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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For COST;FDO;TGT;DG;WMT From The Last 14 Days
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April 27, 2015
20:03 EDTWMTBest Buy's use of Apple Pay raises questions about Wal-Mart's MCX, Re/code says
Best Buy (BBY) announced it will accept Apple (AAPL) Pay in its stores later in the year, reports Re/code, citing company statements. Re/code notes that the move raises questions about Best Buy's previously announced partnership with rival payment consortium MCX, spearheaded by Wal-Mart (WMT). A Best Buy spokesperson said it is "too early to declare" whether the company will use MCX's platform at launch, while multiple sources claimed the delay in implementing Apple Pay is partly due to exclusivity agreements with MCX. Reference Link
06:15 EDTWMT, COSTWal-Mart fighting for right to sell more alcohol in Texas, WSJ reports
Wal-Mart (WMT) is fighting for the right to sell more alcohol in Texas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The retailer is suing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, claiming legal limits on sales of hard liquor are "unconstitutional," the publication says. Wal-Mart has also joined fellow retailers Costco (COST) and Kroger (KR), as well as other groups, to back legislation that would override the current state beverage laws. Reference Link
April 24, 2015
10:00 EDTTGTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AT&T (T) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Alaska Air (ALK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham... Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded at Raymond James... American Electric (AEP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Broadridge (BR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Cablevision (CVC) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Brean Capital... Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman... Core Laboratories (CLB) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Iberia... Crown Castle (CCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Encore Wire (WIRE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Gigamon (GIMO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... Juniper (JNPR) upgraded on improved outlook at RBC Capital... KPN (KKPNY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Knight Transportation (KNX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Avondale... Mattel (MAT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Premiere Global (PGI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Quintiles (Q) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Southwestern Energy (SWN) upgraded to Market Perform at Raymond James... TE Connectivity (TEL) upgraded on positive catalysts at SunTrust... Target (TGT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... TriState Capital (TSC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... United Continental (UAL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Vipshop (VIPS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC... Vocera (VCRA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Craig-Hallum.
08:12 EDTTGTTarget upgraded on improving initiatives and consumer at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Buy from Neutral. The firm believes Target is well positioned to benefit from an improving middle-income core customer base. BofA/Merrill 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 target increased to $92 from $86.
08:03 EDTTGTTarget upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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April 23, 2015
19:56 EDTWMTWal-Mart blocks shareholder vote to examine possible gender bias, Guardian says
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09:35 EDTCOSTActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL FB PBR TWTR AA COST TSLA AMZN TXN BAC
April 21, 2015
06:18 EDTWMT, TGTUS merchants struggle to meet deadline for accepting chip cards, WSJ reports
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April 20, 2015
12:31 EDTWMTWal-Mart workers claim store closings are retaliatory, Fortune says
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April 19, 2015
17:28 EDTTGTTarget website overwhelmed by rush from Lilly Pulitzer shoppers, WSJ says
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12:41 EDTDGKroger, Dollar General, others can be bought and held for 3 years, Barron's says
Shares of PACCAR (PCAR), Lam Research (LRCX), Kroger (KR), Autoliv (ALV), Archer Daniels (ADM), and Dollar General (DG) should be bought and held for the next three years due to high return on invested capital, Barron's contends in a feature article. Reference Link
April 17, 2015
17:01 EDTCOSTCostco reauthorizes $4B stock repurchase program, raises dividend
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15:42 EDTWMTWal-Mart to slash layer of in-store management, Bloomberg reports
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15:39 EDTCOSTCostco deal with Visa, Citi has 'near zero' acceptance costs, Bloomberg says
Costco’s (COST) acceptance costs will be near zero under the terms of its new deal with Visa (V) and Citigroup (C), compared to the roughly 0.6% of each transaction it currently pays to incumbent card partner American Express (AXP), reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the deal. Reference Link
April 16, 2015
06:05 EDTWMTFormer Wal-Mart CEO Duke heads to Carlyle Group, WSJ reports
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April 15, 2015
17:32 EDTTGTMasterCard reaches agreement with Target to resolve claims
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14:58 EDTCOSTEarnings Watch: Analysts more bullish on Citi after asset sales, CCAR approval
Citigroup (C), one of the largest banks in the U.S., is expected to report first quarter earnings before the open on Thursday, April 16, with a conference call scheduled for 11:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.39 on revenue of $19.82B. The consensus range is $1.32-$1.45 for EPS on revenue of $18.43B-$20.36B, according to First Call. On its last earnings conference call, Citi said it was committed to its 2015 targets and to returning capital to shareholders. Citi is targeting a 2015 consumer banking efficiency ratio of 49%-52%, compared to a ratio of 56% in 2014 and a pro forma 2014 ratio of 55%. LAST QUARTER: Citigroup reported fourth quarter EPS of 6c, versus analysts' consensus forecast of 11c. The company’s revenue came in below expectations at 17.81B. Citi CEO Michael Corbat said at the time: "While the overall results for 2014 fell short of our expectations, we did make significant progress on our top priorities... Although we made some difficult decisions over the course of the year, I believe they allowed us to put our franchise in a position to have a successful 2015." NEWS: On March 2, Costco (COST) announced it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa (V). Under the terms of the agreements, Citi would become the exclusive issuer of Costco's co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the U.S. and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016. The next day, Citi announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell OneMain Financial Holdings to Springleaf (LEAF) for a purchase price of $4.25B. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015, subject to approvals and other customary conditions. The sale, along with retirement of related funding, are expected to result in a net addition to earnings before income taxes of approximately $1B, the bank stated. On March 5, the Federal Reserve said that Citi had passed its Dodd-Frank stress test, as did all 31 banks that were examined. About a week later, the central bank announced it had not objected to the capital plans of 28 bank holding companies participating in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, or CCAR. After the Fed advised Citi that it has no objection to the planned capital actions requested by the bank, Citi said it will increase its quarterly common stock dividend to 5c per share from 1c per share. Citi also announced plans for a common stock repurchase program of up to $7.8B during the five quarters starting in the Q2. At the end of March, Citi announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell 100% of the shares of Citi Cards Japan, the exclusive issuer of Diners Club cards in Japan, to Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. Also in March, Citi announced that it has sold 396M common shares in Akbank T.A.S. through an equity offering representing its entire 9.9% equity interest in the company. Total proceeds from the transaction are expected to be approximately $1.15B at then current exchange rates. The financial terms of those two transactions are not material to Citi, the bank noted. STREET RESEARCH: On February 10, Deutsche Bank upgraded Citi to Buy from Hold and raised its price target for shares to $54 from $51. Deutsche said then that it believed the decline in the stock since the firm's December 4 downgrade had priced in some of the earnings risk, but added the FY15 consensus estimates for Citi still looked too high. On March 17, Deutsche Bank further raised its price target for Citi shares to $56 from $54, citing positive news flow around the sale of OneMain, its credit card deal with Costco and the Fed's stress test results. On March 3, JPMorgan upgraded Citigroup to Overweight, saying the Costco co-branding credit card deal will add to revenue growth and return on assets. Further, the firm said it expects the banking giant to achieve its operating efficiency targets this year. It upped its price target for shares to $58 from $54. The next day, Morgan Stanley said it believes Citi's sale of OneMain and its new Costco partnership imply, when taken together, that the bank is substituting OneMain's higher risk assets with the Costco portfolio, which has a lower yield, risk and RWA. Such a trade will be viewed favorably by regulators, the firm said. Morgan Stanley, which has an Overweight rating on Citi, said then it sees potential upside to its $60 price target on Citi shares if capital freed from the OneMain sale is returned to shareholders. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading ahead of tomorrow morning's report, Citi rose over 1% to $53.31. Over the last three months, Citi shares are up nearly 13%.
April 14, 2015
18:41 EDTTGTTarget close to $20M settlement with MasterCard over data breach, WSJ says
According to people familiar with the negotiations, Target (TGT) is approaching a settlement with MasterCard (MA) to reimburse financial institutions roughly $20M for costs they incurred from the retailer’s massive data breach in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports. Target is negotiating a separate settlement with Visa (V), according to sources, WSJ added. Reference Link
18:32 EDTWMTCourt rules Wal-Mart can reject shareholder proposal on gun sales, WSJ says
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18:17 EDTTGTTarget close to $20M settlement with MasterCard over data breach, DJ says
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