Furniture Manufacturers See Booming Business During Pandemic
Furniture companies thrived during the era of Covid, as consumers bought new homes and updated their existing dwellings. Furniture retailers Wayfair (NYSE: W), Natuzzi (NYSE: NTZ) and Bassett (NASDAQ: BSET) are among stocks benefiting as Americans relocate during the pandemic.
But if you need some furniture for that new home, you might have to wait a while. That’s because the new-home trend is colliding with the online ordering trend, resulting in shipping backups.
Even before the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal in March, congestion at U.S. ports was causing delivery delays. For companies in the furniture business, backlogged orders may cause headaches, but it bodes well for the top- and bottom lines, as well as stock prices.
Wayfair shares are trending in a sideways fashion, as shares are trying to overcome price resistance at $369. Despite trading essentially sideways for the past seven months, the stock is nonetheless up 39.39% year-to-date, ending Thursday’s session at $338.
Although some pandemic winners, such as Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) and Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) are pulling back among vaccine rollouts and optimism about an economic recovery, Wayfair may benefit from the continuation of the new-home trend.
Wayfair shares returned 488.98% over the past year, thanks to big gains in April through August of 2020.
The Boston-based company sells furniture and home decor items through its catalog of Web sites, including Wayfair, Birch Lane and All Modern.
The company flipped the switch to profitability in 2020, earning $5.04 per share last year on revenue of $14 billion, a 55% year-over-year improvement. Revenue has grown at double-digit rates for the past nine years.
On March 31, DA Davidson boosted its price target on the stock from $325 to $450.
Natuzzi, an Italian maker of leather and fabric sofas and chairs, slipped -3.35% year-to-date. That’s a little deceptive, however as the stock is up 2.62% in the past month.
October 2020 brought a gain of 262.35%, as factories and stores reopened in Italy, which was hit extremely hard in the early months of the pandemic.
Like Wayfair, Natuzzi is etching a sideways base along both its 10-day and 50-day lines, which converged in mid-February and are still clinging to each other. This kind of tight trade is often a precursor to further gains, as it indicates that institutional investors are holding shares at a particular price level.
In February, Natuzzi closed a sale of its flexible polyurethane foam division to The Vita Group, based in the U.K., for $7.18 million.
Natuzzi is slated to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results on April 6. In the most recent quarter, the company reported a loss of $0.47 per share on revenue of $98.9 million, up 3% from the prior year.
Bassett, a Virginia-based maker of home furnishings and accessories, reported first-quarter earnings of $0.40 per share, trouncing analyst estimates of $0.24 per share. The company beat Wall Street views in each of the past four quarters.
Revenue was $113.7 million, missing views by a razor-thin margin of 0.47%.
The stock initially gapped higher on the news, but finished the session down 0.37%, or $0.09, to $24.18.
The stock has been posting strong price gains, advancing 472.07% over the past year. In its earnings press release, the company said, “Incoming orders continued at a torrid pace during the first quarter of fiscal 2021. All sales channels recorded written business increases, resulting in a 44% year-over-year spike in net orders.”
The company operates using a “sell then make” model, whereby customers order furniture, which is then manufactured and shipped. Bassett is opening an additional upholstery manufacturing facility in Newton, North Carolina, with construction beginning June 1.
Bassett’s broke out of a cup-shaped base in above-average volume on March 12. It pulled back after that, and is currently trading above its 10-day and 50-day moving average. The current formation is in a cup shape, but it’s too soon to say whether it may go on to form a handle or perhaps decline again into a double-bottom pattern.