Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, March 5, 2015

  • 9:24 AM
    • Youku Tudou (NYSE:YOKU) sets up a pair of new business units, targeting new drama content and programmatic advertising.
    • The Chinese video firm creates Heyi Studios, to make original TV dramas and "innovative Web-native content," and names its chief content officer, Sunny Xiangyang Zhu, to be CEO of the new operation.
    • The new Innovative Marketing unit will be led by Yawei Dong, chief marketing officer, and focus on developing programmatic advertising.
    • The company also named Edward Su COO. He was most recently CEO of Cina Group for Havas Worldwide.
    • The changes mean that Youku Tudou has six units in total -- Youku platform, Tudou platform, Heyi Pictures, Heyi Studios, Innovative Marketing and Cloud Entertainment -- and nine vertically oriented content centers to cover content categories such as games, music, variety shows and others.
    | Comment!
  • 9:23 AM
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) announces an offering of 15.847M shares by Apollo Global Management affiliates.
    • The company won't receive any proceeds from the transaction.
    • Average daily volume on SFM is about 1.2M shares.
    • SFM +2.85% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 9:22 AM
    • Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) Feb same-store sales flat.
    • Total Sales -2% to $154.1M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 9:16 AM
    • Perry Ellis (NASDAQ:PERY) announces it struck license agreements in Europe with New Accessories Group.
    • One deal covers the Original Penguin brand and the other is for Farah products.
    • The launch of the brands in the U.K. and across other regions of Europe is expected to kick off this fall.
    | Comment!
  • 9:12 AM
    • Altria (NYSE:MO) reaffirms previous guidance for 2015 EPS of $2.75-$2.80.
    • The consensus EPS mark of analysts is at the high end of the range at $2.80.
    • Shares of Altria are up 13.2% YTD.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:07 AM
    • Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) reports same-store sales rose 3.3% in February and 4.5% for the 13 weeks ending February 28.
    • Total drugstore sales were up 1.7% to $2.557B vs. a sales growth pace of 4.3% in January.
    • Pharmacy same store sales were +4.1%, despite a 144 bps negative impact from generic introductions.
    • RAD -1.86% premarket.
  • 9:00 AM
    • Reis (NASDAQ:REIS): Q4 EPS of $0.12 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $10.73M (+16.5% Y/Y) beats by $0.42M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 8:51 AM
    • Bitauto (NYSE:BITA) adds Jun Hou as an independent director to its board, and says Weihai Qu resigned from the board effective today after 10 years of service.
    • Sidney Xuande Huang (CFO of remains on the board but leaves the audit committee, to comply with NYSE standards.
    • Shares are up 1.1% premarket.
    • Previously: Bitauto +4.8% after closing deal (Feb. 18 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 8:44 AM
    • Delhaize (NYSE:DEG) reports sales in the U.S. rose 12.1% to $4.67B on a positive real sales growth from the Food Lion and Hannaford chains.
    • The U.S. comp grew 3.6% during the quarter.
    • Sales in Belgium declined 6% and the comp in the region fell 6.9%
    • Sales in Southeastern Europe grew 4% while comp contracted 2.2%.
    • Total organic revenue +1.3%
    • Gross margin rate declined 24 bps to 23.9%.
    • Store count +66 Y/Y to 3,468.
    • DEG +3.66% premarket.
    • Q4 results
    | Comment!
  • 8:43 AM
    • Only small cross-section of U.S. retailers report monthly sales anymore, but those that do give some insight to current trends.
    • A common thread in today's reports: cold weather leading to cold sales.
    • Cato: "February sales were significantly impacted by winter storms during the last two weeks of the month."
    • Stein Mart: The company says sales were severely impacted by record cold in the U.S. across regions.
    • Fred's: Momentum build up in January stalled out as the cold snap hit. Cold weather products did sell well however.
    | Comment!
  • 8:42 AM
    • Kroger (NYSE:KR): Q4 EPS of $1.04 beats by $0.14.
    • Revenue of $25.21B (+8.6% Y/Y) beats by $80M.
    • Shares +2.25% PM.
    • Press Release
  • 8:41 AM
    • PFSweb (NASDAQ:PFSW): Q4 EPS of $0.21 beats by $0.09.
    • Revenue of $78.7M (+18.0% Y/Y) beats by $5.09M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 8:29 AM
    • A deeper dive into the Beige Book notes indicates some wage pressure is being seen in the U.S. at low-level positions, notes Bloomberg.
    • The revelation could explain the round of minimum wage hikes over the last month - most notably at retail giant Wal-Mart.
    • Analysts note that even a minor lift at the bottom of the wage structure puts some pressure that ripples up the chain.
    • Beige Book: "A staffing firm in the Chicago District reported some companies were also willing to raise rates for unskilled workers to reduce turnover, and contacts in the Atlanta District noted increasing entry-level wages."
    • Fast-food chains could be the next domino to fall.
    • Previously: Beige Book takes note of oil prices and dollar (Mar. 04 2015)
    • Related stocks: MCD, SONC, JACK, WEN, QSR, YUM, PZZA.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:16 AM
    • Green Dot (NYSE:GDOT) races higher in early trading after a favorable note from Credit Suisse stirs the pot.
    • The investment firm takes shares to an Outperform rating from Neutral.
    • Valuation on Green Dot looks attractive compared to peers and the company's cash position, notes CS.
    • A promising $25 price target is assigned which is roughly where shares traded last October.
    • GDOT +7.19% to $16.99.
    | Comment!
  • 8:07 AM
    • Shares of L Brands (NYSE:LB) are on watch after February same-store sales come in at +6% vs. +4.9% consensus estimate.
    • On a prerecorded sales call, management said merchandise margins were up across brands.
    • The Victoria's Secret comp was up 7%.
    • The transition to the spring collection is going well. No mention of a negative impact from the West Coast port issue.
    • An early Easter should have a meaningful impact on March comps, tip execs.
    • Previously: L Brands same-store sales: +6%
    | Comment!
  • 7:56 AM
    • Easyjet (OTCQX:ESYJY) reports a 6% increase in passenger during February to 4.491M.
    • The carrier's load factor improved 20 bps to 90.9% in the month.
    • The solid month follow up on a less impressive performance in January.
    | Comment!
  • 7:49 AM
    • Piper Jaffray downgrades McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) to a Neutral rating from Overweight.
    • Analysts with the firm see a long road before ambitious management initiatives start to pay off.
    • Shares of the restaurant operator moved 13% off their December lows in cracking back into triple digits this week.
    • MCD -0.75% premarket to $99.75.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:42 AM
    • Trans World (NASDAQ:TWMC): Q4 EPS of $0.37
    • Revenue of $126.9M (-8.8% Y/Y)
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 7:30 AM
    • Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) acquires the 80% of Empire Kosher Foods it didn't already own.
    • The transaction price for the stake was $57.6M.
    • Empire is a leader of selling kosher brands at outlets in the U.S. including Whole Foods Market stores.
    • Hain expects the deal to be accretive to earnings in FY16.
    | Comment!
  • 7:23 AM
    • Ballantyne Strong (NYSEMKT:BTN): Q4 EPS of $0.02
    • Revenue of $28.4M (-13.1% Y/Y)
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
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