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January 10, 2014
13:00 EDTYRCW, HTH, SHLD, SWS, TGT, CHTP, ICPTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday after a report showed that U.S. hiring slowed markedly in December. The averages began the session in positive territory, as a "bad news is good news" attitude appeared to breifly return to the market, but the market never gained upside momentum. The averages crossed into negative territory before the end of the first hour of trading and have drifted in negative ground since then. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., employers added 74K jobs in December, which was the smallest jobs gain since January 2011 and fell well short of expectations for 200K jobs to have been added. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 6.7% from 7% in November, but the drop occurred largely because more people stopped looking for work. In China, the nation's trade surplus of $25.6B for December was below the $32.2B surplus expected. Export growth of 4.3% was slower than the prior month and missed expectations, while imports rose by 8.3%, which was more than expected. In Europe, S&P reaffirmed at its AAA rating on Germany with a stable outlook. COMPANY NEWS: Target (TGT) shares slipped 1% after the company increased its estimate of people affected by its recent security breach to 70 million and said additional information may have been stolen. The company also cut its forecast for the fourth quarter performance of its U.S. unit, noting that it now expects same-store sales will fall about 2.5%, compared with a prior view that they would be flat compared to last year. Target stated that its new expectation reflects stronger-than-expected Q4 sales prior to the company’s announcement of its data breach and "meaningfully weaker-than expected" sales since the announcement... Another department store owner, Sears Holdings (SHLD), plunged 12% after forecasting worse than expected fourth quarter losses and saying domestic comparable store sales for the quarter-to-date fell 5.7% at Kmart and 9.2% at Sears stores in the U.S. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT), which rose another 70% after its stock nearly tripled yesterday following the company's trial of obeticholic acid for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis being stopped early for efficacy. Also higher was SWS Group (SWS), which rose about 21% to $7.33 near midday after Hilltop Holdings (HTH) offered to buy the rest of SWS that it doesn't already own for $7 a share in cash and Hilltop stock. Hilltop shares also rose nearly 9% after making the proposal. Among the noteworthy losers was Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP), which fell 29% after the FDA posted briefing documents related to a review of a resubmission for the company's Northera drug. Also lower were shares of trucker YRC Worldwide (YRCW), which declined 13% after members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters did not approve the memorandum of understanding extension proposal made by the company. INDEXES: Near 1 pm ET, the Dow was down 35.43, or 0.22%, to 16,409.33, the Nasdaq was down 1.71, or 0.04%, to 4,154.49, and the S&P 500 was down 1.10, or 0.06%, to 1,837.03.
News For TGT;SHLD;ICPT;SWS;HTH;CHTP;YRCW From The Last 14 Days
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November 18, 2015
08:04 EDTTGTTarget narrows FY15 adjusted EPS view to $4.65-$4.75 from $4.60-$4.75
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08:03 EDTTGTTarget sees Q4 adjusted EPS $1.48-$1.58, consensus $1.54
08:02 EDTTGTTarget narrows FY15 adjusted EPS view to $4.65-$4.75 from $4.60-$4.75
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08:00 EDTTGTTarget reports Q3 adjusted EPS 86c, consensus 86c
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07:42 EDTICPTIntercept PBC treatment revenue likely to beat expectations, says Oppenheimer
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November 17, 2015
15:17 EDTTGTTarget November 73 straddle priced for 6% movement into Q3
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15:13 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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12:53 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Analysts bullish on Target's Q3 comps ahead of earnings report
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report third quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, November 18, 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 86c on revenue of $17.57B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 81c-89c on revenue of $17.42B-$17.76B. In its last earnings report, Target forecast Q3 adjusted EPS 79c-89c Q3 comparable sales up 1%-2%. LAST QUARTER: Target reported second quarter adjusted EPS of $1.22, beating analysts' estimates for $1.11, on revenue of $17.43B, generally in line with analysts' $17.4B consensus. The company said comparable sales increased 2.4% in Q2. Looking ahead, Target raised its fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS view to $4.60-$4.75 from $4.50-$4.65 against estimates at that time for $4.62. On its earnings conference call, Target said it felt "great" about its fourth quarter plans and said it will be "very promotional" in that quarter. NEWS: On August 25, Target said it expects to record a pretax gain of approximately $550M after closing the transaction with CVS Pharmacy (CVS) to sell its pharmacy and clinic businesses for cash consideration of approximately $1.9B. Target also entered into a development agreement with CVS, through which it may jointly develop small-format stores, Target said. The transaction is expected to be accretive to EPS after closing. On September 10, Cherokee (CHKE) announced that Target elected not to renew the license of the Cherokee brand in the U.S., which will expire at the end of its current term on January 31, 2017. Target said on September 30 that it will update its Price Match Policy by expanding digitally and extending its timeframe to 14 days compared to 7 days. The retailer later announced plans to bring back free shipping and returns through the holiday season. STREET RESEARCH: Ahead of the company's earnings report, Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton acknowledged that while sentiment is challenging on Target's stock amid the weakness being reported by a number of retailers this week, he believes Target's Q3 SSS are within the company's guidance of up 1%-2%. The analyst believes Target's fundamentals may be holding up better than some expected. He has an Overweight rating and $88 price target on the stock. Stifel also believes Target will report an above Street comp of 2% versus consensus of 1.7% and inline earnings of 86c. Analyst David A. Schick checks indicate strong merchandising and customer response to key holidays and said PCE trends suggest there is still room for comp upside. Last week, Citi analyst Kate McShane said that in a head-to-head comparison between Costco Wholesale (COST), Target and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), three of the biggest broadlines retailers in the world, Target is the "surprising" winner. McShane said that Target "wins" on potential for EPS growth, operating margin and valuation. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are down over 7% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are up about 1.7% to $73.54.
09:02 EDTTGTAnalyst pans competing products, says buy Fitbit
Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors. UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" lineup of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note. PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) and Barclays (BCS), which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler. APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
November 16, 2015
11:35 EDTSHLDDillard's sinks to 52-week low after joining chorus of 'disappointed' retailers
Shares of Dillard's (DDS), a retailer of fashion apparel, cosmetics and home furnishing, are falling to their worst level in a year after the company became the latest in its industry to report lower than expected third quarter results. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, Dillard's reported Q3 earnings per share of $1.19 and revenue of $1.435B, narrowly missing analysts' consensus estimates of $1.20 and $1.49B, respectively. Same-store sales for the quarter fell 4%. Total merchandise sales decreased 3% for the 13-week period ended October 31. Weaker performing categories were men's apparel and accessories and ladies' accessories and lingerie with notable weakness in home and furniture the company explained. Dillard's Chief Executive Officer, William T. Dillard, II, stated, "We are disappointed with our third quarter sales performance and in the resulting decline in profit. Share buyback remained a high priority, and we repurchased $175 million of stock under our share repurchase program." WHAT'S NOTABLE: Gross margin from retail operations improved 11 basis points of sales for the 13 weeks ended October 31 compared to the prior year third quarter. Consolidated gross margin for the 13 weeks ended October 31 declined 30 basis points of sales compared to the prior year third quarter. The disparity between retail and consolidated gross margin performance is attributable to increased revenue at CDI, which is a substantially lower margin business. Inventory increased 6% at October 31 compared to November 1, 2014. For FY15, the company expects capital expenditures of $150M. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Dillard's fell $5.81, or 7.5%, to $71.79 on more than three times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week low of $68.05. Including today's pull back, the shares have lost about 36% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other apparel, cosmetics and home furnishing retailers include Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS), JC Penny (JCP), Sears (SHLD) and Nordstrom (JWN).
November 15, 2015
15:08 EDTICPTIntercept reports analysis of Phase 3 obeticholic acid study, other data
Intercept announced results from three studies in primary biliary cirrhosis, recently renamed primary biliary cholangitis, for presentation at the American Academy for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting. The studies evaluate investigational use of obeticholic acid, Intercept's lead farnesoid X receptor agonist. In a presentation titled, "Clinical Epidemiology of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis based on a Large U.S. Laboratory Database: Incidence and Trends in Serum Alkaline Phosphatase," an analysis of a clinical database of more than 575,000 patients who received an anti-mitochondrial antibody test showed that, of those patients, 6,107 were classified as having probable PBC based on a positive AMA test and ALP greater than the upper limit of normal at any time prior to AMA testing or up to one month following AMA testing. The study found that 69% of those likely PBC patients continued to have elevated ALP two years after the first positive AMA test. Meanwhile, a presentation titled "A Trial-Based Model of Liver Transplant and Liver-Related Death in Patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis" includes an analysis of data from the Phase 3 POISE trial of OCA in PBC using the UK-PBC predictive model of transplant-free survival based on ALP, bilirubin, alanine transaminase, albumin and platelet count. Risk was assessed at 5, 10 and 15 years based on a 12-month change from baseline in patients treated with OCA plus or minus ursodiol or placebo plus or minus ursodiol at the end of the POISE study. The UK-PBC risk algorithm showed a significantly lower risk of liver transplant or liver-related death in OCA-treated patients compared to placebo. Lastly, a presentation titled "Physician versus Patient Perceptions of Medical Care Quality in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis" showed that patients may not be properly informed about their ALP scores and the nature of PBC symptoms.
14:38 EDTICPTIntercept reports analyses of OCA in fatty liver patients
Intercept Pharmaceuticals announced new results from the non-invasive evaluation of liver fibrosis in patients from the FLINT trial of obeticholic acid, or OCA, for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. In the trial, treatment with once daily 25 mg OCA was shown to reverse fibrosis in a "significant proportion" of biopsy-proven NASH patients, as observed by repeat liver biopsy at the end of the double-blind treatment phase at week 72, according to the company. Post-hoc analysis evaluated the early predictive value of three known non-invasive fibrosis tests -- FIB-4, APRI and NFS -- in identifying patients who experienced improvement in fibrosis. Each was assessed at baseline and over the course of treatment and then correlated with histologic changes observed in the OCA and placebo patients. The analysis demonstrated that OCA treatment of NASH patients led to a statistically significant decrease in FIB-4 from baseline as compared to placebo. Further, a decline in FIB-4 of 10% after 24 weeks of treatment predicted improvement in fibrosis by at least one stage as assessed by biopsy at 72 weeks, according to Intercept. Similarly, OCA-treated patients experienced a significant decrease in APRI as compared to placebo, and a 34% reduction in APRI at 24 weeks predicted improvement in fibrosis by at least one stage at 72 weeks. On average, OCA treatment reduced the FIB-4 score to less than 1.3 and the APRI score to less than 0.5, the respective cut-off values associated with advanced fibrosis, while placebo patients remained above these cut-offs. While NFS declined in the OCA-treated patients and increased in the placebo patients, it did not appear to be sensitive to changes in fibrosis, the company said.
November 13, 2015
15:35 EDTICPTIntercept to host investor meeting
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14:15 EDTTGTTarget volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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11:05 EDTTGTTarget comparable sales likely within guidance, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton acknowledged that sentiment is challenging on Target's stock amid the weakness being reported by a number of retailers this week, but he asserts that Census Bureau data this morning, combined with the firm's observations, leave him thinking that Target's third quarter comparable sales are within the company's guidance of up 1%-2%. The analyst, who thinks Target's fundamentals may be holding up better than some expect, has an Overweight rating and $88 price target on the stock.
08:28 EDTICPTAmerican Association for Study of Liver Diseases to hold annual meeting
The Liver Meeting 2015 is being held in San Francisco on November 13-17.
November 12, 2015
19:00 EDTTGTOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: USA Technologies (USAT), up 15.9%... Blue Buffalo (BUFF), up 7.3%... Planet Fitness (PLNT), up 12.3%... Darling Ingredients (DAR), up 8.1%... Applied Materials (AMAT), up 3.8%... Lipocine (LPCN), up 19.9% after reporting quarterly results and that the FDA has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date of June 28, 2016. ALSO HIGHER: Syngenta (SYT), up 14.5% after Bloomberg reported that the company rejected an initial $42B bid from ChemChina... Yum! Brands (YUM), up 4.1% after reporting that October China Same-Store Sales are up 5%. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: bebe stores (BEBE), down 10.5%... Nordstrom (JWN), down 20.3%... Fossil (FOSL), down 14.7%... Cisco (CSCO), down 4.8%... El Pollo LoCo (LOCO), down 8.7%... Tahoe Resources (TAHO), down 7.2%. ALSO LOWER: Paycom Software (PAYC), down 5.2%... Netflix (NFLX) down 1% after Dow Jones reported that Hulu, a joint venture of Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), and Fox (FOX, FOXA), is in discussions to sell a stake in the company to Time Warner (TWX)... TJX Companies (TJX), down 4%, Burlington Stores (BURL), down 5.3%, Macy's (M), down 1.6%, Target (TGT), down 1.9%, J.C. Penney (JCP), down 1.4%, and Kohl's (KSS), down 1.3%, after Nordstrom reported quarterly results and cut its fiscal 2015 guidance.
18:38 EDTTGTDepartment store stocks drop after Nordstrom reports Q3 earnings, cuts guidance
Shares of Nordstrom (JWN) slipped in after-hours trading after the department store reported its third quarter results and cut its guidance for fiscal year 2015. WHAT'S NEW: Nordstrom reported Q3 earnings per share of 42c, against analyst estimates of 72c, Q3 revenue of $3.24B below consensus estimates of $3.37B, and Q3 same-store sales of 0.9%. The company lowered its FY15 adjusted EPS view to $3.40-$3.50 from $3.70-$3.80, against analyst expectations of $3.75, lowered its FY15 revenue guidance to up 7.5%-8% from 8.5%-9.5%, and lowered its FY15 SSS view to 2.5%-3% from 3.5%-4.5%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Nordstrom reported that Q3 EPS included a reduction of 15c, which primarily represented transaction costs associated with the closing of its credit card portfolio sale. In its Q3 earnings release, Nordstrom said that its performance was below company expectations, reflecting softer sales trends that were generally consistent across channels and merchandise categories. The company noted that its top-performing merchandise category was Cosmetics. In addition, coats, younger customer-focused departments and dresses continued to reflect strength in Women's Apparel. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Nordstrom are trading lower by 20.55% to $50.45 in the after-hours. OTHERS TO WATCH: Retailers that followed Nordstrom downward included TJX Companies (TJX), down 4%, Burlington Stores (BURL), down 5.3%, Macy's (M), down 1.6%, Target (TGT), down 1.9%, J.C. Penney (JCP), down 1.4%, and Kohl's (KSS), down 1.3%.
13:05 EDTTGTTarget to open small-format store in Manhattan next year, Fortune reports
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08:15 EDTTGTTarget names Melanie Healey to board of directors
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