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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For MA;SKS;GPS;WMT;TGT From The Last 14 Days
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May 25, 2015
18:12 EDTWMTWal-Mart asks suppliers for less antibiotics, better animal conditions, WSJ says
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May 22, 2015
16:41 EDTWMTStocks end week little changed despite weaker than expected domestic data
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14:09 EDTTGT, MATarget $19M settlement with MasterCard rejected by banks, Star Tribune reports
Target (TGT) and MasterCard (MA) have both confirmed that their proposed $19M settlement over Target's data breach was not approved by the requisite 90% of banks affected, which appears to send the dispute back to a federal lawsuit that is seeking class action status, reported The Star Tribune. ďAt this stage we will continue to work to resolve the matter,Ē stated MasterCard, according to the report. Reference Link
07:44 EDTGPSGap turnaround timing remains uncertain, says UBS
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07:14 EDTGPSCredit Suisse remains cautious on The Gap
Credit Suisse believes The Gap's (GPS) core brand continues to struggle and is losing relevance with consumers. The firm's analyst said Gap brand's value proposition is being eroded by the rise of low-cost "deep value" retailers with efficient supply chains and lower markdown risk. Credit Suisse said Gap's supply chain is reliant on long-lead times and design teams removed from production, which should lead to comp and earnings pressure. Credit Suisse rates The Gap an Underperform with a $34 price target.
May 21, 2015
20:08 EDTGPSAnalysts unimpressed by Gap's Q1 results
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17:34 EDTTGTGoogle data shows link between mobile ads, store visits, WSJ says
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16:02 EDTGPSGap backs FY15 EPS $2.75-$2.80, consensus $2.78
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16:01 EDTGPSGap reports Q1 EPS 56c, consensus 56c
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15:01 EDTGPSNotable companies reporting after market close
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07:09 EDTTGTTarget reported solid results, says Wells Fargo
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May 20, 2015
18:40 EDTTGTTarget looks cheap, Barron's says
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10:59 EDTTGTTarget sees Q2 comparable sales up 2%-2.5%
Sees Q2 gross margin rate to improve 50 basis points.
10:55 EDTTGTTarget plans to review with board for need to increase share repurchases
10:54 EDTTGTTarget reports Q1-end inventory 9% higher than a year ago
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10:42 EDTTGTTarget expects to open six additional Target Express locations in 2015
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10:00 EDTMAOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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09:36 EDTTGTActive equity options trading on open
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08:06 EDTTGTTarget CEO says pleased with Q1 traffic, sales
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08:05 EDTTGTTarget incurred breach-related expenses of $3M in Q1
Target incurred breach-related expenses of $3M in Q1, compared with $18M of net pre-tax expense last year. Since 4Q13, Target has incurred net expense related to the data breach of $166M, reflecting $256M of gross expense, partially offset by the recognition of a $90M insurance receivable. As of April 12, Target Canada completed its inventory liquidation efforts and closed the last of its 133 Canadian retail stores. A court-approved real estate sales process is underway and expected to be complete by the end of June, Target said. Consistent with expectations, after-tax losses from discontinued operations were $16M in Q1, compared with $153M last year. Certain assets and liabilities of Targetís discontinued operations are based on estimates. "The company believes it is reasonably possible that future adjustments to these amounts could be material to its results of operations in future periods. Any such adjustments would be recorded in discontinued operations," Target stated.
08:03 EDTTGTTarget sees Q2 adjusted EPS $1.04-$1.14, consensus $1.12
08:02 EDTTGTTarget raises FY15 adjusted EPS view to $4.50-$4.65 from $4.45-$4.65
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08:01 EDTTGTTarget reports Q1 adjusted EPS $1.10, consensus $1.03
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07:49 EDTTGTCherokee partnerships add to long-term growth, says Brean Capital
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07:36 EDTMAMasterCard Visa risk/reward positive, says Bernstein
Bernstein believes that MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) offer secular growth, defensiveness, and cash generation. The firm says the companies have "compelling business models" and modest risk. Moreover, the firm believes that the stocks offer opportunity, as it expects investors' concerns about disruption, regulation and growth to dissipate.
May 19, 2015
16:50 EDTMA, MAMasterCard initiated with an Outperform at CLSA
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16:23 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
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16:01 EDTWMTOptions Update; May 19, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 27c to 19.17. Option volume leaders: AAPL BAC WMT MSFT FB TWTR MNKD NFLX T PBR
15:00 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:41 EDTTGTTarget (TGT) May weekly 78 straddle priced for 3.6% movement Q1
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14:38 EDTTGTTarget volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
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13:04 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Lowe's sees FY15 EPS $3.29, strongest comps of year in Q1
Lowe's Companies (LOW), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report on its first quarter before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 74c on revenue of $14.27B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 69c-80c on revenue of $13.97B-$14.52B. LAST QUARTER: Lowe's reported fourth quarter EPS of 46c on revenue of $12.54B, beating analyst's estimates of 44c and $12.31B, respectively. The company also reported Q4 same-store sales rose 7.3%, with U.S. comparable sales up 7.4%. The company forecast fiscal year 2015 EPS $3.29 against estimates at that time for $3.28 and said it expects revenue up 4.5%-5% in the fiscal year compared to last. Lowe's also forecast FY15 SSS up 4%-4.5% and said it expects to report the highest comp for FY15 in Q1. On its earnings conference call, the company said it expects higher comps in the first half of 2015 than the second half. The company said it expects jobs, incomes and household financial conditions to improve in 2015. NEWS: During the quarter, Lowe's announced a new $5B share repurchase program, which has no expiration date and adds to the previous program's balance, which was $2.4B at January 30. Seeking Alpha contributor Xuhua Zhou, described as a hedge fund analyst, recently wrote in a blog post that "research confirms Lowe's is guilty of formaldehyde noncompliance in sourcing laminate flooring from China." The Consumer Products Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency should include Lowe's products in their safety testing of Lumber Liquidators' (LL) wood, the writer believes. A Lowe's spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Tescun flooring is being removed from stores. Lowe's Canada recently reached an agreement to acquire the leases of 13 former Target (TGT) Canada Locations and will buy Target's Milton, Ontario distribution center for approximately C$151M. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after its last earnings report, UBS raised its price target on Lowe's to $83 from $75, citing the company's big ticket comp growth, the improving economy and pent up demand from consumers putting projects on hold since the downturn. Argus also raised its price target, to $82 from $70, and said its confidence in the company's ability to generate profitable growth has increased. In March, Oppenheimer raised its price target on Lowe's to $85 from $77 and said the stock has a number of positive catalysts, including solid U.S. consumer spending trends, significant slack in the U.S, housing recovery, improving market sentiment and investors' interest in domestic plays as the dollar strengthens. BofA/Merrill said the home improvement space is one of the more attractive areas within retail and recommends buying Lowe's. The firm remains positive on the company's earnings growth and lack of negative catalysts. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Lowe's shares are up nearly 1%. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's report, Lowe's is fractionally lower at $72.77.
12:47 EDTTGTEarnings 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.
12:25 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
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09:37 EDTWMTActive equity options trading on open
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09:03 EDTMAMasterCard announces launch of MasterCard Send
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07:32 EDTMAPacific Crest shifts preference to MasterCard, upgrades to buy
Pacific Crest analyst Josh Beck shifted his preference to MasterCard (MA) from Visa (V) and upgraded the stock to Overweight from Sector Weight. Beck believes interchange legislation in Europe may have an unintended consequence of benefiting global open-loop payment networks, favoring both MasterCard and Visa. The changes are also positive for eBay's (EBAY) PayPal and mixed for American Express (AXP), Beck tells investors today in a research note. He points out his preference for MasterCard relative to Visa follows the latter company's outperformance over the past year. Beck has a $110 price target for MasterCard shares. The stock closed yesterday down 14c to $93.08.
07:22 EDTWMTWal-Mart drops 2% after Q1 earnings miss expectations
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07:21 EDTWMTWal-Mart now sees forex hurting FY16 net sales by $14B
Wal-Mart CFO Charles Holley said on the company's Q1 earnings call that the company expects currency to remain a "significant headwind" for the year. Assuming exchange rates remain where they are today, the impact on full year net sales would be approximately $14B, which compares to guidance in February of approximately $10B. Assuming exchange rates remain where they are today, the impact on FY16 EPS would be approximately 13c per share, compared to prior guidance of 10c per share.
07:18 EDTWMTWal-Mart says Q1 Sam's Club results 'disappointing'
Rosalind Brewer said on Wal-Mart's Q1 earnings call that Samís Club Q1 results were "disappointing, as comp sales missed guidance, and we delivered softer net sales and profit than last year." Sam's Club reported Q1 comp sales without fuel up 0.4%, with traffic down 0.2% and ticket up 0.6%. Sam's Club expects comp sales for the 13-week period ending July 31 to be between flat and up 2%.
07:14 EDTWMTWal-Mart reports Q1 global e-commerce sales up about 17%
Walmart U.S. e-commerce saw double-digit comp growth across many departments, the company said. Walmart U.S. mobile traffic was up over 100% for the quarter Walmart U.S. saw higher conversion rates as well, the company added. Comments from Q1 earnings conference call.
07:05 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees Q2 EPS $1.06-$1.18, consensus $1.17
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07:03 EDTWMTWal-Mart reports Q1 EPS $1.03, consensus $1.04
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05:59 EDTMAMasterCard upgraded to Overweight from Sector Weight at Pacific Crest
May 18, 2015
15:35 EDTWMTWal-Mart May 79.5 weekly straddle priced for 2.4% movement into Q1
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15:15 EDTWMTWal-Mart May weekly volatility increases into Q1 and outlook
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15:00 EDTWMTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:35 EDTWMTWal-Mart technical comments ahead of results
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14:34 EDTMAMasterCard set to receive antitrust complaint from EU, Bloomberg says
Regulators from European Union are set to issue an antitrust complaint against Master Card on card-payment fees, says Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. European regulators may send the credit card giant a statement of objections before the end of July, added Bloomberg. Reference Link
14:04 EDTWMTEarnings Watch: Wal-Mart sees Q1 EPS 95c-$1.10, U.S. SSS up 1%-2%
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07:27 EDTMAJPMorgan to hold a conference
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07:21 EDTWMTWal-Mart Q1 should benefit from lower gas, stronger consumer, says Stephens
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06:30 EDTWMTWal-Mart to repair stores in labor dispute, Reuters reports
Wal-Mart said it would seek permits to rip up floors and replace plumping lines at five stores that justified its abrupt closure, reports Reuters. The move follows a union-backed complaint to the National Labor Relations Board last month after Wal-Mart temporarily closed the stores. The union accused the company for shutting down the stores to stop workers from organizing. Reference Link
May 17, 2015
19:11 EDTTGTTarget to reduce advertising space for certain large brands, WSJ says
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May 15, 2015
16:32 EDTMABerkshire Hathaway gives quarterly update on stakes
NEW STAKES: None. INCREASED STAKES: IBM (IBM), Precision Castparts (PCP), Wells Fargo (WFC), Phillips 66 (PSX), and US Bancorp (USB). DECREASED STAKES: National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Viacom (VIAB), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), MasterCard (MA), and Visa (V). LIQUIDATED STAKES: None.
09:03 EDTMAU.S. Bank, REI renew mutli-year contract
U.S. Bank (USB) announces the long-term renewal of its co-brand partnership with REI and the launch of the new REI World MasterCard. Under the agreement, the new REI co-branded credit cards will offer members more opportunities to earn through everyday purchases. The card portfolio will be converted to MasterCard (MA) with EMV chip-card technology, better protecting members from card-present counterfeit fraud.
May 14, 2015
14:32 EDTTGTTarget to sell commercial interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace
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07:58 EDTWMTWal-Mart risk/reward favorable into Q1 results, says Baird
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May 13, 2015
18:09 EDTWMTWal-Mart to launch $50 unlimited shipping service in summer, AP says
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14:05 EDTTGTTarget May weekly volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
Target May weekly call option implied volatility is at 26, June is at 21, July is at 19; compared to its 90-day average of 19, suggesting large price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on May 20.
13:28 EDTWMTWal-Mart set to launch Amazon Prime rival, The Information reports
Wal-Mart (WMT) is nearing the launch of a subscription fast-shipping service that will compete with Amazon Prime (AMZN), Amir Efrati of The Information reports, citing people involved with or briefed on the product. The service is an attempt to boost Wal-Mart's online business and should launch in the next few weeks after being pushed back for technical and other issues, Efrati adds. Shares of Amazon are down $2.63 to $428.39 in afternoon trading while Wal-Mart is down 66c to $78.30. Reference Link
13:23 EDTWMTWal-Mart set to launch rival to Amazon Prime, The Information reports
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07:06 EDTWMTAlibaba, Wal-Mart partner on consumer payments, China Daily reports
Alibaba (BABA) announced that it would partner with Wal-Mart (WMT) in China on consumer bill payments, according to China Daily. Under the deal, 25 Wal-Mart stores in the city of Shenzhen will enable consumers to pay their bills through Alibaba's payment service, and the arrangement will be gradually expanded to all of Wal-Mart's stores in China, the newspaper stated. Reference Link
May 12, 2015
10:01 EDTGPSOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: AG Mortgage (MITT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette... Brookfield Renewable (BEP) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Emera (EMRAF) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Fibria Celulose (FBR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup... First Marblehead (FMD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... First Security (FSGI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Gap (GPS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Intelsat (I) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... LivePerson (LPSN) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... MercadoLibre (MELI) downgraded on valuation, difficult comps at Stifel... Midway Gold (MDW) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at RBC Capital... Numerex (NMRX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland... Portland General Electric (POR) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Rackspace (RAX) downgraded to Outperform from Buy at CLSA... Rosetta Resources (ROSE) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... SouFun (SFUN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Verizon (VZ) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
09:14 EDTWMTApps World to hold a conference
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08:27 EDTWMTU.S. Chamber of Commerce to hold a summit
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07:45 EDTMAJefferies to hold a conference
2015 Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference is being held in Miami on May 12-14.
06:24 EDTGPSGap downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
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May 11, 2015
17:55 EDTGPSGap price target lowered to $44 from $47 at Cantor
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16:06 EDTGPSGap down 1.2% after reporting April, Q1 same-store sales
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16:05 EDTGPSGap sees Q1 EPS 55c-56c, consensus 55c
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16:04 EDTGPSGap reports Q1 SSS down 4%
Gap reported Q1 net sales decreased 3% to $3.66B, compared with $3.77B for the first quarter last year. The translation of net sales in foreign currencies into U.S. dollars negatively impacted the companyís reported sales for Q1 by about $90M, primarily due to the weakening Japanese yen and Canadian dollar. On a constant currency basis, net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 decreased 1% compared with last year. Gap Inc.ís comparable sales for Q1 were down 4%, versus negative 1% last year. Comparable sales by global brand for the first quarter were as follows: Gap Global: negative 10%; Banana Republic Global: negative 8%; Old Navy Global: positive 3%.
16:02 EDTGPSGap reports April SSS down 12%
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09:01 EDTTGTLowe's acquires leases of 13 former Target stores in Canada
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07:22 EDTMAVisa acquisiiton of Visa Europe would be positive, says RBC Capital
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