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News Breaks
February 3, 2014
11:39 EDTAXP, TGT, MA, VTarget could be fined over $1 billion for card breach, analyst says
Target (TGT) may be fined $400 million to $1.1 billion for its credit card data breach late last year, research firm Jefferies wrote in a note to investors last week. WHAT'S NEW: Target may be fined up to $1.1 billion for its violation of Payment Card Industry, or PCI, standards as a result of the data breach, Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder wrote. PCI was founded by Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), American Express (AXP) and other major credit card networks to adopt security controls for handling credit and debit card data. In addition to leading to a fine, the incident could hurt Target's sales, and lower the profits that it receives from holders of its credit card, Binder stated. The data breach could also hamper Target's ability to meet its $4B share buyback target for fiscal 2015, added Binder. He now expects the company to buy back only $1B of its shares in fiscal 2015, and he reduced his fiscal 2015 earnings per share estimate for the company to $4.29 from $4.41. The analyst trimmed his price target on the shares to $56 from $59 and kept a Hold rating on the stock. Contrary to a previous version of this story, PCI does not levy fines. Rather individual payment brands may impose financial consequences on businesses that are not compliant with PCI standards. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Target shares are down 2%, or 98c, to $55.66.
News For TGT;V;MA;AXP From The Last 14 Days
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November 18, 2015
11:00 EDTV, TGT, MATarget sees industry's move to EMV restoring confidence to U.S. payment system
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10:47 EDTTGTTarget sees Apple Watch to be top gift in wearable category in holiday season
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10:43 EDTTGTTarget says wearable devices bright spot in electronics in Q3
CEO Brian Cornell says "strategy working." Says consumers spending cautiously, but says "confident" heading into the holiday season. says sales in signature categories growing much faster than overall sales. Notes that traffic has turned positive over last four quarters. Reports continued softness in tablets in Q3, says wearable devices a bright spot in electronics. Says Q3 softness in electronics "particularly impactful" online. Comments taken from the Q3 earnings conference call. Target is down 6.03% to $68.51 in morning trading.
09:43 EDTTGTTarget drops after earnings
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08:05 EDTTGTTarget reports Q3 SSS up 1.9%
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08:04 EDTTGTTarget says returned $1.3B to shareholders in Q3
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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07:49 EDTVBottomline Technologies announces strategic alliance with Visa
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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.
07:01 EDTAXPGlobal Payments to offer Apple Pay support in Canada
Global Payments (GPN) said it will offer its merchants in Canada the ability to accept American Express (AXP) payments made with Apple (AAPL) Pay. As an Apple Pay-qualified payment provider, Global Payments' robust suite of payments solutions is fully enabled for Apple Pay acceptance, allowing merchants to offer their customers the convenience of Apple Pay acceptance in-store, in-app and on-the-go.
November 16, 2015
12:04 EDTAXPAmerican Express reports October net write-offs 1.3% vs. 1.2% last month
Reports October 30 days past due loans 1.0% vs. 1.0% last month.
11:31 EDTAXPMarriott announces plans to buy Starwood in $12.2B cash and stock deal
Shares of Marriott International (MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) fell after the two companies announced that Marriott will acquire Starwood in a cash and stock deal valued at $12.2B. WHAT'S NEW: Under the terms of the agreement, Starwood shareholders will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott Class A common stock and $2 in cash for each share of Starwood stock. When the deal closes, Starwood stakeholders will own roughly 37% of the combined entity's stock, the companies said. Marriott expects the deal to be earnings accretive by the second year after the merger, excluding the impact of transaction and transition costs. Marriott president and chief executive officer Arne Sorenson will remain in both positions following the merger. The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2016. In a statement announcing the deal, Marriott said it remains committed to its management and franchise strategy. Additionally, Marriott said it expects to deliver at least $200M in annual cost savings in the second full year after closing. Marriott expects to return at least $2.25B in dividends and share repurchases to investors, and believes it can reutrn "at least as much" in the first year following the closing. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On a conference call discussing the deal, Sorenson said that Starwood brands will "remain in place" and that he is focused on increasing appeal to younger travelers. Sorenson also said that the agreement includes a $400M break-up fee. Marriott chief financial officer Carl Berquist added that Starwood will continue its asset sale program. Starwood Chairman Bruce Duncan said that "all possible options" were considered and the company spoke to a "wide range" of interested parties. OTHER BIDDERS: On November 2, CNBC's David Faber reported that Starwood and rival Hyatt (H) were still in talks over a potential merger deal and that deal was about "a week away." In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported on October 27 that Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels, HNA Group and China Investment Corporation were vying for government clearance to submit an offer to acquire Starwood. On July 30, media reports emerged that Starwood had reached out to possible suitors about a buyout, including InterContinental (IHG), Wyndham Worldwide (WYN), and several sovereign wealth funds. Intercontinental denied it was involved in any such discussions with Starwood the day the story was reported. STREET RESEARCH: In response to the acquisition news, RBC Capital Markets analyst Wes Golladay said that Marriott may look to convert some of Starwood's hotels, likely older Sheratons, to its new Delta brand. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Marriott declined 0.14% to $72.64 and Starwood fell 6.25% to $70.24. OTHERS TO WATCH: Hyatt rallied 3.4%, InterContinental was down 1.77% and Wyndham Worldwide lost 2.07% following the deal announcement. American Express (AXP), which announced new benefits to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card in early June, slipped 0.62% in morning trading.
08:58 EDTAXPAmerican Express slips following Marriott, Starwood deal announcement
Shares of American Express (AXP) are slipping in pre-market trading following the news that Marriott (MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) have agreed to merge. In early June, American Express and Starwood announced new benefits to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. Marriott, however, has its co-brand program with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and the early weakness in American Express shares could reflect concern over a potential change in the merged hotels' co-brand relationships. In pre-market trading, AxEx shares are down about 0.5% to $70.88.
06:35 EDTMAMasterCard eyes double-digit growth in China, Reuters reports
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