Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, December 18, 2014

  • 11:10 AM
    • Wendy's (WEN +0.1%) makes some C-suite changes aimed at supporting the company's digital and international focus.
    • Ex-Domino's Pizza exec Brandon Solano will take over the chief marketing officer position from Craig Bahner.
    • The company also promoted VP Todd Penegor to give him oversight of the international division.
    | Comment!
  • 11:00 AM
    • Goldman Sach makes a giant call on FedEx (FDX +2.1%) following the company's FQ2 earnings miss.
    • Shares are taken to a Buy rating and lopped onto the Conviction List maintained at the investment firm.
    • FedEx is one of the most compelling names in the transportation sector due to the potential for margin expansion, says GS.
    • The impact of e-commerce is seen as a positive long-term factor with the the higher-margin Ground segment set to be a bigger contributor the the mix.
    | Comment!
  • 10:34 AM
    • Antitrust regulators in France have fined 11 companies a combined $1.17B on price-rigging charges.
    • Companies hit by the action include L'Oreal (OTCPK:LRLCF), Unilever (NYSE:UL), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), Hillshire Brands (NYSE:HSH), Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) French business, and Reckitt Benckiser Group (OTCPK:RBGLY).
    • Statements from the consumer products sellers expressed some outrage over the sanctions due to the limited impact on consumers.
  • 10:17 AM
    • Wells Fargo thinks it will be several years before the cruise line sector benefits from the thawing of U.S. relations with Cuba.
    • The investment firm isn't the only one sounding a warning that the sector got ahead of itself with excitement over the Cuba trade.
    • The sector is under-performing on the day with a couple of downgrades impacting sentiment.
    • Cruise line stocks: Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) -0.4%, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NASDAQ:NCLH) -0.3%, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) +0.6%.
    | Comment!
  • 10:00 AM
    • Marcus Corporation (MCS +7.7%) rallies after besting estimates with its FQ2 report.
    • The company improved its box office by 17.2% during the quarter - compared to the sluggish 0.4% rise in the industry.
    • Innovation in the form of premium seating helped lead to a 29% Y/Y increase in concession revenue.
    | Comment!
  • 9:51 AM
    • Shares of Empire Resorts (NYNY +10.2%) rally in early trading the day after the company landed the right to pursue a casino license at a location in New York state which will make it the gaming complex closest to NYC.
    • The $630M Montreign Resort Casino project still needs to pass a few regulatory hurdles.
    | Comment!
  • 9:29 AM
    • Shares of Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) are down 7.7% in premarket trading after the company's guidance disappoints.
    • The outlook on same-store sales growth was cut to 1%-3%, from 2%-4% prior.
    • Previously: Dunkin' Brands updates guidance
    | Comment!
  • 9:24 AM
    • Nomura Securities initiates coverage on Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) with a Buy rating and $320 price target.
    • The investment firm sees low double-digit revenue growth in the medium term off of Boston Beer's strong innovation trend.
    | Comment!
  • 9:17 AM
    • Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT) appoints John Cahill as its new CEO to replace the retiring Tony Vernon.
    • Cahill is the Chairman of the Board at the company.
    | Comment!
  • 9:14 AM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) suspends making deliveries to Russia due to the volatile situation with the ruble exchange rate.
    • The company operates in the region through Opel-division GM Russia.
    • Jaguar Land Rover (NYSE:TTM) and Audi (OTCQX:VLKAY) have also halted sales in the nation in reaction to the currency crisis.
    • The above automakers - along with BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY), Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF), and Renault (OTC:RNSDF) - face large hits in Q4 due to exposure to the Russian currency.
    • Some estimates on ruble losses range over the $100M mark.
  • 8:43 AM
    • Jaguar (NYSE:TTM) recalls 1,571 luxury cars in the U.S. due to a potential issue with the braking system.
    • The cars affected are from the 2014 and 2015 model years.
    • NHTSA recall notice (.pdf)
    | Comment!
  • 8:37 AM
    • Goldman Sach lifts its rating on Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) to Conviction Buy List.
    • The investment firm also raises its price target on the specialty retailer to $81.
    | Comment!
  • 8:31 AM
    • Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) reports revenue in its children's book publishing and distribution business rose 14% Y/Y to $402.6M in FQ2.
    • A higher rate of engagement by teachers and parents in the company's book clubs was cited.
    • The gain helped offset a revenue slip during the quarter in the international and classroom materials publishing segments.
    | Comment!
  • 8:22 AM
    • CRT Capital initiates coverage on Sportsman's Warehouse (NASDAQ:SPWH) with a Buy rating.
    • The outdoor sporting goods retailer has pushed past some of the Q4 weather risk and is tapped for strong demand in key categories.
    | Comment!
  • 8:15 AM
    • ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) reports Consumer Food segment sales fell 1.9% to $1.98B in FQ2.
    • Commercial Foods segment sales were up 1.9% to $1.12B.
    • Private brands segment sales dropped 4.8% to $1.05B.
    • Gross margin rate declined 133 bps to 21.41%.
    • Segment profit: Consumer Foods: $301.7M (+5.5%); Commercial Foods: $148.1M (+16.0%); Private brands: -$202.3M.
    • FY2015 Guidance: Adjusted EPS: mid-single digit rate growth Y/Y; Operating cash flow: $1.6B to $1.7B; Debt: reduce by $1.0B.
    • CAG -0.27% premarket
    | Comment!
  • 8:14 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) confirms it has rolled out Prime Now in Manhattan.
    • The delivery service promises one-hour delivery for qualifying products at a price of $7.99.
    • The company has set up a base of operations and fleet of bikes at a building on 34th street in the middle of the island.
    • Customers of Prime Now must pay the $99 per year Prime membership fee to qualify for the service.
    • Amazon expects to roll out the service to other cities next year.
    • Previously: Amazon testing bike messengers to enable 1-hour delivery
  • 8:01 AM
    • The hacking incident at Sony (NYSE:SNE) could cost the company at least $200M, according to some early estimates.
    • The laundry list of expenses include new software and hardware, investigative costs, legal fees, and lost productivity across the company. The $80M production budget for The Interview also appears to be a washout with the company canceling all screenings and putting VOD plans on hold.
    • There's also the potential that future Sony movies will perform poorly at the box office after being released early by the hackers.
    • Insurance could cover part of the Sony losses, although not without a battle.
    • Previously: Legal quicksand for Sony after breach (Dec. 10 2014)
    • SNE +3.0% premarket to $21.00 to take back some ground over the last week.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:52 AM
    • Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTCPK:ANCUF) agrees to acquire The Pantry (NASDAQ:PTRY), adding more than 1,500 locations to the Canadian company's U.S. network of convenience stores and fuel stops.
    • The deal values PTRY at US$1.7B, including debt, with Couche-Tard paying $36.75/share; PTRY +2.6% premarket after closing yesterday at $35.52, rising 23% amid reports of a deal in the works.
    • Couche-Tard has one of North America's largest network of convenience stores, operating primarily under the Couche-Tard and Mac's banners in Canada and as Circle K throughout the U.S.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:51 AM
    • Gap (NYSE:GPS) launches a flagship online shop on
    • The retailer will list more than 600 products on the Chinese e-commerce site.
    • Earlier this week, Gap signed a deal with Zalandro to sell products on the German online store.
    | Comment!
  • 7:50 AM
    • Marcus (NYSE:MCS): FQ2 EPS of $0.19 beats by $0.05.
    • Revenue of $116.06M (+15.4% Y/Y) beats by $11.83M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
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