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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 5, 2014
12:26 EDTHAIN, KRFT, WFMHain Celestial tumbles despite record quarterly results, increased guidance
Shares of Hain Celestial (HAIN), which manufactures, markets, distributes and sells natural and organic products, are falling despite the company reporting record second quarter results and raising its fiscal 2014 outlook. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Hain Celestial reported second quarter adjusted earnings per share of 87c and revenue of $535M, both records for the company. Consensus expectations were for EPS of 87c and revenue of $537.75M, respectively. The company raised its FY14 EPS forecast to $3.07-$3.15 from $2.95-$3.05, and boosted its FY14 revenue view to $2.115B-$2.145B from $2.025B-$2.05B. FY14 consensus estimates were $3.11 and $2.14B, respectively. Hain did note that its gross margin was impacted by higher commodity costs, product mix, and a shift in trade spending to point of sale activities. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, analyst commentary was positive. Research firm Jefferies said any pullback in Hain Celestialís shares represented an entry point. The firm noted management stated that Q3 was off to a strong start. Jefferies lowered its price target for shares to $97 from $99 and kept a Buy rating on Hain. Another firm, BMO Capital, said concerns about Hain may create a buying opportunity. BMO Capital believed that concerns about a deceleration in the company's U.S. growth were misplaced. The firm argued that the company is poised to exceed sales/earnings expectations in the near term, and it kept an Outperform rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Hain Celestial fell $6.84 or 7.5% to $84.15 on nearly five times its average daily trading volume. Over the past twelve months, the stock is up over 40%. OTHERS TO WATCH: Hainís competitors include Whole Foods (WFM) and Kraft Foods (KRFT).
News For HAIN;WFM;KRFT From The Last 14 Days
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May 21, 2015
07:16 EDTHAINLongbow to hold a conference
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07:14 EDTHAINBMO Capital to hold a conference
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May 20, 2015
10:42 EDTWFMKroger CEO says consumer spending still 'fragile'
Kroger (KR) CEO W. Rodney McMullen says the company will continue to spend on stores. McMullen said it will be "fascinating" to see how Whole Foods (WFM) customers react to its plans for a smaller, lower-cost format. Kroger's CEO says food inflation has been tracking a 1%-2% and the company expects it to continue at that level. McMullen says Kroger looks at "just about anything that is available" in terms of M&A, but doesn't bid on many things. McMullen is speaking on CNBC.
08:18 EDTKRFTKeurig Green Mountain downgraded at Argus on 2.0 brewer challenges
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May 19, 2015
12:47 EDTKRFTEarnings Watch: Target sees FY15 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, 2%-3% sales growth
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report first quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, 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 $1.03 on revenue of $17.09B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 85c-$1.09 on revenue of $16.98B-$17.25B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.50 on revenue of $21.75B, beating analysts' estimates for $1.46 and $21.63B, respectively. The company said comparable sales increased 3.8% in Q4, reflecting a 3.2% increase in comparable transactions. Target said digital channel sales contributed 0.9 percentage points to SSS growth. Target forecast Q1 adjusted EPS 95c-$1.05, SSS up about 2% and said its top priority is to drive digital sales growth. The company said it could be in a position to revisit stock buybacks later this year and noted that its workers' wages are "competitive." NEWS: At its Financial Community Meeting on March 3, Target forecast fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, against estimates at that time for $4.50, on sales growth of 2%-3% for the fiscal year. The company also forecast 10% annual EPS growth for 2016 and beyond, as well as 5%-10% annual dividend growth. Target forecast $2B in savings in expenses and cost of goods over the next two years and 9.5%-10% EBITDA margins over the next five years. As for share repurchases, Target sees $2B this year, and said it continues to support the dividend and repurchase "billions." Looking to FY15, Target forecast FY15 capital expenditures of $2.1B and sees expected CapEx of $2B-$2.5B over the next five years. Target said its gross margin rate of 29.5% is "achievable." Target said it would focus on categories including style, baby, kids and wellness. As part of its $2B cost savings plan, Target said it will cut "several thousand jobs." Target said in a filing that on March 10, the company notified approximately 1,700 employees whose employment will be terminated as part of an overall plan to transform Targetís business. The company said it expects to incur severance costs of $10M. During the quarter, Target said it planned to raise its minimum pay for all workers to at least $9 an hour starting in April, according to The Wall Street Journal, and agreed to pay $10M to settle a class action lawsuit related to its 2013 data breach, Reuters reported. Target reached a settlement with MasterCard (MA) to resolve claims by MasterCard and its issuers related to the retailerís 2013 data breach. Under the agreement, Target will make available up to $19M in alternative recovery offers to eligible banks and credit unions across the globe. Target Canada said it would close the last 133 retail stores by April 12. Target also announced plans to sell its Target Commercial Interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace. The retailer launched the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection in April, which rendered its website inaccessible for short time after it was overwhelmed by customer traffic, The WSJ said. The WSJ also reported that, according to sources, Target gave notice to Campbell Soup (CPB), General Mills (GIS), Kellogg (K), Kraft Foods (KRFT) and others that it will reduce their presence in Target circulars and in-store advertisements. STREET RESEARCH: Following Target's analyst meeting, Wells Fargo said it thinks the company's operating plan sets the stage for the company to potentially beat expectations in 2015 and beyond. The firm believes that"outsized digital growth" or new products could enable Target's results to beat expectations. Piper Jaffray views Target's long term earnings algorithm, which is based on a 1% store comp and 40% growth in digital sales annually, as realistic and the company's capital deployment as encouraging. BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Buy from Neutral in April and increased its price target to $92 from $86. The firm believes Target is well positioned to benefit from an improving middle-income core customer base. The firm said customers are responding well to improved assortment and merchandising and expects Target to continue to see increased spending at stores and online as customers trade-up to more expensive items. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up over 1.6% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are down 0.51% to $77.96.
06:02 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 18 at lower end of index mean range
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May 18, 2015
07:46 EDTWFMAmerican Express has $850M revenue opportunity with Plenti, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank estimates the coalition loyalty/rewards program Plenti represents a $750M-$850M annual revenue opportunity for American Express (AXP) over the next 3-5 years. Earnings accretion will take time, but returns on equity are likely "very high," Deutsche says in a research note. The firm believes Plenti is an example of how Amex is leveraging its strengths to mitigate the loss of Costco (COST). It thinks Plenti's next program supplier needs to be a grocery chain, and pegs Whole Foods (WFM) as a good candidate. Deutsche keeps a Buy rating on American Express with a $90 price target.
06:05 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 19 at lower end of index mean range
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May 17, 2015
19:11 EDTKRFTTarget to reduce advertising space for certain large brands, WSJ says
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May 15, 2015
06:05 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 20 at lower end of index mean range
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May 14, 2015
06:22 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 20 at lower end of index mean range
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May 10, 2015
14:12 EDTWFMWhole Foods stock unlikely to outperform in near-term, Barron's says
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