Today - Friday, November 21, 2014
- The resignation of Sotheby's (BID +9.4%) CEO William Ruprecht is putting a charge into shares.
- The departure of the exec was highly anticipated with the old-world art culture of Ruprecht's tenure clashing with the hedge fund mentality of Sotheby's stakeholder Daniel Loeb.
- Ruprecht's exit was probably sealed when a leaked e-mail indicated he called Loeb "scum" to a colleague.
- Some analysts think Loeb will try to take Sotheby's private.
- Shares of Hibbett Sports (HIBB +7.2%) rally after the company reports Q3 earnings.
- The company's 0.6% comp didn't dazzle, but a lift in EPS guidance for the full year indicates a stronger Q4 is expected.
- Execs noted the early rush of cold weather sets up November sales to exceed expectations.
- Previously: Q3 results, Q3 highlights
- The NY Post reports Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) will launch an ad-supported video service next year that won't require a Prime subscription. "The main point is to bring in more users that you can eventually up-sell to Prime, or to get to a broader audience that doesn’t want to pay for Prime," says a source.
- The WSJ reported in March Amazon was prepping a free/ad-supported streaming service, but Amazon quickly denied it had plans to do so. The Post's sources state roughly half of Amazon's Prime subscriber base (recently estimated by RBC to total 40M-50M) uses Prime Instant Video.
- Netflix (NFLX -0.7%) is off slightly on a morning the Nasdaq is up 0.7%. The company (37M U.S. subs, 53M globally) has long been contending with ad-supported streaming services from Hulu and others.
- Yesterday: Amazon reportedly prepping travel service
- Shares of Foot Locker (FL -0.2%) have turned lower after enjoying a brisk post-earnings rally in the premarket session.
- It's not clear what spooked traders as the read from Foot Locker during the earnings call on November sales was largely favorable with execs saying the Michael Jordan Retro and Kyrie Irving shoe lines are selling well.
- Earnings call webcast
- Theme park operators see the need to dramatically increase the use of videogame experiences at their parks in order to entice teenagers away from their Xbox and PlayStation environments.
- The concept of "immersion" will be added to many rides with 3-D backdrops, animatronics, and more chances to blast zombies.
- Related stocks: SIX, FUN, SEAS, DIS, CMCSA, PLAY.
9:25 AM| Comment!
- A bet on Ann (NYSE:ANN) is a bet on Golden Gate, reasons Stifel Nicolaus.
- The retailer trades at a valuation well-above its recent average EPS multiple amid a trend of weak mall traffic.
- The potential for stakeholder Golden Gate to take Ann private or drive profit improvement accounts for the differential, notes analysts Richard Jaffe.
- ANN -1.4% premarket after reporting Q3 earnings.
- Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) unveils a 5-year plan to invest €85.6B euros ($106B) to increase its manufacturing capacity and develop new models.
- A bulk of the capex spending will also go to creating more efficiency across production platforms to drive bottom-line gains.
- Though Toyota (NYSE:TM) wasn't called out by name by execs, capturing the title of the world's biggest seller of cars appears to be part of the Volkswagen strategy.
- Shares of Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) are higher in premarket action to inch close to a 52-week high.
- Expectations are that Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 will bring in $150M this weekend to end up a bit short of the $158M that Hunger Games: Catching Fire took in last November. The total global box for the third installment of the series is expected to fall in the $850M-$1B range.
- Mockingjay reviews: Rolling Stone, Washington Post, The Seattle Times, FilmsSchoolRejects.com
- The big picture on LGF: A second act for Lions Gate after Hunger Games?
- LGF +1.6% premarket to $35.60.
- Shares of Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) are off 5.9% in premarket trading on fairly active volume.
- The fast-casual burger chain had one of the most explosive IPO debuts of the year yesterday when shares ripped a 120% gain to $39.54 off of a $18 pricing
- SA contributor Don Dion noted in his IPO preview that the company's growth plans helped to justify a high valuation on HABT, although he needs to check back in to analyze if he's cozy at the +$39 level.
- Previously: Sizzling IPO debut for Habit Restaurants
- Topeka Capital cuts its rating on Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) to Sell from Neutral on significant valuation concerns with the company's growth rates below expectations.
- The investment firm assigns a price target of $43 on the stock.
- Last month, SA Pro contributor David Hernandez noted how Paylocty was taking cloud payroll software market share away from Paychex.