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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 20, 2014
12:36 EDTLOW, HDEarnings Preview: Lowe's shares nearly flat ahead of Q1 earnings report
Lowe's Companies (LOW), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report on its first quarter before the market open on Wednesday, May 21, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 60c on revenue of $13.86B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 56c-63c on revenue of $13.56B-$14.26B. LAST QUARTER: Lowe's reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of 31c, in-line with estimates, on revenue of $11.66B against estimates for $11.67B. The company also reported Q4 same-store sales rose 3.9%. Lowe's forecast fiscal year 2014 EPS guidance of $2.60 against estimates at that time for $2.64 and said it expects total sales growth of 5% in this fiscal year compared to last. Lowe's said it expected to open 15 home improvement and 5 hardware stores in 2014 and expects its FY13 SSS to increase approximately 4%. The company said its board authorized the repurchase of an additional $5B in company stock. On its earnings conference call, Lowe's said it was taking a "cautious" approach due to the slowdown in housing activity. The company said first half comps would be modestly higher than second half. The company forecast $3.4B in share repurchases in 2014, spread evenly across all quarters. Free cash flow for the year is expected $2.9B and capital expenditures is forecast at $1.2B. NEWS: During the quarter, Lowe's appointed Michael Jones as Chief Customer Officer, succeeding Gregory Bridgeford. At the UBS Global Consumer Conference, Lowe's said the housing industry may grow at a higher rate than GDP and sees another good year of home prices going up. It also expects homeowners will continue to be reengaged in discretionary spending around the home. Lowe's and Porch.com announced the expansion of their strategic partnership to the more than 1,700 Lowe's home improvement stores across the U.S. STREET RESEARCH: Oppenheimer upgraded its rating on Lowe's to Outperform from Perform on expectations sales will improve as the winter weather gives way to more favorable spring conditions. Wedbush downgraded Lowe's to Neutral from Outperform to reflect slower housing trends and continued investment. OTHERS TO WATCH: This morning, Lowe's rival Home Depot (HD) reported Q1 EPS of $1.00 on revenue of $19.69B, beating analysts' estimates. The company also raised its FY14 EPS view to $4.42, in-line with estimates, and backed its FY14 revenue guidance of up 4.8% from FY13, sending shares up around 2% in mid-morning trading. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Lowe's shares are down around 2.3%. In morning trading ahead of tomorrow's report, Lowe's is relatively flat at $45.52.
News For LOW;HD From The Last 14 Days
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July 17, 2014
14:01 EDTHDHome Depot upgraded to Outperform from Peer Perform at Wolfe Research
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July 15, 2014
07:15 EDTLOWIIR Holdings to hold a conference
14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference to be held in Chicago on July 14-16.
July 14, 2014
08:11 EDTHDHome Depot management to meet with JPMorgan
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07:58 EDTHDMakerBot, Home Depot to bring MakerBot 3D printers to select stores
MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys (SSYS), and The Home Depot (HD) announce a collaboration to bring MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers to customers on homedepot.com/makerbot and in 12 Home Depot stores in California, Illinois and New York beginning July 14. This is the first time The Home Depot has offered 3D printers for sale in its stores and will be a pilot program for MakerBot and The Home Depot.
July 10, 2014
16:25 EDTHD, LOWOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session deep in negative territory, as fears about the health of one of Portugalís largest banks, coupled with weak economic data out of Italy, prompted a sell-off in Europe, which spilled over to the U.S. The major averages moved generally higher after the open, though the early losses proved too much to overcome. The reignited fears about Europe's periphery come just as the U.S. corporate earnings season is set to pick up in earnest next week. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 11K to 304K in the week ended July 5. Wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in May, while sales edged up 0.7%, which were both a little below expectations. In Europe, concerns about the periphery rose again as the parent company of Portugal's Espirito Santo bank missed a debt payment, leading the country's interest rates higher and equities in the Eurozone lower. Also, Italy's industrial output saw its steepest monthly fall since late 2012, having dropped 1.2% in May. In China, trade performance improved in June but still missed market forecasts. Exports rose 7.2% in June from a year earlier, missing the consensus forecast for a rise of 10.6%, while imports grew 5.5% in the month, versus the 5.8% growth expectation. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Verizon (VZ) advanced 74c, or 1.51%, to $49.64 to lead the handful of gainers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The rise came after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in an interview on CNBC that his company added over 1.4M postpaid subscribers in Q2, with "record" tablet growth and "very strong" smartphone growth. Afterward, Wells Fargo said in a note to investors that the net adds were higher than the firm's recently increased estimate and above Street consensus... Conversely, Home Depot (HD) was the Dow's worst performer, falling $1.33, or 1.65%, to $79.40. After hardwood floors retailer Lumber Liquidators (LL) and farm products retailer Tractor Supply (TSCO) pre-announced weaker than expected Q2 results, Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker reduced his estimates for Home Depot and peer Lowe's (LOW), explaining that the comparative sales of those two large home improvement retailers have historically had a positive correlation with those of Tractor Supply and Lumber Liquidators. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was AmREIT (AMRE), which rose $3.25, or 16.93%, to $22.45 after Regency Centers (REG) offered to acquire the company for $22 per share, payable in cash and/or stock. Also higher was Cray (CRAY), which rallied $4.27, or 15.69%, to $31.49 after the company announced it has been awarded a $174M supercomputer deal from the National Nuclear Security Administration. Among the noteworthy losers was sandwich maker Potbelly (PBPB), which plunged $3.68, or 25.12%, to $10.97 after the company's second quarter and fiscal 2014 outlook fell significantly short of analysts' consensus estimates. Also lower was Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), which sunk $3.35, or 12.94%, to $22.54 after the company announced data through week 144 from its eteplirsen study in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. INDEXES: The Dow dropped 70.54, or 0.42%, to 16,915.07, the Nasdaq fell 22.83, or 0.52%, to 4,396.20, and the S&P 500 declined 8.15, or 0.41%, to 1,964.68.
10:18 EDTHD, LOWHome Depot, Lowe's estimates cut after warnings from floor, farm retailers
Weak results from Tractor Supply (TSCO) and Lumber Liquidators (LL) do not bode well for Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) near-term outlook, Deutsche Bank warned in a note to investors earlier today. WHAT'S NEW: After hardwood floors retailer Lumber Liquidators and farm products retailer Tractor Supply pre-announced weaker than expected Q2 results, Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker reduced his estimates for Home Depot and Lowe's. The comparative sales of Home Depot and Lowe's have historically had a positive correlation with those of Tractor Supply and Lumber Liquidators, explained Baker. Lumber Liquidators, like Home Depot and Lowe's, is exposed to housing markets, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, like Tractor Supply, Home Depot and Lowe's are exposed to the outdoor/weather sensitive sector, according to Baker. However, there are differences in the companies' business models, and comparative sales at Home Depot and Lowe's are probably trending better than at Tractor Supply and Lumber Liquidators, Baker believes. He lowered his second quarter comparative sales growth forecast for Lowe's to 4% from 4.5%, and for Home Depot to 4.5% from 5%. Baker's Q2 EPS estimates for both home improvement companies are now 1c below consensus levels. He kept a Buy rating on Lowe's and Hold ratings on Home Depot and Tractor Supply. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Home Depot fell 2% to $79.07, Lowe's declined 1.8% to $47.02, Tractor Supply tumbled 5% to $58.23, and Lumber Liquidators plunged 22% to $54.70. Shares of Tile Shop (TTS), which is also exposed to housing markets, fell 11% to $11.55 in early trading.
09:27 EDTHDHome Depot will standout as stable in current retail storm, says RW Baird
Baird believes Home Depot will stand out as stable in the current retail storm, citing its rising sales and margins and its return on invested capital profile. The firm's positive view was reinforced following meeting with management and Baird keeps its Outperform rating and $93 price target on the name.
06:48 EDTHD, LOWHome Depot, Lowe's estimates lowered at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank lowered its estimates for both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) after Tractor Supply (TSCO) and Lumber Liquidators (LL) preannounced Q2 comp misses. The firm says that while the business models are different, Tractor Supply and Lumber Liquidators have historically correlated positively with Home Depot and Lowe's on comps. Deutsche calls its negative earnings revisions "relatively minor," as it thinks comps are probably holding up better at Home Depot and Lowe's. It keeps a Buy rating on Home Depot and a Hold rating on Lowe's.
July 9, 2014
18:50 EDTLOW, HDOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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18:09 EDTLOW, HDLumber Liquidators plummets after cutting full-year outlook
Shares of hardwood flooring and accessories retailer Lumber Liquidators (LL) are sinking in after-hours trading after the company cut its fiscal 2014 outlook. It also forecast second quarter results far below analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: After the bell, Lumber Liquidators forecast Q2 earnings per share of 59c-61c, far short of the consensus estimate of 90c. Q2 sales came in at $263.1M, also well below estimates of $303.21M. Comparable store sales decreased 7.1% for the quarter, and the company expects gross margin in Q2 to contract year over year. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Due to the weak Q2 performance, the company cut its FY14 EPS view to $2.65-$3.00 from $3.25-$3.60, versus consensus of $3.34. It also lowered its FY14 revenue outlook to $1.05B-$1.1B from $1.15B-$1.2B, versus consensus of $1.16B. It forecast comparable store net sales in the low single digits, either positive or negative, compared to its previous view of an increase ranging from mid to high single digits. It sees opening a total of 33 to 37 new store locations in the expanded showroom format, down from the previous view of 35 to 40. CEO Lynch said, "A number of the factors weighing on our second quarter results are likely to continue in the second half of 2014. While we believe the third quarter may be weaker than we originally anticipated, we have a strong sense of urgency and we expect to regain traction to deliver operating margin expansion in the second half and in coming years." PRICE ACTION: In evening trading, Lumber Liquidators fell $13.52, or 19.2%, to $56.90 on heavy trading volume. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the flooring space include Tile Shop (TTS), down 5%, Home Depot (HD), down 1%, and Lowe's (LOW), down 1.8%.

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