DOO.TR - Seadoo maker BRP will announce its fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2017 financial results next week on Friday, March 24, 2017.