Buy: Cabela's (CAB)
Its stores might seem massive -- they often feature giant aquariums and a "mountain" outfitted with stuffed mountain goats -- but the Sidney, Neb., retailer of fishing, camping and hunting gear recently boosted sales and profits by shrinking its stores considerably in size. Cabela's stock price has nearly quadrupled since the market lows of March 2009. Yet trading at 13 times 2012's expected profits, the stock remains modestly priced, says Sean Naughton, a senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray.
Sell: Crocs (CROX)
Crocs' signature clogs seemed ubiquitous five years ago, but they fell out of favor just as the economy slowed in 2008. The stock price, which was as high as $75 in 2007, had dropped to less than $1 by the end of 2008. With inconsistent profit margins, the Niwot, Colo., firm still has a "risky profile," says Craig Sterling, head of global equity research for EVA Dimensions. Experts also say Crocs faces a host of challenges in its efforts to expand into boots. Jeff Lasher, Crocs' chief financial officer, says the company's boots and loafers already account for about 10 percent of its $1 billion in annual sales and that "strong, compelling" new products will drive sales.
Hold: Pool Corp. (POOL)
A pool might be a discretionary purchase, but once you buy one, maintaining it isn't really optional. That's good news for Pool Corp., the country's largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool products. The Covington, La., firm gets 90 percent of its sales from pool maintenance, and the firm's executives project earnings per share to grow 15 to 25 percent each year for the next five years. "It's a chicken way to play the housing recovery," says St. Denis J. Villere III, comanager of the $161 million Villere Balanced fund and a shareholder. But trading at 20 times 2012's expected profits, Pool is no bargain, analysts say. Villere recommends buying the stock during the winter, when it often gets cheaper. A Pool spokesperson says seasonal fluctuations in the stock price shouldn't matter to long-term investors.