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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

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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April 15, 2014
05:38 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at William Blair
William Blair downgraded its rating on Wal-Mart (WMT) to Underperform from Market Perform citing risks with e-commerce competition and the prospect of sector rotation away from retailers. William Blair says retail sales were sluggish in Q1 with weak consumer confidence for low-income households.
April 11, 2014
07:09 EDTWMTLi & Fung collaborates with Citigroup on brand unit spinoff, Bloomberg says
Li & Fung (LFUGF)) is said to be collaborating with Citigroup (C) to spin off its brands division, which is valued at nearly $2B, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The company's brand unit sells clothing and toys to retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Kohl's (KSS). Reference Link
April 10, 2014
13:14 EDTWMTFamily Dollar slides after holiday disappointment prompts store closures
Shares of discount retailer Family Dollar (FDO) are falling after the company reported second quarter earnings per share and revenue that fell below expectations, along with third quarter and FY14 projections that are lower than analysts' consensus. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, Family Dollar reported second quarter earnings per share of 80c, which fell below analysts consensus of 90c. The company reported second quarter revenue of $2.72B, while analysts projected $2.77B. Family Dollar, which reported that its second quarter same-store-sales decreased by 3.8%, said the holiday season was challenged by "a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer" and that its results were also significantly impacted by severe winter weather like many retailers. The company expects third quarter earnings per share excluding-items to be 85c-95c, while analysts project a 98c consensus. Family Dollar said that it sees FY14 earnings per share excluding items to be $3.05-$3.25, which is at the lower end of analysts' estimations. Family Dollar noted that it expects to close nearly 370 underperforming stores in the second half of FY14 and slow new store growth beginning in FY15. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During Family Dollar's earnings conference call, the company said that it plans to slow square footage growth in the beginning of FY14 and said that it recently cut about 10% of its corporate workforce. ANALYST OPINION: Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer said Family Dollar's third quarter negative comp guidance and commentary about a challenging macro environment could pressure its own shares as well as those of its peers Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR). However, Family Dollar's store closures combined with a decrease in future store growth could ultimately have positive implications for its competitors, Nemer added. On March 4, Credit Suisse said Family Dollar's underperformance compared to Dollar General and significant earnings possibilities gives the rationale for a potential merger of the two. On February 19, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein suggested that Wal-Mart (WMT) should consider acquiring Family Dollar as a way to "jumpstart" its small store effort. CNBC's David Faber reported the same morning that Exstein published his note that Family Dollar was not holding any talks about selling itself at that time. PRICE ACTION: During afternoon trading, shares of Family Dollar decreased $1.54, or 2.61%, to $57.53, Dollar Tree dropped 2.5%, and Dollar General fell about 1.5%.
06:13 EDTWMTWal-Mart to carry Wild Oats organic food items
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