Today - Thursday, December 18, 2014
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.