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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 18, 2014
11:14 EDTTGT, WMT, BBY, GMEGameStop sell-off a buying opportunity, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray views today's sell-off in shares of GameStop (GME) as a buying opportunity. Piper thinks Wal-Mart's (WMT) entrance into the used game space will be immaterial to GameStop's used business. It notes that other retailers, such as Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT), attempted to enter the used game business with little-to-no success.
News For GME;WMT;TGT;BBY From The Last 14 Days
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February 25, 2015
08:01 EDTTGTTarget reports Q4 adjusted EPS $1.50, consensus $1.46
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08:00 EDTTGTTarget reports Q4 adjusted EPS $1.50, consensus $1.46
08:00 EDTWMTWal-Mart still pressured by prominent shareholder over pay, Reuters says
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05:55 EDTTGTTarget implied volatility of 25 at upper end of index mean range
February 24, 2015
15:21 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:47 EDTTGTTarget technical comments ahead of earnings
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12:53 EDTTGTEarnings Preview: Target sees Q4 adjusted EPS $1.43-$1.47, above prior view
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report fourth quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, February 25, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Target offers merchandise at discounted prices through its retail stores and online business. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.46 on revenue of $21.64B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.44-$1.49 on revenue of $21.42B-$21.94B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported third quarter adjusted EPS of 54c on revenue of $17.73B, against estimates for 47c and $17.56B, respectively. The company said U.S. segment comparable store sales were up 1.2% in Q3, reflecting digital sales growth of over 30%, with Canadian segment SSS up 1.6%. In an interview with CNBC following the earnings report, Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said that the company was "not happy" with Target Canada's performance and that the company has "upped our game" with respect to data security. Cornell said the company viewed Q4 as a "notable inflection point." NEWS: In January, Target announced that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada. The company said it expects to report approximately $5.4B of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in Q4, driven primarily by the write-down of the company's investment in Target Canada, along with costs associated with exit or disposal activities and quarter-to-date Canadian Segment operating losses prior to today. Target expects to report approximately $275M of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in FY15. Target expects this decision will increase its earnings in FY15 and beyond, and increase its cash flow in fiscal year 2016 and beyond. Based on performance through November and December, Target now expects to report Q4 U.S. comparable sales of approximately 3%, better than prior guidance of approximately 2%, driven primarily by increased traffic and stronger-than-expected digital sales. The company raised its Q4 adjusted EPS view to $1.43-$1.47 from $1.13-$1.23. The company said GAAP results are expected to include losses related to liquidation of Target Canada,net of taxes, net expenses related to the 2013 data breach, which are not expected to be material, the impact of the reduction of the beneficial interest asset recognized in connection with the 2013 sale of the companyís credit card portfolio, which is expected to reduce GAAP EPS by approximately 2c. The company noted that the "vast majority" of exit costs from Canada are non-cash and said the exit will allow a quicker return to share repurchases. During the quarter, Target named Mike McNamara as executive VP and Chief Information Officer. Target said it is planning open 15 stores in FY15, including three distinct store formats: eight TargetExpress locations, one CityTarget and six general merchandise stores. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge by retailers including Target to the Federal Reserve's rules for debit card "swipe fees," meaning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision, which upheld the rules, will must be followed, said Reuters. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to Target and other retailers for "allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels." The letters call for the retailers to "immediately stop the sale of certain popular products," including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. Johnís Wort, and others. Target recently announced that all online orders of $25 or more now qualify for free shipping. Target agreed to pay $3.9M to settle a lawsuit alleging the company used inaccurate price scanners, misrepresented product weight, and charged higher prices than advertised, The San Francisco Gate reported, citing prosecutor statements. Target announced on its website that it will shutter its online streaming service Target Ticket on March 7. STREET RESEARCH: BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Neutral from Underperform. The firm sees a more stable outlook for Target with the exit of the Canada division and expects the U.S. improvements to continue. RW Baird says that while Target's decision to exit Canada should help cash flows longer term, its view on the company's U.S. fundamentals remain unchanged. The firm says it's hard to call the company's above-plan Q4 comps "robust" given the easy compare. Wells Fargo believes that Target's decision to exit Canada came sooner than expected and removes a major ''weight off the shoulders'' of the company. The firm estimates Target's U.S. earnings can grow to as high as $5.50 in 2016. Stifel downgraded Target to Hold from Buy. The firm believes near-term tactical opportunities are play out and management commentary indicates investments will be necessary in order to modernize. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up over 6.5% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are down 0.5% to $76.27.
07:37 EDTTGTTarget February weekly volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Target February weekly call option implied volatility is at 57, March is at 25, April is at 23, July is at 20; compared to its 26-week average of 20 according to Track Data, suggesting larger near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 25.
06:21 EDTWMTWal-Mart de Mexico announces retirement of CFO Rafael Matute
Wal-Mart de Mexico announces that its board approved Rafael Matute's decision to retire from the company, after having served for 17 years as CFO, and the appointment of Pedro Farah as the new CFO. The changes will be effective June 1 and Matute will stay until July 31 to help with the transition. Farah is currently CFO of Walmart Latin America.
February 23, 2015
10:50 EDTWMTWal-Mart to host 2015 Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting
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08:32 EDTTGTTarget lowers online free shipping minimum to $25
Target announced that, effective immediately, all online orders of $25 or more now qualify for free shipping, with virtually no exclusions. The new minimum is decreased from $50.
February 22, 2015
15:31 EDTWMTMcDonald's under pressure to raise hourly pay as Wal-Mart sets bar, Reuters says
According to labor experts McDonald's (MCD) and its franchisees may be under pressure to raise hourly wages as the improved economic landscape increases competition for good workers and as retailer Wal-Mart (WMT) raises its hourly pay, says Reuters. Reference Link
February 20, 2015
16:48 EDTWMTDow, S&P 500 finish week at record highs after Greek deal reached
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16:03 EDTWMTOptions Update; February 20, 2015
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13:20 EDTWMTAnalysts divided on Wal-Mart after results, pay raise announcement
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart (WMT) this morning after the world's largest retailer reported its quarterly results and gave forward looking guidance yesterday. However, research firm Janney Capital wrote in a note to investors that it believes shares of Wal-Mart will probably outperform going forward, as other retailers are likely to implement wage hikes similar to the one that the giant discounter announced. BACKGROUND: Yesterday Wal-Mart announced that it would raise the wages of all of its employees to at least $10 per hour by February 2016. The company also reported higher than expected fourth quarter profits, excluding certain items, but its Q4 revenue came in below expectations. Moreover, the retailer provided lower than expected profit guidance for its fiscal 2016 and lowered its fiscal 2016 sales growth guidance to 1%-2% from its previous outlook of 2%-4%. Wal-Mart's stock fell significantly yesterday after the quarterly report. ANALYST REACTION: Barclays lowered its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. Meanwhile, Janney Capital analyst David Strasser said Wal-Mart's stock dropped because of worries about the company's spending and the hit the company took from negative foreign exchange trends. However, other retailers are likely to implement similar wage hikes, causing the entire sector to come under pressure and enabling Wal-Mart's stock to outperform going forward, according to Strasser. Additionally, Wal-Mart is likely to continue to benefit from higher gas prices in Q1, wrote the analyst, who kept an $89 price target and Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Wal-Mart added 0.5% to $83.94.
10:01 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:38 EDTWMTActive equity options trading on open
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09:06 EDTWMTWal-Mart can outperform as peers follow suit on wages, says Janney Capital
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07:20 EDTWMT, TGTWal-Mart wage increase may pressure Target, Staples, Reuters says
Wal-Mart's (WMT) wage increase announcement will likely pressure the retail, fast-food, and restaurant sectors to potentially follow suit, reports Reuters, citing an Edward Jones analyst and the managing director of consultancy firm Strategic Resource Group. The analysts specifically named Target (TGT) and Staples (SPLS). Reference Link
05:50 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. The stock closed yesterday down $2.77 to $83.52 after Wal-Mart reported Q4 results.
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