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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 18, 2014
11:25 EDTLOW, LL, HD, TSCOEarnings Preview: Home Depot shares up nearly 9% since last earnings report
Home Depot (HD), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report second quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday, August 19, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.45 on revenue of $23.62B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.41-$1.49 on revenue of $22.9B-$24.08B. LAST QUARTER: Home Depot reported first quarter EPS of $1.00 against estimates for 99c on revenue of $19.69B against estimates of $19.95B. The company said same-store sales increased 2.6%, with U.S. SSS up 3.3%. The company raised its fiscal year 2014 EPS view to $4.42 from $4.38 against estimates at that time for $4.42. The retailer also backed its FY14 sales growth view of up 4.8% from fiscal year 2013. On its Q4 earnings conference call, Home Depot forecast gross margins for FY14 would be "about the same" as last year. For the remainder of the year, the company said its view on the housing market recovery had not changed. NEWS: At Oppenheimer's 14th Annual Consumer Conference in June, Home Depot reaffirmed its 4.8% sales growth view for the year and said SSS growth would be 4.6%. The company also said it expected $7B in share repurchases for FY14. The retailer also said it intends to increase its dividend every year. The Wall Street Journal said Home Depot is among the retailers betting that consumer basics, like toilet paper or detergent, will increase sales and lure shoppers into stores. STREET RESEARCH: Citigroup expects Home Depot shares will continue outperforming Lowe's (LOW) in the near-term given its store base concentration and better merchandising effort on the Pro side. Deutsche Bank lowered its estimates for both Home Depot after Tractor Supply (TSCO) and Lumber Liquidators (LL) pre-announced Q2 comp misses. The firm, which noted that the negative earnings revision is "relatively minor," said that while the business models are different, Tractor Supply and Lumber Liquidators have historically correlated positively with Home Depot and Lowe's on comps. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Home Depot shares are up almost 9%. Year-to-date, shares are up over 2%.
News For HD;LOW;TSCO;LL From The Last 14 Days
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August 18, 2015
13:33 EDTLL, HDOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Repeating yesterday's start, the market began the session in negative territory before recapturing those losses. Early weakness was attributed to a dip in Wal-Mart (WMT) shares after the company's earnings report as well as a selloff in the Chinese market overnight. Heading into the afternoon, the market has drifted back across the flat line, with all three indices negative despite July's housing starts showing the strongest reading in eight years. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts edged up 0.2% in July to 1.206M, outpacing consensus estimates for 1.180M in the best reading since October 2007. Building permits fell 16.3% to 1.119M against expectations for 1.230M from a revised 1.337M in June, while single family starts rose 12.8% and multifamily numbers fell 17.0%. In Europe, Eurozone parliaments are set to vote on Greece's prospective bailout deal this week, with Reuters reporting earlier today that the Austrian parliament has approved the EUR86B agreement. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of National Penn (NPBC) rose nearly 17% to $12.77 after BB&T (BBT) agreed to acquire the company in a $1.8B cash and stock deal. On a conference call discussing the acquisition, BB&T CEO Kelly King called the "very, very synergistic" deal a "compelling use of capital," adding that the company expects to consolidate about 25 branches to help drive annual cost savings of $65M... Wal-Mart (WMT) fell roughly 3.2% to near $69.50 after cutting its full year earnings outlook this morning, with CFO Charles Holley noting that operating profit will see continued pressure. Meanwhile, Home Depot (HD) and Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS) saw respective gains of about 2.3% and 1.8% after their pre-market earnings reports. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Omeros (OMER), surging more than 69% to $24.58 after releasing positive preliminary data on its Phase 2 trial of OMS721 for the treatment of organ blood clots. Also higher was Inteliquent (IQNT), rising about 19% to $21.24 after announcing a three-year agreement with T-Mobile (TMUS) to provide IP voice services for the carrier. Separately, Lumber Liquidators (LL) has gained almost 5.7% to nearly $15 in afternoon trading after announcing the appointment of Jill Witter as Chief Compliance and Legal Officer. Among the noteworthy losers was Esperion (ESPR), falling over 11% despite rising 5% in pre-market trading after reporting that the ETC-1002 Phase 3 program is on track, adding that the FDA will not require a cardiovascular outcomes trial prior to the drug's potential approval. Also lower was American Apparel (APP), slipping about 1.9% after disclosing "substantial doubt" about its ability to sustain operations during the coming year. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 40.37, or 0.23%, to 17,504.81, the Nasdaq lost 26.86, or 0.53%, to 5,064.96, and the S&P 500 was lower by 6.02, or 0.29%, to 2,096.41.
12:54 EDTHD, LOWEarnings Watch: Analysts bullish on Lowe's ahead of Q2 earnings
Lowe's Companies (LOW), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report its second quarter earnings before the market open on Wednesday, August 19, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.24 on revenue of $17.27B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.21-$1.27 on revenue of $16.97B-$17.48B. LAST QUARTER: On May 20, Lowe's reported first quarter EPS of 70c on revenue of $14.13B, falling short of analysts' estimates of 74c and $14.28B, respectively. The company also said Q1 same-store sales rose 5.3% year-over-year. The company forecast fiscal year 2015 EPS of about $3.29 against estimates at the time of $3.31 and said it expects revenue to grow 4.5%-5%. Lowe's also forecast FY15 SSS to grow 4%-5% and added that it expected to open 15-20 home improvement and hardware stores in FY15. On its Q1 conference call, Lowe's forecast FY15 effective tax rate of approximately 38.1%, operating margin up 80-100 basis points, capital expenditures of roughly $1.4B, and cash flow from operations of approximately $5.1B. The company added that it continues to expect steady recovery within the housing market including positive trends in turnover and moderate home price appreciation. NEWS: On May 29, Lowe's announced that its board declared a 21.7% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 28c per share, payable August 5 to shareholders of record as of July 22. On June 10, the company said at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference that it was seeing modestly improving wages and saw the income environment as constructive to the industry. It added that it was starting to see pickup from the bottom in housing and modest home price appreciation in 2015. At the Oppenheimer Global Consumer Conference on June 24, Lowe's said it was more focused on asset productivity than square footage, that it was contemplating new geographies, and that it expected to further capitalize on market opportunity in 2015. STREET RESEARCH: The day Lowe's reported Q1 earnings, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Laura Champine lowered her price target for the company's shares to $68 from $75 due to lower-than-expected results. Cantor maintained its Hold rating on the stock. The same day, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the company was still a top pick and reiterated its Buy rating, saying that, despite the Q1 earnings miss, it continued to expect Lowe's to benefit from investments. The day after Lowe's reported Q1 earnings, UBS said it believed the company's shares had room to run from at the time current levels. UBS reiterated its Buy rating for the company and lowered its price target to $82 from $83 on its shares. On June 8, Atlantic Equities initiated its coverage on Lowe's shares with a Neutral rating and a $79 price target. Exactly one week later, Wedbush upgraded Lowe's to Outperform from Neutral, saying it thought at the time that the company was benefiting from strong housing trends as well as Sears' (SHLD) increasing share losses, its previous investments, and macro tailwinds. Wedbush said the company will be a "winner" as long as interest rates remain low and increased its price target for the company's shares to $82 from $80. On June 30, BMO Capital upgraded Lowe's to Outperform and increased its price target to $81 from $73, citing expectations of stronger relative housing improvement and overall economic activity in Southeastern states, where Lowe's has a larger store footprint. BMO added that sales in the Pro segment could accelerate and potentially narrow the gap in comp-store sales with Home Depot (HD) if growth broadens in the coming months. On July 20, Deutsche Bank lowered its Q2 comparable sales and earnings estimates for both Lowe's and Home Depot below consensus to reflect "weak" industry data for building material, garden equipment, and supplies. Deutsche cut its Q2 comp estimate for Lowe's to 3.0% from 4.5% and earnings estimate to $1.23, below the consensus at the time of $1.25. Deutsche maintained its Buy rating on Lowe's stock. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Lowe's shares are up fractionally. In early trading ahead of Wednesday's report, Lowe's are up over 1% to $73.34.
10:20 EDTHDHome Depot price target raised to $115 from $108 at Cantor
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10:15 EDTLLLumber Liquidators hires Jill Witter as Chief Compliance and Legal Officer
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09:23 EDTHDOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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09:20 EDTHDHome Depot expects 2015 adjusted debt to EBITDA ratio will be slightly over 2x
The company says it will tap L-T debt markets in the fall.
09:18 EDTHDHome Depot reports July SSS up 8.2%
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09:18 EDTHDHome Depot says positive housing data support its home improvement growth
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08:52 EDTHDHome Depot breaks out to fresh life high following earnings
Shares were last at $121 in the pre-market, edging the prior life high at $120.75. As long as price remains above that prior high, a run to $125 and eventually to $130 may be possible. A breakdown back below the prior high would suggest the move to date has priced-in the better news. Support would then be at $119.70, the prior day close, and then at $118.13.
08:03 EDTLOWLowe's August volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
Lowe's August call option implied volatility is at 48, September is at 23; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 29, suggesting large price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on Aug 19.
07:21 EDTHDFutures suggesting slightly lower open
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07:21 EDTHDFutures suggesting slightly lower open
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06:04 EDTHDHome Depot raises FY15 EPS growth to 13% from 11%-12%, consensus $5.27
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06:02 EDTHDHome Depot reports Q2 comparable store sales up 4.2%
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06:01 EDTHDHome Depot reports Q2 adjusted EPS $1.71, consensus $1.71
Reports Q2 revenue $24.83B, consensus $24.69B
August 17, 2015
15:00 EDTHDHome Depot August 120 straddle priced for 3.3% movement into Q2
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14:48 EDTHDNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:08 EDTHDHome Depot August volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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12:55 EDTHD, LOWEarnings Watch: Home Depot up 6% over last three months
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August 16, 2015
20:09 EDTLL'60 Minutes' reiterates view of 'unsafe' Lumber Liquidators flooring
On the August 16 edition of CBS' "60 Minutes," reporter Anderson Cooper reiterated the program's perspective that the company's flooring does not appear safe. During the rerun, head of environmental nonprofit Global Community Monitor Danny Larson -- who is suing the company with the help of attorney Richard Drury -- told the program he wants Lumber Liquidators to replace "every single board, at their cost." Drury added that, among households nationwide, there are "probably hundreds of thousands" using Lumber Liquidators products that exceed acceptable formaldehyde levels. As shown in the rerun, undercover investigators for "60 Minutes" visited three separate Chinese mills that claimed to be major suppliers to Lumber Liquidators -- and at all three mills, employees "openly admitted" to producing flooring with non-compliant formaldehyde levels, reportedly saving the company 10%-15%. Since the report first aired, former Lumber Liquidators CEO Robert Lynch has resigned and the company has met with numerous investigations. In a statement released this week, the embattled hardwood retailer said it has taken, and continues to take, action to protect its customers, though it offered no concrete details. Note that shares of Lumber Liquidators closed Friday at $14.02 after Tiger Management disclosed a 238,000 share position in the firm.
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