Stocks to Consider as Student Loan Repayment Impacts Borrowers' Budgets
According to Jefferies, as federal student loan payments resume in October and borrowers face budget constraints, there are three stocks that stand to benefit. Federal student loan payments had been on pause since March 2020 as part of Covid-era relief measures, but interest on these debts started accruing again on September 1. A recent poll conducted by Jefferies revealed that the majority of U.S. consumers with student loan debt expect to pay $500 or less each month. This shift in spending patterns is likely to negatively impact various retailers, particularly in the apparel, footwear, accessories, restaurants, and big-ticket items sectors.
Opportunities for Companies as Shoppers Adjust Budgets
However, as borrowers become more mindful of their budgets, other companies have the potential to thrive. Jefferies has identified three top picks in its value retail coverage. The first is Walmart (WMT), which offers downside protection due to potential trade-down. Walmart exceeded Wall Street's sales and earnings estimates in its fiscal second quarter and raised its full-year earnings forecast. Analysts' average price target suggests nearly 10% upside from its current position.
TJX and Costco Wholesale: Budget-Minded Favorites
The second pick is TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra. TJX saw its fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue surpass Wall Street estimates as consumers sought discounted deals. Analysts' average price target indicates a 35% upside from its current position.
The third pick is Costco Wholesale, which will announce its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the stock market closes on Tuesday. Costco's shares have experienced a 21% increase this year, and analysts foresee a modest 3% further upside.
In conclusion, as student loan borrowers face the resumption of payments and adjust their spending habits, certain companies are poised to benefit. Walmart, TJX, and Costco Wholesale are among the top picks identified by Jefferies in the value retail sector. These companies have demonstrated resilience and appeal to budget-minded shoppers, positioning them for potential growth in the face of changing consumer behaviors.
Impact of Student Loan Repayment on New Business Ventures
The resumption of federal student loan payments in October is expected to cause a shift in consumer spending patterns, which could have significant implications for new businesses. According to Jefferies, the majority of U.S. consumers with student loan debt expect to pay $500 or less each month, which could negatively affect various retailers, especially those in the apparel, footwear, accessories, restaurants, and big-ticket items sectors.
Shifting Consumer Behaviors and Opportunities
However, as borrowers become more budget-conscious, other companies, particularly those in the value retail sector, could stand to gain. Jefferies has identified Walmart, TJX, and Costco Wholesale as top picks that could benefit from this shift. These companies have demonstrated resilience and appeal to budget-minded shoppers, positioning them for potential growth.
Implications for New Business Ventures
For new businesses, understanding these shifting consumer behaviors is crucial. The potential decrease in discretionary spending could affect businesses in sectors like apparel and dining. However, companies offering value-for-money products or services could see an uptick in demand.
Strategies for New Businesses
New businesses could consider focusing on offering value-for-money products or services to attract budget-conscious consumers. Alternatively, they could explore strategies to differentiate themselves and retain their customer base despite the potential decrease in discretionary spending.
In essence, the resumption of student loan payments could lead to a shift in consumer spending patterns, posing both challenges and opportunities for new businesses. By understanding these shifts and adapting their strategies accordingly, new businesses can navigate this changing landscape effectively.