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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 5, 2014
12:37 EDTCHGG, DLTR, WFM, SALE, FDO, TGT, ECOM, DGOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at the open and remained in negative ground throughout the morning. The market broke its losing streak yesterday but is on track to give back those gains if the levels near noon hold into the closing bell. The move lower comes in spite of the day's economic data generally beating expectations. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's services PMI dipped to 60.8 for the final July print from the 61.0 flash estimate for the month. A similar reading from ISM, its non-manufacturing index, climbed to 58.7 in July from June's 56.0 reading. Factory orders rebounded 1.1% in June, which was better than the expected 0.5% increase. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Target (TGT) fell about 3% after the company pre-announced that it now expects its earnings per share in the second quarter, excluding some items, to come in at 78c, versus its previous guidance of 85c-$1.00. The company expects its comparable sales in the U.S. to be "essentially flat," and it believes the profit margin on its earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amoritzation were lower than expected in Q2. Discounts weighed on the company's margins, as consumers continued to spend cautiously at the company's stores and focus on value, Target reported. The retailer also estimated that the after-effects of its December 2013 data breach cost it $110M in the second quarter... Shares of Whole Foods (WFM) jumped in early trading, with the strength attributed to speculation that activist investor Carl Icahn may have taken a stake in the natural foods grocer, potentially fueled by a tweet from TheStreet's Douglas Kass. Following the circulation of the rumors early in the trading day, Yahoo Finance's Kevin Chupka reported that Carl Icahn has "absolutely no interest in Whole Foods whatsoever," citing sources familiar with the situation. Near noon, shares of Whole Foods were off their highs, but remained up about 2% near $39 per share. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Chegg (CHGG), which gained 17% after reporting higher than expected quarterly results and that it formed a strategic alliance with Ingram Content Group, the world's largest book distributor. Also higher was Dollar General (DG), which rose 3% after Bloomberg said that the company is exploring a bid for Family Dollar (FDO), which it had previously passed on before the latter announced a deal to be acquired by Dollar Tree (DLTR). Among the noteworthy losers was ChannelAdvisor (ECOM), which dropped 28% after its earnings report was followed by analysts at Stifel and RW Baird lowering their respective price targets on the stock to the low $30 area from $40 per share, where both firms previously had their targets pegged. Also lower following its earnings report was RetailMeNot (SALE), which tumbled 26% after the company last night reported weaker than expected results and cut its guidance and saw RBC Capital downgrade its stock to Sector Perform from Outperform. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 87.69, or 0.53%, to 16,481.59, the Nasdaq was down 20.02, or 0.46%, to 4,363.87, and the S&P 500 was down 10.89, or 0.56%, to 1,928.10.
News For TGT;WFM;DG;FDO;DLTR;ECOM;SALE;CHGG From The Last 14 Days
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May 19, 2015
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.
06:02 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 18 at lower end of index mean range
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May 18, 2015
08:46 EDTDLTRDollar Tree weakness an attractive buying opportunity, says UBS
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07:46 EDTWFMAmerican Express has $850M revenue opportunity with Plenti, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank estimates the coalition loyalty/rewards program Plenti represents a $750M-$850M annual revenue opportunity for American Express (AXP) over the next 3-5 years. Earnings accretion will take time, but returns on equity are likely "very high," Deutsche says in a research note. The firm believes Plenti is an example of how Amex is leveraging its strengths to mitigate the loss of Costco (COST). It thinks Plenti's next program supplier needs to be a grocery chain, and pegs Whole Foods (WFM) as a good candidate. Deutsche keeps a Buy rating on American Express with a $90 price target.
06:05 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 19 at lower end of index mean range
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May 17, 2015
19:11 EDTTGTTarget to reduce advertising space for certain large brands, WSJ says
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May 15, 2015
17:33 EDTDLTR, DGPoint72 Asset Management gives quarterly update on stakes
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17:07 EDTFDOTrian Fund gives quarterly update on stakes
NEW STAKES: None. INCREASED STAKES: PepsiCo (PEP), Mondelez (MDLZ), Bank of New York Mellon Group (BK), and Du Pont (DD). DECREASED STAKES: Family Dollar (FDO), and Ingersoll-Rand (IR). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Lazard (LAZ).
14:15 EDTDLTRDollar Tree volatility flat into Q1 and outlook
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06:05 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 20 at lower end of index mean range
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May 14, 2015
14:32 EDTTGTTarget to sell commercial interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace
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06:22 EDTWFMWhole Foods implied volatility of 20 at lower end of index mean range
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May 13, 2015
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.
May 12, 2015
10:11 EDTCHGGChegg management to meet with Lake Street
Meeting to be held in Dallas on May 13 hosted by Lake Street.
May 11, 2015
09:01 EDTTGTLowe's acquires leases of 13 former Target stores in Canada
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May 10, 2015
17:45 EDTTGTJudge allows $19M Target data breach settlement to move ahead, Reuters says
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14:12 EDTWFMWhole Foods stock unlikely to outperform in near-term, Barron's says
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