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Fly News Breaks for August 11, 2017
Aug 11, 2017 | 09:21 EDT
As previously reported, Stephens analyst Ben Bienvenu upgraded Wal-Mart to Overweight from Equal Weight, stating that the company's multi-year investments have led to a better in-store experience, which he sees continuing to drive momentum. Bienvenu raised his price target on Wal-Mart shares to $91 from $78.
News For WMT From the Last 2 Days
Aug 23, 2017 | 16:22 EDT
Stocks opened in negative territory and remained there throughout the session. The averages moved in a fairly narrow range, finishing the day with losses of about 0.3%. There was little from a macro standpoint to point to for the weakness, but last night's Trump speech, which included a threat to let the government be shut down if a deal to fund his Mexican wall plans cannot be reached, did little to prop up a market that is once again spending much of its time focused on Washington. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for August came in at 52.5, below the consensus call for a 53.5 reading, while the flash services PMI was better than expected at 56.9, beating the 55.0 consensus forecast. New home sales dropped 9.4% in July to a 571,000 home rate. In Europe, flash PMIs were also mixed, with manufacturing beating expectations with a 57.4 reading and the services reading falling short at 54.9. In Asia, Japan's flash manufacturing PMI came in at 52.8, up from 52.1 in July. COMPANY NEWS: Walmart (WMT) announced a new partnership with Google (GOOG) to offer "hundreds of thousands of items" for voice shopping via Google Assistant. KeyBanc said that the partnership deal will intensify the competition facing Amazon (AMZN), noting that voice ordering had previously been a competitive advantage of Amazon while adding that Wal-Mart's acquisitions and investments have improved its e-commerce offerings... Shares of Lowe's (LOW) slipped 3.5% after the home improvement retailer's Q2 sales and earnings fell short of expectations and the company lowered its full year profit outlook... Meanwhile, Salesforce (CRM) shares were fractionally higher after the company reported better than expected quarterly results and raised its adjusted earnings and revenue guidance for fiscal 2018. The company said on its quarterly earnings call that it had the "best quarter ever," noting that integration efforts from recent acquisitions are paying off. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Paratek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK), which jumped 27% after Bloomberg reported that the company is exploring its strategic options, including a possible sale, after receiving takeover interest. Also higher was Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), which rose 7% following a report that the carmaker is considering spinoffs of its Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as its components operations. Among the noteworthy losers were Omnicom Group (OMC) and Interpublic Group (IPG), which dropped 7% and 6%, respectively, after peer advertising and public relations company WPP Group (WPPGY) lowered its 2017 revenue and net sales growth view. Meanwhile, WPP shares trading in New York fell 11.5%. Also lower following their earnings reports were La-Z-Boy (LZB), which fell 20%, and Cree (CREE), which slid 3.5%. INDEXES: The Dow declined 87.80, or 0.4%, to 21,812.09, the Nasdaq slid 19.07, or 0.3%, to 6,278.41, and the S&P 500 dropped 8.47, or 0.35%, to 2,444.04.
Aug 23, 2017 | 09:36 EDT
KeyBanc says that the partnership deal announced today between Wal-Mart (WMT) and Alphabet (GOOG,GOOGL) will intensify the competition facing Amazon (AMZN). The firm says that the deal will give consumers the capacity to obtain Wal-Mart products through voice ordering. Voice ordering had previously been a competitive advantage of Amazon, according to the firm ,which adds that Wal-Mart's acquisitions and investments have improved its e-commerce offerings.
Aug 23, 2017 | 06:07 EDT
Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads & Commerce at Google (GOOG), says in a blog post: "We're entering an exciting partnership with Walmart (WMT) to bring you hundreds of thousands of products at Walmart's Every Day Low Prices-everything from laundry detergent to Legos-that you can buy through voice with your Assistant on Google Home or on the Google Express website or app. We're thrilled to partner with one of the most popular stores in America to help make your shopping faster and easier. Walmart will be launching on Google Express in late-September and if you want to be notified when they join, let us know. Starting today, we're offering free delivery on Google Express as long as your order is above each store's minimum. There's no membership required so no matter how you shop-through voice with your Google Assistant or on the website or mobile app-you'll get free delivery within one to three days. We're just getting started, and there will be lots more exciting experiences to come, so stay tuned." Reference Link
Aug 22, 2017 | 09:56 EDT
Jefferies analyst Andy Barish and a team of his peers believe weak spending from Hispanic consumers flagged by several companies this earnings season is mainly due to uncertainty around immigration policy. Given the challenging environment for new legislation, the analyst argued that the weakness may be a short-term phenomenon, with many companies potentially set to benefit from an improvement in spending from this demographic. HISPANICS CONSUMING LESS: During this last earnings season, several companies flagged weak spending from Hispanic consumers, a team of Jefferies' analysts, including Barish, Daniel Binder, Bret Jordan, Randal Konik, Stephanie Wissink and others said in a research note this morning. However, the analysts do not believe the weakness is a result of a deteriorating macro backdrop, but rather is likely due to uncertainty around the White House immigration policy. With Hispanics individuals making up about 18% of the U.S. population, a slowdown in spending can have a big impact, they pointed out, adding that companies with big Texas and California exposure tend to be at the top of the list. Barish and the team also noted that they assume the weakness is a short-term phenomenon given the challenging environment for new legislation. Companies that have been hurt may be due for a rebound, they argued. COMPANIES IMPACTED: While several companies have flagged weakness from Hispanic consumers, others have not cited weakness but have probably been impacted by a slowdown anyway, Jefferies' team contended. Noting that O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) has 25% of stores in Texas and California, the analysts said they believe the slowdown seen thus far is more driven by weather and cyclical factors. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (WMT) did not specifically cite weakness in Hispanic spending on its latest earnings call, but about 20% of store locations are in states where over 1/3 of the population is Hispanic and an improvement in spend could help comps, they argued. Additionally, the analysts pointed out that about 24% of e.l.f. Beauty's (ELF) consumers are Hispanic, which may have hurt sales in the first half of the year, but may provide an opportunity given the longer-term opportunity to grow sales through expanded distribution. In a similar position are Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and Jack in the Box (JACK), they said, adding that Foot Locker (FL) did cite weakness in markets with high Hispanic populations and though there are other negatives pressuring the company, an improvement in Hispanic spend would likely offer some relief. Alongside Foot Locker and O'Reilly Automotive, Murphy USA (MUSA), Target (TGT), Valvoline (VVV) and Wingstop (WING) also specifically flagged weakness in Hispanic spend this earnings period, according to Jefferies. "Trump Effect" is The Fly's recurring series of exclusive stories that highlight stocks that are being impacted, or are predicted to be impacted, by the comments, actions and policies of President Trump and his administration.
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