Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Friday, October 31, 2014

  • 2:12 PM
    • Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) will start labeling promotions on its website as "Black Friday" deals beginning tomorrow.
    • The company will offer two deals of the day through December 22 and more than 15K lightning deals.
    • Prime members will get the first crack at some of Amazon's promotions.
    • What to watch: Most retail analysts and economists have a forecast of 4.0%-4.3% growth for holiday sales which factors in promotional activity at last year's level. Any extra discounting/promotions push from the sector could take sales below estimates.
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  • 1:34 PM
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  • 1:21 PM
    • The odds aren't good for a national roll-out of smartphone payments solution CurrentC, according to USA Today's Jeff Graham.
    • The retail consortium admitted to a hacking incident earlier this week and has lost momentum with Apple Pay dominating headlines.
    • Inside the network, Meijer broke ranks with fellow MCX members by moving to accept Apple Pay with its hardware.
    • CurrentC was created to help the retail industry bypass credit card fees.
    • Partial list of MCX members: LUV, GPS, DNKN, KR, TGT, WMT, BBBY, KSS, SHLD, WEN, BBY.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:57 PM
    • Walgreen (WAG +1.7%) CFO Timothy McLevish will deliver a presentation at the Credit Suisse Healthcare conference on November 12.
    • The talk from the exec could be an important one, according to analysts.
    • Fresh insight on the Alliance Boots integration, the forecasting error allegedly made by McLevish's predecessor, the impact of CVS Caremark's tobacco/health strategy, and Apple Pay could all be on the agenda.
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  • 12:48 PM
    • Marriott International (MAR -0.4%) has signed content deals with superstars from YouTube and Snapchat in an effort to build an entertainment platform that attracts younger travelers to the Marriott brand, according to Variety.
    • YouTuber Jack Harries and Snapchat contributor/film director Casey Neistat are included in the list of entertainers set to feed Marriott Content Studio.
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  • 11:47 AM
    • The Barbie vs. Elsa sales trend looks to be extending into the holiday season.
    • Hasbro (HAS +1.2%), Jakks Pacific (JAKK -1.4%), and Disney (DIS +1.3%) all saw a powerful sales boost from Frozen-related doll sales in Q3, while Mattel's (MAT +2.1%) Barbie brand slumped during the quarter.
    • A scan of Google search tallies indicates Elsa is still taking Barbie market share just ahead of the crucial holiday season.
    • Google Trends: Barbie, Elsa.
  • 11:34 AM
    • Kohl's (KSS) says it will match the policy of several of its department store peers by opening store doors at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
    • The company also plans to test the use of Google Express in several regions during the Thanksgiving to Black Monday period.
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  • 11:03 AM
    • Boyd Gaming (BYD +6.9%) trades higher after reporting mixed Q3 results.
    • The company disclosed yesterday that it's working out potential REIT strategies with advisers.
    • CEO Keith Smith was cautious during the firm's earnings call about the REIT process.
    • The exec read a prepared statement and stonewalled Q&A on the topic.
  • 10:51 AM
    • La Quinta Holdings (NYSE:LQ) files a 20M common shelf registration statement with the SEC on the behalf of certain shareholders.
    • The company won't receive any proceeds from the stock sale.
    • SEC Form S-1
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  • 10:38 AM
  • 10:23 AM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -0.7%) reports an increase in profit during Q3 as higher prices offset some volume slips in the U.S, Europe and Asia.
    • Sales volume was off 2.6% in the U.S., while a cold spell in China led to a 4.9% volume dip in the region.
    • Market share in the U.S. fell 30 bps vs. the -65 bp slide in Q2.
    • No problems in Brazil, where A-B's market share rose 100 bps to 69% with the World Cup traffic a factor.
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  • 10:13 AM
    • Jaguar Land Rover (NYSE:TTM) says a $750M engine plant in England is now functioning.
    • The plant will mark a departure for the company as it will make engines for Jaguar and Land Rover models on its own for the first since the brands were purchased from Ford.
    • The facility in Wolverhampton will have the capacity to produce 300K engines a year.
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  • 9:56 AM
    • Wedbush reiterates its Buy rating on Starbucks (SBUX -1.8%) on its view comps will accelerate in FY15 and beyond, powered by fresh mobile initiatives.
    • UBS maintains a Buy rating on the company, saying the margin expansion in the Americas geographic segment was overlooked.
    • Jefferies is a buyer on the dip as it see Starbucks committed to shifting resources into digital growth opportunities.
    • If there's a common theme from Wall Street on Starbucks, it's that the company is a step ahead of brick-and-mortar peers in its acceptance of the new consumer paradigm.
    • CEO Howard Schultz tipped off his view on brick-and-mortar decline last January during the firm's FQ1 earings call
  • 9:44 AM
    • The U.S. premiere for Interstellar from Paramount Pictures (VIA, VIAB) is set for November 5 with expectations starting to be pushed even higher.
    • Fandango and both report strong advanced ticket sales for the film, while some IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) theaters have added 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. screenings for next Wednesday.
    • Hollywood insiders say the film has the potential to create a must-see-in-theater buzz after director Nolan shot the movie on film to open up the potential to see it in the striking 70mm format.
    • Nolan also pleased the top brass at Paramount by coming in under the production budget of $175M by about $10M.
    • Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
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  • 9:28 AM
    • Disney theme parks operated by Oriental Land in Japan are in line for $4.5B in upgrades and expansion, according to Bloomberg.
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) receives license fees from the two parks earmarked for the investment - Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
    • A large attraction based on the movie Frozen is part of the expansion plan at Tokyo Disneyland.
    • Frozen is the 2nd highest grossing film ever in Japan.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:12 AM
    • Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) says it will launch a science-oriented toy and games center in select stores.
    • What to watch: The initiative falls in line with a plan by B&N to increase store traffic by focusing on experience over online price-matching. It's a strategy that some analysts think is working quite well for the retail chain.
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  • 9:11 AM
    • Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD): Q3 EPS of $1.42 misses by $0.11.
    • Revenue of $12.24B (+4.3% Y/Y) misses by $260M.
    • Shares -1.33% PM.
    • Press Release (.pdf)
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  • 9:04 AM
    • Clorox (NYSE:CLX) reports sales grew in Q3 by close to 3% if the impact of currency swings is backed out.
    • Volume was up 1% for the period.
    • Gross margin rate -70 bps to 42.8%.
    • Segment revenue growth: Cleaning +2%, Household +5%, Lifestyle -1%, International flat.
    • CLX +2.2% premarket.
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  • 8:50 AM
    • BB&T upgrades Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) to a Buy rating.
    • The investment firm sets a $34 price target on shares.
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  • 8:43 AM
    • Graham Holdings (NYSE:GHC): Q3 EPS of $13.12.
    • Revenue of $898.9M (+5.0% Y/Y).
    • Press Release
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