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March 17, 2014
12:41 EDTRAD, CVS, VGR, KR, WAG, RAI, PM, SWY, WMT, LO, MOTobacco stocks relatively weak after AGs write retailers
Tobacco stocks are trading relatively weaker today after Attorneys General in numerous states encouraged U.S. retailers to follow the example of CVS Caremark (CVS) and stop selling tobacco products in stores that also have pharmacies. WHAT'S NEW: Led by Attorney General Schneiderman and Attorney General DeWine, the Attorneys General of 28 states and territories have written to the CEOs of Wal-Mart (WMT), Walgreen (WAG), Rite-Aid (RAD), Safeway (SWY) and Kroger (KR), asking them to remove any and all tobacco products from their shelves. In addition, 32 Attorneys General have commended CVS Caremark for its recent decision to stop selling tobacco in its stores. PRICE ACTION: At midday, the U.S. equity markets are all up over a percentage point, but shares of Altria Group (MO) and Vector Group (VGR) are trading near the flat-line, Reynolds American (RAI) is down almost 1% , while Lorillard (LO), which was also upgraded by Goldman today, is up 0.6%.
News For MO;PM;VGR;LO;RAI;CVS;WMT;WAG;RAD;SWY;KR From The Last 14 Days
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November 17, 2015
07:08 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees FY16 Walmart U.S. SSS up about 1%
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07:07 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees 'relatively flat' total sales growth for the year
Sees FY15 total net sales growth ex-currency about 3%.
07:07 EDTWMTWal-Mart narrows FY16 EPS view to $4.50-$4.65 from $4.40-$4.70
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07:06 EDTWMTWal-Mart reports Q3 Walmart U.S. SSS up 1.5%
Comp sales at Walmart U.S. were positive for the fifth consecutive quarter, up 1.5%. Traffic increased 1.7%. Customer experience scores continued to strengthen. Neighborhood Market comps increased approximately 8%, with strong growth from newer stores. Walmart International net sales were $29.8 billion. On a constant currency basis, sales reached $34.7 billion, led by Mexico and Canada. Operating income decreased 6.4%. On a constant currency basis, operating income increased 8.5%. E-commerce sales and GMV globally increased approximately 10% on a constant currency basis. Growth was pressured by challenges in key international markets. Investments in people and technology continued. Consolidated operating income declined 8.8%. On a constant currency basis1, consolidated operating income declined 5.4%.
07:05 EDTWMTWal-Mart narrows FY16 EPS view to $4.50-$4.65 from $4.40-$4.70
CFO Charles Holley says, "We delivered solid earnings per share that was well within our guidance. Looking ahead, we are narrowing our full-year earnings per share guidance to range between $4.50 and $4.65, including a range of $1.40 to $1.55 for the fourth quarter. This includes ongoing headwinds from currency, which we now expect will impact earnings per share by $0.16, compared to $0.15 from last quarter's guidance. We continue to expect relatively flat total sales growth for the year. Without the currency impact, our full-year total net sales growth would be around 3 percent."
07:04 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees Q4 EPS $1.40-$1.55, consensus $1.43
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07:03 EDTWMTWal-Mart reports Q3 continuing ops EPS $1.03, consensus 98c
Reports Q3 revenue $117.41B, consensus $117.79B. Q3 diluted EPS from continuing operations was $1.03, benefited by approximately 4c from an adjustment for certain leases. Currency negatively impacted EPS by 4c. On a constant currency basis1, total revenue was $122.4 billion, an increase of 2.8%.
06:39 EDTWMTWal-Mart Asia CEO: China to drive over half of sector growth, CNBC says
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06:27 EDTWMTWal-Mart may see worst y/y decline since 1973, WSJ says
Wal-Mart's stock has slumped roughly 40% since reaching over $90 in January, setting the company up for its worst year over year decline since 1973, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape reports. There is not much reason to believe that the retailer's shares will rebound ahead of Tuesday's quarterly report, Russolillo says. Deflationary concerns and the growing e-commerce market represent two structural issues hindering Wal-Mart's ability to stage swift turnaround, the report says. Reference Link
November 16, 2015
16:23 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stock futures were pointing to a higher open early this morning, showing resiliency in the wake of Friday's terrorist attacks in France and the nation's millitary retaliation against ISIS this weekend. However, the futures weakened following the release of manufacturing data from the N.Y. region, leading to a slightly lower open for the broader market. The averages pared their losses and searched for direction in early trading, but by early afternoon the bulls took control and sent the indexes on an uptrend throughout the afternoon. The major averages each notched gains of more than 1% and recaptured much of what they'd lost on Friday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Empire State index, which measures manufacturing in the N.Y. region, edged up to -10.74 in November, up from last month's -11.4, but below expectations for a -6.5 reading. In Asia, Japan's gross domestic product declined 0.8% in the third quarter, missing expectations for a 0.2% decrease and taking the nation's economy back into recession. COMPANY NEWS: Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) found a buyer, but not the one that recent reports had been foreshadowing. Starwood and Marriott (MAR) announced a deal under which the companies will combine in a cash and stock transaction valued at $12.2B to create the world's largest hotel company. Starwood, which had been linked in media reports to a number of other potential buyers in the past, including Hyatt (H) most recently, fell 3.6% to $72.27 following the deal announcement, while Hyatt rose 3.4% and Marriott added 1.35%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was CONSOL Energy (CNX), which advanced 56c, or 7.57%, to $7.96 after Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn reiterated the stock as his "best idea" at Monday's Robin Hood Investors Conference. Also higher was Wal-Mart (WMT), gaining $1.44, or 2.55%, to $57.87 ahead of its third quarter earnings report Tuesday morning, which comes after largely disappointing reports from other major retailers. Among the noteworthy losers was Clovis Oncology (CLVS), which crashed $69.19, or 69.6%, to $30.24 after new data showed the number of patients testing its cancer drug candidate rociletinib with an unconfirmed response who converted to a confirmed response was lower than expected. The company also noted that the FDA requested additional information related to the treatment's confirmed response rates. Also lower was Dillard's (DDS), which lost $4.97, or 6.41%, to $72.54 after reporting lower than expected Q3 results, the latest in a series of disappointments for the sector. Additionally, SunEdison (SUNE) fell 38c, or 7.61%, to $4.55 after quarterly filings revealed that at least two prominent hedge funds exited or trimmed their stakes in the company. INDEXES: The Dow rose 237.77, or 1.38%, to 17,483.01, the Nasdaq gained 56.73, or 1.15%, to 4,984.62, and the S&P 500 advanced 30.15, or 1.49%, to 2,053.19.
15:02 EDTWMTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:08 EDTWMTWal-Mart technical comments ahead of results
The shares are at multi-year lows and in a downtrend heading into earnings news. If there was a bullish surprise, the first important resistance level would be at the 10-week moving average at $60.58. The 10-week is a good proxy for a downtrend resistance line for the current longer-term bearish price channel. Resistance above the top of the channel would be at $61.23. If the news continues to be negative, the channel low at $55.46 would be a first major test of support. Price at that level would mark a fresh 52-week low. Additional support levels to watch as potential downside objectives would be at $53.55 and then at $51.79.
14:00 EDTWMTWal-Mart November 57 straddle priced for 3.5% movement into Q3
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11:42 EDTWMTWal-Mart volatility increases into Q3 and outlook
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11:15 EDTWMTEarnings Watch: Analysts largely downbeat on Wal-Mart after annual meeting
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings before the market open on Tuesday, November 17, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 98c on revenue of $117.79B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.07-$1.15 on revenue of $114.86B-$119.57B. In its last earnings report, Wal-Mart forecast Q3 EPS of 93c-$1.05 with Q3 U.S. same store sales projected to grow 2%-3%. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported second quarter EPS of $1.08, missing analysts' estimate of $1.12, on revenue of $120.2B, beating analysts' estimate of $119.72B. The company said currency negatively impacted Q2 EPS by approximately 4c. Comp sales at Walmart U.S. increased 1.5%, driven by traffic of 1.3%, and Neighborhood Market comps increased approximately 7.3%. Global e-commerce sales for Q2 increased about 16%, the company said. Looking ahead, Wal-Mart cut its outlook for fiscal year 2016 EPS to $4.40-$4.70 from $4.70-$5.05 against estimates at that time for $4.77. Chief Financial officer Charles Holley said operating profit would be pressured for the remainder of the year, due to in store associate wages and additional hours, as well as headwinds from pharmacy reimbursements and ongoing shrink. The company said that the impact from investments in wages, training and additional hours in its stores and clubs will be approximately 24c, including approximately 8c in Q3. Additionally, the company said that along with pharmacy headwinds, higher than expected ongoing shrink in Walmart U.S. will impact full year EPS by around 11c, including about 3c in Q3. Further, the FY16 currency exchange rate impact is expected to be approximately 15c, up 2c from last quarter's revised guidance of 13c. NEWS: At its annual meeting on October 14, Wal-Mart forecast net sales growth of approximately 3% for FY16 excluding the impact of currency exchange fluctuations. The company forecast net sales growth of 3%-4% annually over the next three years, which will add about $45B-$60B in sales. Looking to fiscal year 2017, Wal-Mart forecast EPS down 6%-12% vs. FY16. Wal-Mart also said that the strong dollar is expected to reduce the company's FY15 revenue by $15B, Reuters said. Wal-Mart's board authorized a new $20B share repurchase program and said it expects operating income to bottom out in FY17. During the quarter, Reuters reported that Wal-Mart filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones for home delivery, curbside pickup and warehouse inventory checks. The Wall Street Journal said Wal-Mart is slimming down its number of items in an attempt to bolster sales figures, yet the reduction has created tensions with suppliers. STREET RESEARCH: Credit Suisse, Stephens and BofA Merrill Lynch all downgraded Wal-Mart after the retailer's annual meeting based on guidance for declining earnings in FY17 and a lack of earnings growth until FY19. Baird, UBS and Jefferies all cut their price targets on Wal-Mart following the annual meeting. JPMorgan analyst Christopher Horvers said the "depth and degree" of the financial pressures addressed at the annual meeting were "much greater than anticipated." Ahead of the Q3 earnings report, Baird reiterated its Outperform rating and $70 price target and said Wal-Mart shares appear to hold some value for patient investors. Wal-Mart was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast on November 13. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are down over 21% over the last three months, but are up about 1% to $57.07 in late morning trading ahead of Tuesday's earnings report.
09:06 EDTRAD, CVSDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:36 EDTWMTWal-Mart holds value for patient long-term investors, says Baird
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07:40 EDTWMTBuffett says lower stakes in Goldman, Wal-Mart doesn't reflect lower confidence
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07:36 EDTWMTBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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