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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 25, 2014
13:47 EDTMA, WMTWal-Mart launching chip-enabled store-brand MasterCard
Wal-Mart (WMT) announced in a post on its corporate blog that its store-brand MasterCard (MA) holders will receive a new chip-enabled card in the "next few weeks." Sam’s Club also introduced a chip-enabled MasterCard in June, Wal-Mart noted in the blog post. Reference Link
News For WMT;MA From The Last 14 Days
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July 24, 2015
06:37 EDTWMTWal-Mart increases offerings in baby category
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July 23, 2015
19:24 EDTWMTWal-Mart's Apple Pay competitor launching soon, Bloomberg says
CurrentC, the mobile payment application funded by Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), Best Buy (BBY) and others, will see an early trial run next month, Bloomberg reported earlier, citing three people familiar with the situation. A spokesperson for Lowe's (LOW) said the consortium behind the app expects an official launch in Q3, and Bloomberg noted that CurrentC will compete with more "established" offerings such as Apple's (AAPL) Apple Pay and Google's (GOOG) Android Pay. Reference Link
14:17 EDTMAEarnings Watch: Visa reports after 'top pick' mention by Bernstein
Visa (V) is expected to report third quarter results after the close on July 23, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Visa is a global payments technology company. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 59c on revenue of $3.36B. EPS consensus ranges 54c-65c on a revenue range of $3.32B-$3.41B, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: On April 30, Visa reported second quarter EPS of 63c against expectations for 62c, and reported revenue of $3.41B versus estimates of $3.34B. During its quarterly conference call, the company noted that "we're now looking at Q3 fully diluted EPS being 6c-8c lower than analyst's current expectations," adding that results are likely to be pressured by higher client incentives. Visa executives also disclosed expectations for a "meaningful step-up" in Q3 expense growth, with a number of marketing and technology initiatives having shifted towards the latter half of the year. PEERS: American Express (AXP) reported quarterly earnings after the close on July 22, with earnings above consensus estimates but revenue somewhat below expectations, noting a "significant" impact from a stronger U.S. dollar on international operations. NEWS: On May 8, Bloomberg reported that Visa was in preliminary talks to acquire Visa Europe for $15B-$20B, according to sources. On June 3, Visa and FireEye (FEYE) announced a strategic partnership to co-develop tools and services to protect against cyber attacks targeting payment data. On June 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that, due to Visa and MasterCard (MA) having finalized their card-security technology, Google's (GOOG) Android Pay will not be earning any transaction fees from credit-card issuers, and on June 17, Reuters reported that a U.S. appeals court affirmed that American Express can no longer block businesses from steering customers towards competitor cards, such as those of Visa. STREET RESEARCH: On May 19, Pacific Crest's Josh Beck shifted his preference to MasterCard from Visa, though he noted that the shift was simply due to Visa's outperformance over the past year. On May 20, Bernstein noted that the risk/reward ratio for both Visa and MasterCard looks positive, with the companies offering secular growth, "compelling" business models, and modest risk. More recently on July 14, Bernstein named Visa among its "Vintage Values 2016" list, citing the company's U.S. acquirer price increase and expectations that the Visa Europe put option will be exercised this year. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Visa have fallen just under 1% to $71.41 ahead of Thursday's earnings report.
05:08 EDTWMTWal-Mart acquires remaining shares of Yihaodian
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July 22, 2015
15:01 EDTMAEarnings Watch: American Express reports after several 'top pick' mentions
American Express (AXP) is expected to report second quarter earnings after the close on July 22, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. American Express is a global financial services company specializing in credit card and pre-paid card products and services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.32 on revenue of $8.46B. The consensus range is $1.23-$1.41 for EPS and $8.29B-$9.01B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: On April 16, American Express reported first quarter EPS of $1.48 against expectations for $1.37, and revenue of $7.95B versus estimates of $8.21B. The company reported ROE of 29% and guided towards flat to modestly down FY15 EPS as it ramps investments to offset the March 2016 expiration of its Costco (COST) partnership. NEWS: On May 12, American Express authorized the repurchase of up to 150M company shares while also raising its dividend 12% to 29c per share. During the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on May 28, company executives remarked that a "range" of co-brand deals would be coming up for American Express, adding that the loss of the Costco contract was not the "be-all, end-all" for the company. On June 17, Reuters reported that a U.S. appeals court affirmed a prior ruling that American Express can no longer block businesses from steering customers towards competitor cards, such as those of Visa (V) or Mastercard (MA). STREET RESEARCH: On April 27, Nomura downgraded American Express to Neutral from Buy, citing minimal upside to 2015 and 2016 estimates amid a lack of near-term catalysts. Meanwhile, Bernstein upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform on May 6. On May 18, Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy rating and $90 price target on American Express shares, saying it sees a $750M-$850M annual revenue opportunity through the "Plenti" loyalty program coalition. On June 2, Bernstein said it expects credit card volumes to grow 10%-12% annually over the next five years, adding that American Express, Capital One (COF) and Synchrony Financial (SYF) are its favorites in the sector. Following meetings with American Express executives, Citi called American's risk/reward ratio "attractive" on June 4, and on July 8, Deutsche Bank said it was positive on credit card stocks going into second quarter earnings, with American Express named a top pick. PRICE ACTION: Shares of American Express are near flat to $78.96 ahead of Wednesday's earnings report.
13:25 EDTWMTWal-Mart to end overnight hours at certain stores, Bloomberg reports
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08:38 EDTWMTNRF cuts 2015 retail sales growth forecast to 3.5% from 4.1%
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July 20, 2015
13:46 EDTWMTAmazon seen eclipsing Macy's as top U.S. clothing retailer
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July 15, 2015
06:45 EDTWMTWal-Mart's Yihaodian.com chairman, CEO quit, Reuters says
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05:33 EDTMAMasterCard, PAY.ON announce partnership
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July 13, 2015
16:54 EDTWMTWal-Mart e-commerce chief announces 'awesome deals' without 'admission fees'
In a Wal-Mart (WMT) blog post published Monday, Walmart.com president and CEO Fernando Madeira wrote that the company is "kicking off some awesome deals this week that will be available for everybody with no hidden costs or admission fees, and they won’t be available for just one day. Our customers will see thousands of great deals on Rollback beginning this week along with some special atomic deals... In addition, we’re rolling back our free shipping minimum order to $35 from $50." Note that Amazon's (AMZN) "Prime Day" shopping holiday is set to take place on July 15, though consumers will need a Prime membership to gain access to those deals. Reference Link
10:32 EDTWMTStarbucks teams with companies to hire 100,000 young workers by 2018, WSJ says
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08:04 EDTWMTGrocery/restaurant survey suggests caution on Grubhub, Whole Foods, says Cowen
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07:33 EDTWMTWal-Mart sale to rival Amazon's Prime Day, USA Today reports
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