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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 31, 2014
11:13 EDTTFM, KR, WFM, FWMWhole Foods retreats after lowering guidance
Shares of Whole Foods Market (WFM) are sinking after the company cut its full-year guidance. WHAT'S NEW: Whole Foods reported stronger than expected third quarter revenue and earnings per shares of $3.4B and 41c, respectively, and said that its comparable store sales had risen 3.9%. However, the supermarket operator cut its full-year sales growth outlook to 9.6%-9.9% from its previous guidance of 10.5%-11%. The company also reduced its full-year EPS outlook to $1.52-$1.54 from $1.52-$1.56 and cut its full-year comparable sales growth guidance to 4.1%-4.4% from 5%-5.5%. "Our business model is producing industry-leading sales per gross square foot, healthy returns on invested capital and strong operating cash flow," said Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb in a statement. "We are seeing signs of stability in our sales trends and believe our strategic initiatives will help generate further momentum and produce increasing returns on invested capital over the long term," Robb added. ANALYST REACTION: JPMorgan analyst Ken Goldman downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight, stating that the company is likely to deliver low fiscal 2015 EPS as it increases its investments in a number of areas, including advertising, store refreshes, and home delivery. Additionally, Whole Foods could lower its fiscal 2015 EPS guidance well below the $1.74 it provided last quarter, the analyst added. Goldman reduced his fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 EPS estimates significantly below consensus levels and cut his price target on the stock to $38 from $48. Also downgrading the stock was UBS analyst Jason DeRise. Increased competition has caused Whole Foods' market share gains in natural food to stall, according to DeRise. To attract additional natural food customers it must cut its prices, he contended. The analyst downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and cut his price target to $41 from $48. Morgan Stanley was more upbeat on the stock, saying that the company's growth is poised to re-accelerate over the longer term. The firm recommended buying the stock on weakness and kept a $50 price target and Overweight rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Whole Foods fell 3.4% to $37.76. Other supermarket stocks also retreated, with The Fresh Market (TFM) falling 3.5% to $29.62, Fairway Group (FWM) losing 1.8% to $5.95, and Kroger (KR) losing 1% to $49.22.
News For WFM;TFM;FWM;KR From The Last 14 Days
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July 30, 2015
07:07 EDTWFMWhole Foods downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT
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06:48 EDTWFMWhole Foods price target lowered to $34 from $45 at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton lowered his price target for Whole Foods to $34 saying the company reported slower than expected comps, lower margins than expected and provided a less favorable outlook. He believes believe earnings growth will be difficult to achieve in FY16 and keeps a Neutral rating on the stock.
06:45 EDTWFMWhole Foods results likely to bring down United Natural, says Piper Jaffray
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06:29 EDTWFMWhole Foods downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
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06:21 EDTWFMWhole Foods downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
05:46 EDTWFMStocks with implied volatility movement; AMD WFM
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July 29, 2015
19:32 EDTWFMOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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18:02 EDTWFMWhole Foods to open first 365 by Whole Foods Market Store leases
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16:07 EDTWFMWhole Foods sees 2015 sales growth of 9%
Sees 2015 comparable store sales growth in the low single digits. The company said, "In this rapidly changing marketplace, we believe we are taking the necessary steps to position ourselves for the longer term," added Robb. "We remain focused on innovating and evolving to best serve our customers' diverse purchasing preferences. From the unique experience of our Whole Foods Market stores, to our growing online channel for home delivery, to the exciting launch of our 365 by Whole Foods Market stores, we are making investments to extend our reach to both new and existing customers."
16:07 EDTWFMWhole Foods sees Q4 EPS 34c-35c, consensus 45c
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16:06 EDTWFMWhole Foods reports Q3 EPS 43c, consensus 45c
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15:59 EDTWFMNotable companies reporting after market close
Notable companies reporting after the market close, with earnings consensus, include Facebook (FB), consensus 47c... MetLife (MET), consensus $1.48... Williams (WMB), consensus 24c... Vertex (VRTX), consensus (58c)... O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), consensus $2.26... NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), consensus $1.37... Marriott (MAR), consensus 81c... Fiserv (FISV), consensus 94c... Western Digital (WDC), consensus $1.45... SBA Communications (SBAC), consensus 9c... Whole Foods (WFM), consensus 45c... Lincoln National (LNC), consensus $1.53... Lam Research (LRCX), consensus $1.47... ServiceNow (NOW), consensus (2c)... Qorvo (QRVO), consensus $1.06... Hologic (HOLX), consensus 39c.
15:08 EDTWFMNotable companies reporting after market close
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14:15 EDTWFMWhole Foods technical comments ahead of earnings
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14:12 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly 41 straddle priced for 8.1% movement into Q3
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13:17 EDTWFMEarnings Preview: Whole Foods 'value' concept in focus ahead of earnings
Whole Foods Market (WFM) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, July 29, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Whole Foods Market is a retailer of natural and organic foods and grocer, with over 400 stores through the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are expecting earnings per share of 45c on revenue of $3.69B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 43c-47c on revenue of $3.58B-$3.8B. LAST QUARTER: On May 6, Whole Foods reported second quarter EPS excluding special items of 43c, matching consensus estimates, on revenue of $3.65B, falling just short of analyst expectations of $3.7B. Whole Foods also reported second quarter same store sales growth of 3.6%. The company backed its expectation for fiscal year 2015 same store sales growth in a low to middle single digits percentage range. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During its second quarter earnings conference call, Whole Foods announced that it will launch a lower-cost concept that will offer its "industry-leading quality standards at value prices," geared toward millennial shoppers while appealing to "anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices." The company said at the time it plans to begin opening stores next year and sees a "fairly rapid expansion" from there. On June 11, Whole Foods said the name of its value-focused brand will be "365 by Whole Foods Market," slated to begin opening stores in 2016. On July 1, regarding pricing issues in its New York stores, Whole Foods released a video in which co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb stated, "Straight up, we've made some mistakes. We want to own that, and tell you what we're doing about it... We know [the mistakes are] unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customer's favor, and sometimes not in the customer's favor... We're doing a number of things [to fix this issue]. Most importantly, we're going to increase our training in our New York stores and around the country, because we want to be perfect in this area... Secondly, we're implementing a third-party auditing system so that we can see whether we're making progress in this area or not - and in another 45 days, we're going to begin reporting back to you, the customer, exactly what kind of progress we're making here. The final thing is that we want to give [a] 100% guarantee to our customers. If for any reason you think there's a mistake... if there's a mistake that's not in your favor, we promise to give you that item for free." STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last earnings report, the stock received at least one upgrade and at least one downgrade. RBC Capital upgraded the stock to Outperform from Sector Perform, thinking that its comparable sales can accelerate, driven by easier comparisons and store refreshes. RBC also lowered Whole Foods' price target to $51 from $54. The same day, Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Whole Foods to Neutral and cut its price target on shares to $48 from $65, citing an uncertain same store sales outlook and the potential impact of its new store concept on its core business. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating on the company, but lowered the price target to $40 from $52 due to weaker Q2 comps and the strategy shift to a value-oriented format. Deutsche Bank also lowered its price target for Whole Foods to $40 from $54 for similar reasons. On June 9, Macquarie initiated Whole Foods with a Neutral rating and a $44 price target. On July 13, Cowen said its survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers regarding their food behaviors indicated that that buyers are in an early stage of demand for more transparent grocery and restaurant offerings. Cowen added in that note that it was concerned about how Whole Foods' rollout of a second concept could potentially impact its core brand. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Whole Foods have slid more than 13.5% over the past three months. In afternoon trading, Whole Foods shares were up 1.6% to $41.60 ahead of the company's earnings report tonight.
July 27, 2015
06:55 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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July 26, 2015
16:15 EDTKRKroger recalls seasonings due to possible Salmonella contamination
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July 24, 2015
08:32 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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July 22, 2015
08:32 EDTKRWestern Union, Kroger extend more than 30-year relationship
Western Union (WU) announced the extension of its more than 30-year relationship with The Kroger Co. (KR). This agreement gives customers the ability to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions across the United States or across the globe to more than 200 countries and territories, in minutes. In addition, Customers can purchase money orders and pay their bills at more than 2,300 Kroger Family of Store locations across 34 states.
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