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News Breaks
February 20, 2013
12:22 EDTWMTEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees in-line Q4 EPS, analyst says comps have peaked
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report Q4 before the market open on Thursday, February 21, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.57 on revenue of $128.85B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.52-$1.59 on revenue of $127.52B-$130.19B... LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported Q3 EPS of 1.08 against estimates for $1.07, on revenue of $113.9B against estimates for $114.95B. The company forecast Q4 EPS $1.53-$1.58 and reaffirmed the top end of its FY EPS view of $4.88-$4.93, consensus $4.92. In a regulatory filing related, Wal-Mart stated that the board's Audit Committee was conducting an internal investigation into alleged violations of the U.S. FCPA and other alleged crimes or misconduct in connection with foreign subsidiaries, including Wal-Mart de Mexico, and whether prior allegations of such violations and/or misconduct were appropriately handled by the company. The company also said it was conducting a voluntary global review of its policies. During the quarter, the company reported its "best ever" Black Friday events, but CEO Mike Duke later said that the fiscal cliff was affecting shoppers. Bloomberg reported that the Mexican unit of Wal-Mart used a current state governor to facilitate $156,000 in bribes meant to help open stores, an ex-lawyer for the retailer told company officials in 2005, according to documents released by members of the U.S. Congress. Wal-Mart (WMT) executives said February sales are off to the worst monthly start in seven years, calling sales a "total disaster" in internal emails, Bloomberg also reported; the company responded to the Bloomberg report by saying that "internal communications may lack appropriate context" ... STREET RESEARCH: Cleveland Research said Wal-Mart's U.S. sales have slowed significantly over the last 3-4 weeks and that Q1 comps to date are running negative. The firm sees downside to consensus estimates for the year. Earlier this month, shares were downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, as the firm believes comps have peaked given pressures from the payroll tax increase and that earnings growth will be challenged going forward following successful company initiatives... PRICE ACTION: Year-to-date, shares are up just over 1%. Ahead of earnings, shares are trading up almost 1%.
News For WMT From The Last 14 Days
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November 13, 2014
06:09 EDTWMTWal-Mart Canada planning to cut 200 jobs, Globe and Mail reports
Wal-Mart Canada is planning to cut 200 jobs, mostly at its head office in Mississauga, the Globe and Mail reports. The reduction is expected to be announced next week and follows disappointing earnings at the Wal-Mart unit over the past few quarters. Reference Link
November 12, 2014
16:00 EDTWMTOptions Update; November 12, 2014
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15:48 EDTWMTWal-Mart November weekly 79 straddle priced for 2% move into Q1
15:29 EDTWMTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's market open, with earnings consensus, include Wal-Mart (WMT), consensus $1.12; Viacom (VIAB), consensus $1.68; Tyco (TYC), consensus 56c; Kohl's (KSS), consensus 74c; Helmerich & Payne (HP), consensus $1.67; Sally Beauty (SBH), consensus 40c; Manulife Financial (MFC), consensus 40c; TransDigm (TDG), consensus $2.02; MAXIMUS (MMS), consensus 52c.
15:04 EDTWMTWal-Mart technical comments before earnings
The key technical feature on the chart is easily seen on a 5-year chart. Since early 2013 the shares have been trading in a sideways channel bound largely by $70 at the low and $80 at the high. Those bounds become the key levels to watch for post-earnings trading. A move above $80, and preferably above the life high at $81.37, would signal a new leg up had begun. It would in effect be a range breakout with the potential for a move to the $90 area over time based on the height of the channel. The stock is pushing up toward that level ahead of earnings. Equally, a major disappointment could send the shares to the low of the range at $70. That area would still need to be broken to the downside to break the range, with an eventual move to $65 possible if it was broken. If the news is insufficiently strong to push price out of the range, it will likely continue in this trading range for some time awaiting a new catalyst.
13:47 EDTWMTEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees FY15 net sales up 2%-3% vs. last year
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, November 13, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.12 on revenue of $118.35B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.08-$1.17 on revenue of $115.17B-$119.67B. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported second quarter EPS of $1.21, in line with estimates, on revenue of $119.3B, against estimates of $119B. Walmart U.S. comp sales were flat for the 13-week period ended August 1, and U.S. net sales increased $1.9B, or 2.7%, to over $70B. Currency exchange rate fluctuations negatively impacted net sales by approximately $700M, the company said. Wal-Mart forecast Q3 EPS of $1.10-$1.20, with U.S. comp store sales relatively flat and Sam's Club comp sales, excluding fuel, slightly positive. and increased investments in Sam's Club membership programs. The company lowered its fiscal year 2015 EPS view to $4.90-$5.15 from $5.10-$5.45, against estimates at that time of $5.15. The new full year guidance reflects incremental investments in e-commerce and higher U.S. health-care costs than previously anticipated. The annual effective tax rate is projected to be between 32%-34%. NEWS: On its Q2 earnings conference call, Wal-Mart lowered its FY15 e-commerce sales growth forecast to 25%. In mid-October, Wal-Mart said that as a result of a tougher sales environment than it anticipated a year ago, it now expects to grow net sales for FY15 between 2%-3% on last year’s $473.1B. The company indicated in February that it expected net sales growth to be at the low end of its guidance provided last October of 3%-5%. The company sees fiscal year 2016 net sales growth of 2%-4%, or approximately $10B-$20B of net sales growth. The company said FY16 operating expenses will grow at a rate "somewhat faster" than sales growth and operating income will be flat to slightly down. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said the company will invest less in stores and more in e-commerce. Wal-Mart sees FY15 capital investments of $12.5B-$13B and FY16 capital investments $11.6B-$12.9B. Wal-Mart also sees FY16 e-commerce and digital spending of $1.2B-$1.5B. Ahead of a holiday shopping season that may be fiercely promotional, Wal-Mart is testing a program to match online prices from rivals including Amazon.com (AMZN), reported the Wall Street Journal. The company announced the "New Black Friday" will include five days of deals. STREET RESEARCH: Cleveland Research said Wal-Mart's trends softened in September and October following a strong August driven by soft traffic and less promotional activity. The firm believes Wal-Mart is positioned to maintain share during the holidays, but sees "growing caution" on the consumer spending outlook. Baird said expectations for Wal-Mart appear to be muted into the Q3 report. The firm believes sales may remain lackluster and margins may slip in the near-term, but sees international as an opportunity. During the quarter, shares were initiated with a Neutral rating at Sterne Agee. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are up 6.9% over the last three months but are only up 0.8% year-to-date. In early afternoon trading, Wal-Mart shares are up 0.4% to $79.35.
12:15 EDTWMTWal-Mart November weekly 79 straddle priced for 2% move into Q1
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11:58 EDTWMTWal-Mart weekly volatility elevated into Q3 and holiday outlook
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06:46 EDTWMTWal-Mart reminds stores to display fresh grocery products, NY Times says
Wal-Mart last month issued a memo to managers around the U.S., telling them to discount older meat and baked goods to ensure that they sell before they reach their expiration dates, according to The New York Times. The memo also reminds managers to remove expired dairy products and eggs, as well as moldy or rotting produce, from shelves, and reduce inventory, the newspaper stated. Reference Link
05:24 EDTWMTWal-Mart announces 'New Black Friday' event, holiday pay for associates
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November 10, 2014
16:00 EDTWMTOptions Update; November 10, 2014
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12:36 EDTWMTAbercrombie, American Eagle sink after analyst downgrades
Shares of specialty teen apparel retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) are falling after a number of analysts issued negative notes on the companies. WHAT'S NEW: Oppenheimer analyst Anna Andreeva downgraded Abercrombie & Fitch to Perform from Outperform. The company's earnings outlook has become less clear as its U.S. brand has not yet become popular, and retail brand turnarounds usually take awhile, Oppenheimer analyst Anna Andreeva wrote in a note to investors. Additionally, Abercrombie's international business, which has deteriorated further this year, faces "mounting uncertainty,” the analyst stated. The analyst slashed her price target on the name to $30 from $50. Meanwhile, Barclays analyst Matthew McClintock downgraded American Eagle Outfitters to Equal Weight from Overweight. McClintock has become more pessimistic about the outlook for American Eagle's comparative store sales in the second half of 2014, given recent data points from a number of retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Kohl's (KSS), Wal-Mart (WMT), J.C. Penney (JCP), and Ann Inc. (ANN). The analyst said he saw no reason why American Eagle should significantly outperform the overall apparel sector. McClintock cut his price target on the name to $11 from $15. Meanwhile, the analyst lowered his rating on the Softline Retail sector to Negative from Positive, as he believes that the sector, which includes companies that sell products like apparel, towels, and jewelry - is facing structural difficulties that are likely to persist for the next several years. Separately, research firm Janney Capital downgraded Abercrombie to Neutral from Buy in a note to investors today. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Abercrombie & Fitch sank 3.5% to $28.50 and American Eagle dropped 4% to $12.40.
09:00 EDTWMTWal-Mart weekly volatility increases into Q3 and holiday outlook
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08:23 EDTWMTWal-Mart expectations appear muted heading into earnings, says RW Baird
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