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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
06:11 EDTCHSChico's FAS has discussed sale with potential PE suitors, FT reports
U.S. womenswear chain Chico's has held talks with several private equity firms in recent weeks about a potential sale, the Financial Times reports, citing sources. One industry source believes the company would command a premium of about 30% to its market capitalization of $2.36B. It is unclear whether Chico's management would look to partner with a private equity group or sell the entire business. Reference Link
News For CHS From The Last 14 Days
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September 29, 2014
10:00 EDTCHSOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Akorn (AKRX) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Alexandria Real Estate (ARE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group... Baidu (BIDU) upgraded to Buy at UBS... Banner Corp. (BANR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... Boston Properties (BXP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group... Brocade (BRCD) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Summit Research... Chico's FAS (CHS) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) upgraded at Morgan Stanley... Equity One (EQY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group... FedEx (FDX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... Himax (HIMX) upgraded at Craig-Hallum... Janus Capital (JNS) upgraded at Morgan Stanley... Kilroy Realty (KRC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group... LRR Energy (LRE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Nationstar (NSM) upgraded at Sterne Agee... Nexstar (NXST) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Noble Financial... Nike (NKE) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Pearson (PSO) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Macquarie... Philips (PHG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ING Group... Rent-A-Center (RCII) upgraded at KeyBanc... Rice Energy (RICE) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at KLR Group... Sonic Automotive (SAH) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Tahoe Resources (TAHO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Tanger Factory (SKT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at ISI Group... Universal Health (UHS) upgraded at BMO Capital... Voya Financial (VOYA) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Waste Management (WM) upgraded at Wedbush... Yahoo (YHOO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham.
05:55 EDTCHSChico's FAS upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer upgraded Chico's FAS to Outperform with an $18 price target on expectations the company will see a growth inflection in 2015.
September 23, 2014
11:38 EDTCHSAscena Retail plummets to 52-week low after results, guidance trail consensus
Shares of Ascena Retail (ASNA), a national specialty retailer of apparel for women and teen girls, are falling after the company's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2015 profit outlook trailed analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Ascena Retail reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 13c and revenue of $1.18B, far below analysts' consensus estimates of 18c and $1.21B, respectively. Same store sales for the period declined 2%. Looking ahead, Ascena Retail forecast FY15 adjusted EPS of 90c-$1.00 excluding any acquisition-related, integration and restructuring costs that may be incurred during the fiscal year, significantly trailing the consensus of $1.25. The company sees EPS down compared to last year in the first half, but expects growth in the second half. The company sees flat to modest positive total comparable store growth for the year, with Fall flat to down low-single digits, and Spring up low-single digits. EBITA growth for the year is seen in the mid-to-high single digits, with the EBITDA rate flat to up 20 basis points, with 80-100 basis points of improvement in gross margin rate mostly offset by operating expense rate de-leverage. Ascena also sees a net new store increase of 30-40 units, capital expenditures of $350M-$375M and an effective tax rate of 37% vs. 32% in fiscal year 2014. The company sees FY15 double digit growth in depreciation, with projected expenses between $210M-$215M. The company's guidance is based on an ongoing challenging retail environment. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Ascena President and Chief Executive Officer David Jaffe commented that Q4 EPS was "in line" with expectations, despite mixed results across its portfolio and soft traffic patterns. Jaffe said the company is maintaining a conservative outlook for the Fall season, as the company has "yet to see sustained evidence of market improvement." Ascena also said it plans to increasingly focus on adjusted EBITDA as an indicator of underlying financial performance because it normalizes for major changes in non-cash depreciation and tax rates. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm SunTrust lowered its price target on Ascena Retail to $17 from $21 after the company reported results that were weak across the board. The firm believes that the company is making appropriate changes and seems well-positioned for the future, while its brand integrity is intact across divisions. SunTrust reiterated a Buy rating on shares. Another firm, Oppenheimer, said Ascena's retail strategies should help stem margin pressure. The firm added that the profitability of the company's new brands is rising significantly, while its guidance looks conservative. Oppenheimer cut its price target on the shares to $19 from $22, but kept an Outperform rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Ascena Retail fell $2.69, or 16.24%, to $13.85 on nearly four times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock notched a fresh 52-week low of $13.72. Including today's pull-back, the shares have lost approximately 22% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other specialty retailers catering to women include Christopher & Banks (CBK), Chico's FAS (CHS), and Ann Inc. (ANN).

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