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August 13, 2014
12:44 EDTWMTEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees Q2 EPS $1.15-$1.25, U.S. SSS flat
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report second quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, August 14, 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 $1.21 on revenue of $119.0B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.17-$1.24 on revenue of $117.87B-$120.3B. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported first quarter EPS of $1.10, missing estimates of $1.15, on revenue of $115B against estimates of $116.27B. The company said severe weather in the United States negatively impacted EPS by approximately 3c. U.S. same store sales were flat in the quarter. Wal-Mart forecast Q2 EPS of $1.15-$1.25 and U.S. comp store sales "relatively flat." Guidance assumed incremental investments in e-commerce, headwinds from higher health care costs in the U.S. and increased investments in Sam's Club membership programs. NEWS: In its Q1 report, Wal-Mart said forecast its full-year effective tax rate 32%-34%, and at the high end of this range for Q2. On its earnings conference call, the company said it expected its capital expenditures to be heavier in the back half of the fiscal year, citing its accelerated rollout of additional small format stores. The company also said costs from higher benefit enrollment and utilization by U.S. associates and healthcare cost inflation would be a headwind of over $300M for the FY. During the quarter, Wal-Mart named Greg Foran as president and CEO of Walmart U.S., effective August 9. The company, which acquired online product discovery community Luvocracy, was set to reduce prices on 10% more items in an effort to combat rivals and woo more customers during this year's back-to-school shopping season, according to the company's executive VP for U.S. general merchandise, Steve Bratspies. Wal-Mart's Asda unit reportedly cut 1,360 jobs as part of an overhaul of its store management structure. Neil Ashe, President & CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, predicted that the company's e-commerce sales would reach $13B this year. CEO Doug McMillon told the Code Conference in June that the company plans to accelerate the pace of its acquisitions, calling out 3-D printing, wearable computers, connected-home devices and mobile purchasing as areas of interest. STREET RESEARCH: Baird, which sees the potential for improving fundamentals in the second half of the year, believes the company is taking the appropriate steps to grow the business long term. Jefferies downgraded its rating on Wal-Mart shares to Hold from Buy and cut its price target to $76 from $89. The firm said the retailer's investment spending may not be yielding positive results and sees risk to annual guidance from elevated expenses and lackluster sales. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are down almost 6.5% over the last three months and are down 6% year-to-date. In early afternoon trading, Wal-Mart shares are down fractionally to $74.03.
News For WMT From The Last 14 Days
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October 15, 2014
16:37 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
The market opened sharply lower amid sliding oil prices, worse than expected economic data, and the potential for a major M&A deal to fall apart due to tax inversion rule changes. The Dow fell more than 350 points within the first 30 minutes of trading, but then bounced back to move above its opening level. The volatility did not end there, however, as the market swung several more times during the session. The S&P 500's drop wiped out its gains for the year at one point, but a late day rally significantly cut the losses for the major averages. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales, which were expected to be down 0.1% in September, actually fell 0.3% in the month and slipped 0.2% excluding autos. The Producer Price Index for final demand decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in September from the prior month, marking the first decline in the measure in over a year. The core PPI reading, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged, versus expectations for a 0.1% rise. New York's Empire State manufacturing index fell 21.4 points to 6.2 in October, severely missing the expectation for a narrower pullback to a reading of 20. Business inventories rose 0.2% in August, versus expectations for an increase of 0.4%. In China, the consumer price index climbed 1.6% in September from a year earlier, which was below the consensus projection for 1.7% inflation and down from 2% inflation in August. China's PPI plunged 1.8% year-over-year in September, which was more than the 1.6% slide expected and an acceleration of the 1.2% year-on-year decline in August. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Shire (SHPG) plunged $74.08, or 30.29%, to $170.49 after AbbVie's (ABBV) board last night stated that it was reconsidering its recommendation that the company's shareholders back a takeover of Irish drugmaker in light of the potential impact of tax rule changes on the deal. During the day, Bloomberg reported that people familiar with the matter say AbbVie is close to abandoning its $51B takeover bid, while Shire announced that it has agreed to waive the requirement for three business days' notice for AbbVie's board to meet to consider its offer. In contrast, AbbVie ended the session up 50c, or 0.92%, at $54.63... Wal-Mart (WMT) held its annual meeting, during which it lowered its fiscal year 2015 net sales growth forecast to 2%-3%, citing a tougher sales environment than it anticipated a year ago. 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 world's largest retailer also cut its planned retail square foot growth expectations, due to a moderation of large format store growth and accelerated e-commerce investments. Following the outlook revisions, Wal-Mart closed down $2.78, or 3.57%, to $75.20. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Penford Corporation (PENX), which jumped $7.60, or 69.15%, to $18.59 after the company agreed to be acquired by Ingredion (INGR) for $340M, or $19.00 in cash per share. Also higher was Southwestern Energy (SWN), which rose $2.59, or 7.82%, to $35.69 after it was among a number of oil and gas exploration and production names upgraded by analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Among the noteworthy losers was Nu Skin (NUS), which dropped $4.47, or 9.13%, to $44.50 after the company disclosed new debt arrangements that come with certain restrictions, including restrictions on the payment of dividends. Also lower were shares of Covidien (COV), which fell $6.50, or 7.04%, to $85.86 in the wake of the news for Shire and AbbVie, which investors may have read as jeopardizing Covidien's deal to be bought by Medtronic (MDT). Note that on October 3 Medtronic announced that it intends to use approximately $16B in external financing to complete the acquisition of Covidien and said the strategic benefits of the transaction "remain compelling" despite the additional expense of the new financing. INDEXES: The Dow dropped 173.45, or 1.06%, to 16,141.74, the Nasdaq slipped 11.85, or 0.28%, to 4,215.32, and the S&P 500 fell 15.21, or 0.81%, to 1,862.49.
15:29 EDTWMTWal-Mart to add 26M-30M net retail square feet worldwide in FY16
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15:28 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees FY16 e-commerce, digital spending of $1.2B-$1.5B
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15:26 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees FY15 capital investments between $12.5B-$13.0B
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15:22 EDTWMTWal-Mart sees FY16 net sales growth of 2%-4%
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15:19 EDTWMTWal-Mart lowers FY15 net sales growth forecast to 2%-3%
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15:16 EDTWMTWal-Mart drops 4% after giving guidance at analyst day meeting
11:14 EDTWMTWal-Mart Sam's Club CEO: Our business pressure remains mixed
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10:14 EDTWMTWal-Mart says 'Savings Catcher' has 5M users, to open more registers than ever
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09:39 EDTWMTWal-Mart US CEO: Our first half was challenging and we need to improve traffic
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09:37 EDTWMTWal-Mart expects to open 190 stores between now and end of the year
Wal-Mart US President Greg Foran believes Q4 actions will offset a portion of significant headwinds like wages and healthcare costs. Says the company will be "thoughtful" on wages.
09:16 EDTWMTWal-Mart CEO outlines growth strategy at annual meeting
President and CEO Doug McMillon said "Customers make their shopping decisions based on four key dimensions – price assortment, experience and access. What we can offer them, and how we compete across those dimensions, is changing... We have tens of millions of customers visiting us weekly online and through our mobile apps looking for information, product options and then buying merchandise from us in stores and online. We’re known for assortment and we will be in the future.” Discussing price and experience, McMillon went on to say, “At Walmart, we serve value-conscious customers that come from all walks of life and all income levels. Price matters to our customers and it always will. As a company, being a low cost operator is in our DNA. This will never change and we will be the price leader, across a broad assortment, everywhere we operate." McMillon continued, “To capture the upside of our strategic advantages, we need to develop a more seamless relationship with our customers. We won't just be a store on the street." McMillon outlined what the company is doing to win now, noting that improving the company’s short-term performance is a priority across all of Walmart’s segments and markets. “Our supercenters in the U.S. should be delivering positive comps consistently. Our combination of pricing, in stock, service levels and merchant skills will generate improved performance in our supercenters. Our Neighborhood Markets continue to be a bright spot in terms of comp sales.” McMillon highlighted three key points that will drive the business going forward: “First, we're going to position ourselves to do a better job serving customers. We can create a next generation customer proposition through the combination of what we do with price, assortment, access and experience. We will save them money and time. Second, our priority is growth. Driving demand is the only sustainable way to deliver returns over time. Finally, we’ll manage capital in a disciplined, thoughtful manner.”
09:14 EDTWMTWal-Mart CEO: We've recognized situation has changed, will respond accordingly
The company expects to continue investing in supply chain to support e-commerce with real momentum there. CEO Doug McMillon says "We will win in the new era of retail." and adds that "driving demand is the only sustainable way to deliver results." Notes once again that the company will manage capital in disciplined, thoughtful manner.
09:09 EDTWMTWal-Mart expects to change capital allocation plans, short term pressure
CEO Doug McMillon said the company will invest less in stores and more in e-commerce. He adds that the company is in a "period of transformation." He said the company took leverage a bit too far, and improving short term performance is a priority for the company's business segments. McMillon said the company has room to improve in stock and at checkout. He says the changes won't happen overnight. Notes that low fuel prices are in the company's favor although healthcare is a headwind. Says the successor of competitors shows it has no excuse to not improve.
09:05 EDTWMTWal-Mart CEO: Future looks bright with the necessary changes
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06:49 EDTWMTWal-Mart partners with VUDU for digital movie access offering
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October 13, 2014
09:02 EDTWMTWal-Mart October volatility elevated into investment community meeting
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07:15 EDTWMTNational Association of Corporate Directors to hold a conference
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October 12, 2014
17:55 EDTWMTWal-Mart, DSW could benefit from holiday sales, Barron's says
Wal-Mart (WMT) and DSW (DSW) could benefit from the recent forecast of a 4% increase in holiday spending, Barron's contends in a follow up article. Reference Link
October 10, 2014
09:37 EDTWMTWal-Mart upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Gilford Securities
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