Wednesday, April 1, 2015
- Ford (NYSE:F) is bringing back the Lincoln Continental nameplate after a 13-year hiatus.
- A concept version of the iconic model has been introduced in advance of the New York Auto Show in preparation for launches in China and the U.S.
- The Continental will fight for luxury sales in a crowded segment that will soon see new premium models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar.
- Lincoln sales in the U.S. are -0.6% YTD at 21,478 units.
- CNET video on the Continental concept car
- The first look from Lincoln
- A federal judge in Nevada issued a temporary restraining order that will bar Allegiant Air pilots from striking tomorrow.
- The pilots union has until next Monday to respond to the ruling.
- Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) says it expects all flight to operate as scheduled for the balance of the week.
- Previously: Allegiant Air pilots plan walkout for Thursday
- After a narrow swipe with total liquidation, the new RadioShack (RSH, OTCPK:RSHCQ) -- or at least the 40% or so of stores that will survive -- will roll out later this month.
- Of the 1,700-plus locations that will remain from more than 4,000, Sprint (NYSE:S) will share more than 1,400, taking up about a third of the store and staffing with its employees; the Sprint logo will dominate, however.
- Phone sales (which were in decline for the Shack) will be outsourced entirely to Sprint. Lower-margin electronics like laptops and tablets will go away, replaced by RadioShack focusing on house-brand batteries, chargers and speakers. Stores will stock about 75% fewer items.
- The bankruptcy case will now turn to RadioShack's intellectual property, including an extensive customer database.
- Reducing the prominence of the RadioShack name may come in handy: Standard General has a six-month royalty-free license to use the name, but if that's sold to someone else, the fund will need to take it off the stores.
- Previously: RadioShack gets OK for Standard General rescue; Sprint to co-operate 1,743 stores (Mar. 31 2015)
- AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) is moving AMC channel president Charlie Collier to head up SundanceTV as well.
- He's taking on both channels, acting as a de facto replacement for Sarah Barnett, who moved from Sundance to take over BBC America after AMC's acquisition.
- The move makes sense, COO Ed Carroll says, since both AMC and Sundance are "heavily focused on high-end drama."
- Meanwhile, a report from Evercore has AMCX shares set to Hold, with an increased price target of $80 (from $71).
- Shares closed today -2.2% to $74.99.
- Jamba (NASDAQ:JMBA) has struck a deal to refranchise 100 stores in the San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento markets. The stores will be owned by Vitaligent, LLC, which is paying Jamba $36M to take ownership of them.
- The smoothie chain calls the move "a significant step toward our achieving the Companys commitment to an asset light model and positions us well to reach our goal of generating $30 - $40 million of cumulative cash proceeds from refranchising in 2015."
- It previously forecast 114 stores would be refranchised by mid-2015, thus bringing the franchise/company-owned store mix to 80/20. Discussions are said to be underway to sell another 14 California stores.
- Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) is unveiling a new label for its budget genre fare, with the (somewhat surprising) name of Lionsgate Premiere.
- The sub-label represents a further move into a strategy where the studio's key film releases get high-profile theatrical runs, while budget films will get more limited theatrical releases combined with video-on-demand to increase their reach (and profit).
- Chinese blockbuster Dragon Blade will headline the new label, followed by films from "horror maestros" and comedies along with action thrillers.
- In other Lions Gate news, a Hunger Games theme park is on the way ... to Dubai, at least. A "Lionsgate Zone" at Motiongate Dubai will open in October 2016 and bring attractions based on the blockbuster franchise, as well as on LGF's dance franchise Step Up.
- Motiongate Dubai is expected to draw more than 3M visits each year. That's the latest monetization for The Hunger Games, which in coming months will also see a live stage show and a touring exhibition.
- The CFTC says it has charged Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT) and Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) with manipulating wheat futures and cash wheat prices.
- KRFT and MDLZ are also facing CFTC claims that they violated speculation limits by holding wheat futures positions in excess of thresholds established by the CFTC and the Chicago Board of Trade.
- The CFTC filed a civil complaint against the two companies in federal court in Illinois.
4:06 PM| Comment!
4:03 PM| Comment!
- McDonald's (MCD -1.2%) plans to raise wages and boosts benefits across the U.S.
- The company has set July 1 as a target date to give 90K workers at company-owned stores a raise to an average of $9.90 per hour with the average wage expected to top $10 by the end of 2016
- Currently, workers make $9.01 per hour on average.
- Subsidies for some education costs will be also be available for McDonald's employees.
3:40 PM| Comment!
- S&P Ratings revises its outlook on McDonald's (MCD -1.3%) to Negative on a lowered view on if the company can turn around sales within a year or two.
- Corporate credit ratings on McDonald's were affirmed at their current levels by the ratings agency, although further weakness in same-stores growth could prompt a revision.
- After months of conflict that included Turner channels briefly being pulled from its satellite service, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) has come to terms with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) on a new carriage deal that will keep Turner channels and HBO flowing.
- Terms weren't disclosed, though the Turner networks were restored late last year with a deadline extension for reaching a new deal.
- Along with the new pact, with the event-TV premiere of Game of Thrones coming in 11 days, Dish's Internet live-TV offering Sling TV is adding HBO for customers as an add-on offering at $15/month. That's over and above the core "Best of Live TV" core package at $20/month.
- Sling's HBO will offer one live channel and video-on-demand content.
- Previously: Sling TV adds A&E networks, comes to Xbox One (Mar. 17 2015)
3:12 PM| Comment!
- Gaming revenue in Macau fell 39% Y/Y in March to 21.5B pacatas ($2.7B), according to data from the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
- Analysts thinks April and May will also see revenue declines of 30% or more.
- Shares of the casino stocks actually rose in Hong Kong trading as the worst-case scenario was avoided.
- Related stocks: Wynn Macau (OTCPK:WYNMF, OTCPK:WYNMY, WYNN), Sands China (OTCPK:SCHYY, OTCPK:SCHYF, LVS), MGM China (OTCPK:MCHVF, OTCPK:MCHVY, MGM), Melco Crown (MPEL +2.4%), Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF -1.4%), SJM Holdings (OTCPK:SJMHF, OTCPK:SJMHY).
- Movado (MOV +7.7%) rallies again after yesterday's earnings report and guidance soothes some investors fears over the luxury retailer.
- During the firm's earnings call, execs tipped off that Movado is in close collaboration with several tech companies over the development of smart watches.
- The new products are expected to be taken to the market later this year or early next year.
- Earnings call transcript
- J.C. Penney (JCP +5.4%) continues to trade higher after the company was tipped earlier in the week by JPMorgan and Piper Jaffray for a decent Q1.
- An announcement of a REIT plan by Sears is also in the background.
- The company's annual meeting is scheduled for May 15 before Q1 results are expected to be posted.
- JCP hasn't cracked the $10 level since last October.
- Previously: Piper Jaffray sees a big run for J.C. Penney
Visit Seeking Alpha’s new Earnings Center
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs