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August 24, 2014
04:55 EDTCVS, CVS, UNH, UNH, GOOG, GOOG, WMT, WMT, COTY, COTY, TGT, TGT, FDO, FDO, WAG, WAG, RAD, RAD, PG, PGNational Association of Chain Drug Stores to hold an expo
2014 NACDS Total Store Expo to be held in Boston on August 23-25.
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November 16, 2015
14:08 EDTWMTWal-Mart technical comments ahead of results
The shares are at multi-year lows and in a downtrend heading into earnings news. If there was a bullish surprise, the first important resistance level would be at the 10-week moving average at $60.58. The 10-week is a good proxy for a downtrend resistance line for the current longer-term bearish price channel. Resistance above the top of the channel would be at $61.23. If the news continues to be negative, the channel low at $55.46 would be a first major test of support. Price at that level would mark a fresh 52-week low. Additional support levels to watch as potential downside objectives would be at $53.55 and then at $51.79.
14:00 EDTWMTWal-Mart November 57 straddle priced for 3.5% movement into Q3
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11:42 EDTWMTWal-Mart volatility increases into Q3 and outlook
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11:15 EDTWMTEarnings Watch: Analysts largely downbeat on Wal-Mart after annual meeting
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings before the market open on Tuesday, November 17, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 98c on revenue of $117.79B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.07-$1.15 on revenue of $114.86B-$119.57B. In its last earnings report, Wal-Mart forecast Q3 EPS of 93c-$1.05 with Q3 U.S. same store sales projected to grow 2%-3%. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported second quarter EPS of $1.08, missing analysts' estimate of $1.12, on revenue of $120.2B, beating analysts' estimate of $119.72B. The company said currency negatively impacted Q2 EPS by approximately 4c. Comp sales at Walmart U.S. increased 1.5%, driven by traffic of 1.3%, and Neighborhood Market comps increased approximately 7.3%. Global e-commerce sales for Q2 increased about 16%, the company said. Looking ahead, Wal-Mart cut its outlook for fiscal year 2016 EPS to $4.40-$4.70 from $4.70-$5.05 against estimates at that time for $4.77. Chief Financial officer Charles Holley said operating profit would be pressured for the remainder of the year, due to in store associate wages and additional hours, as well as headwinds from pharmacy reimbursements and ongoing shrink. The company said that the impact from investments in wages, training and additional hours in its stores and clubs will be approximately 24c, including approximately 8c in Q3. Additionally, the company said that along with pharmacy headwinds, higher than expected ongoing shrink in Walmart U.S. will impact full year EPS by around 11c, including about 3c in Q3. Further, the FY16 currency exchange rate impact is expected to be approximately 15c, up 2c from last quarter's revised guidance of 13c. NEWS: At its annual meeting on October 14, Wal-Mart forecast net sales growth of approximately 3% for FY16 excluding the impact of currency exchange fluctuations. The company forecast net sales growth of 3%-4% annually over the next three years, which will add about $45B-$60B in sales. Looking to fiscal year 2017, Wal-Mart forecast EPS down 6%-12% vs. FY16. Wal-Mart also said that the strong dollar is expected to reduce the company's FY15 revenue by $15B, Reuters said. Wal-Mart's board authorized a new $20B share repurchase program and said it expects operating income to bottom out in FY17. During the quarter, Reuters reported that Wal-Mart filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones for home delivery, curbside pickup and warehouse inventory checks. The Wall Street Journal said Wal-Mart is slimming down its number of items in an attempt to bolster sales figures, yet the reduction has created tensions with suppliers. STREET RESEARCH: Credit Suisse, Stephens and BofA Merrill Lynch all downgraded Wal-Mart after the retailer's annual meeting based on guidance for declining earnings in FY17 and a lack of earnings growth until FY19. Baird, UBS and Jefferies all cut their price targets on Wal-Mart following the annual meeting. JPMorgan analyst Christopher Horvers said the "depth and degree" of the financial pressures addressed at the annual meeting were "much greater than anticipated." Ahead of the Q3 earnings report, Baird reiterated its Outperform rating and $70 price target and said Wal-Mart shares appear to hold some value for patient investors. Wal-Mart was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast on November 13. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are down over 21% over the last three months, but are up about 1% to $57.07 in late morning trading ahead of Tuesday's earnings report.
09:51 EDTCOTYCoty issued a Sell rating at Off Wall Street
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09:33 EDTGOOGeBay second week of November SSS up 0.4%, ChannelAdvisor says
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09:06 EDTCVS, RAD, UNHDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:36 EDTWMTWal-Mart holds value for patient long-term investors, says Baird
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07:40 EDTWMTBuffett says lower stakes in Goldman, Wal-Mart doesn't reflect lower confidence
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07:36 EDTWMTBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
06:27 EDTGOOGYandex extends Google antitrust battle to EU, Bloomberg reports
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06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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November 13, 2015
16:24 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks on Wall Street ended a tough week on a down note, falling after the Commerce Department reported that retail sales grew by an anemic 0.1% last month. This data comes on the heels of this week's downbeat quarterly report from Macy's (M) and a similarly disappointing report last night from peer Nordstrom (JWN). ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales rose 0.1% in the month of October, versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%. When autos and gas are removed, the core reading was up 0.3%, versus expectations for a rise of 0.4%. Producer prices fell 0.4%, versus expectations for them to be up 0.2%. When food and energy are removed, the core reading was down 0.3%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.1%. Business inventories grew 0.3% in September while sales were flat compared to August. Consumer sentiment, as measured by the preliminary print from the University of Michigan survey, improved 3.1 points to 93.1 in November, which was better than the 91.5 reading that was expected. In Europe, data showed that eurozone's economy grew by just 0.3% in the third quarter, which was a slowdown from the 0.4% GDP growth recorded three months earlier and weaker than the 0.4% consensus growth forecast. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of retailers broadly declined following the weaker than expected retail sales data reported by the government as well as third quarter earnings reports from Nordstrom and J.C. Penney (JCP), which fell 15% and 15.5% respectively. Virtually every mass-market, brick-and-mortar retailer was down today, from giants like Wal-Mart (WMT) and Costco (COST), to smaller retailers like Ross Stores (ROST) and Urban Outfitters (URBN)... Shares of Mylan (MYL) jumped 12.9% to $48.78 after the company's offer to acquire Perrigo (PRGO) failed, ending a seven-month fight between the two drug makers. Perrigo Chief Executive Officer Joseph Papa said he was "delighted" that his company's shareholders rejected the offer and the company added that it will immediately commence its previously announced $2B share buyback program, but its shares slid 6.16% to $146.90 in the wake of the shareholder vote... Cisco (CSCO) fell 5.8% after its first quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations but its guidance for the new quarter disappointed. A number of analysts that had been bullish on the name trimmed their price targets in response but also recommended the post-earnings weakness as a buying opportunity. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Springleaf Holdings (LEAF), which surged $5.07, or 11.5%, to $49.27 after reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow the company to proceed with closing its previously announced acquisition of OneMain Financial from Citi (C). On the closing of the acquisition, the company will be renamed OneMain Holdings and has applied to the New York Stock Exchange to change its ticker symbol to "OMF," Springleaf noted. Also higher was Illumina (ILMN), which gained $10.26, or 6.6%, to $165.65 after being selected to replace Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) in the S&P 500. Among the noteworthy losers was Fossil (FOSL), which plunged $18.62, or 36.5%, to $32.39 after the watchmaker gave lower than expected profit guidance for the upcoming quarter and said it continues to expect this fiscal year's results to be "significantly" negatively impacted by foreign currency changes. Also lower were shares of Vipshop (VIPS), which fell $5.03, or 27%, to $13.60 after issuing weaker than expected preliminary third quarter revenue guidance, which it said was partially driven by the warmer-than-expected fall weather in China. INDEXES: The Dow dropped 202.83, or 1.16%, to 17,245.24, the Nasdaq lost 77.20, or 1.54%, to 4,927.88, and the S&P 500 declined 22.93, or 1.12%, to 2,023.04.
14:21 EDTWMTWal-Mart volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
Wal-Mart November call option implied volatility is at 34, December is at 25; compared to its 52-week range of 23 to 28, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q3 results on November 17.
14:15 EDTTGTTarget volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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11:57 EDTGOOGGoogle rolls out Chrome beta for iOS, 9to5Mac reports
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11:05 EDTTGTTarget comparable sales likely within guidance, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton acknowledged that sentiment is challenging on Target's stock amid the weakness being reported by a number of retailers this week, but he asserts that Census Bureau data this morning, combined with the firm's observations, leave him thinking that Target's third quarter comparable sales are within the company's guidance of up 1%-2%. The analyst, who thinks Target's fundamentals may be holding up better than some expect, has an Overweight rating and $88 price target on the stock.
10:00 EDTRADOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abbott (ABT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Advance Auto Parts (AAP) downgraded after Q3 miss at Sterne Agee CRT... CafePress (PRSS) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... (CTRP) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James... CubeSmart (CUBE) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James... Deutsche Bank (DB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Digital Ally (DGLY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital... El Pollo Loco (LOCO) downgraded to Neutral at Baird... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded on stock outperformance at Raymond James... Fly Leasing (FLY) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... GameStop (GME) downgraded on valuation, digital impact at Pacific Crest... Histogenics (HSGX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... MaxPoint (MXPT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Memorial Resource (MRD) downgraded to Outperform at Scotia Howard Weil... Rite Aid (RAD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Rubicon Minerals (RBY) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Canaccord... SABMiller (SBMRY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg... Sensata (ST) downgraded at SunTrust... Stryker (SYK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
09:27 EDTWMTWal-Mart upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast
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09:08 EDTRADRite Aid downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
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