Today - Thursday, March 5, 2015
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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 JD.com) 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 JD.com/Tencent deal (Feb. 18 2015)
- 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
- 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.
- Retail ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, IYC, FDIS, SCC, UCC, PMR, RCD, PSCD
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%
- 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.
- 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.
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