Fri, Mar. 6, 8:03 AM
- A light bulb has gone off with some large retail chains such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) which have hiked low-level wages in order to improve employee retention rates.
- The math as compiled by Bloomberg is pretty compelling: The average retail sales worker makes $21,140 a year, while it costs $3,400 in training costs to replace them. At a high turnover rate it becomes more economical to lift wages.
- The development is interesting to economists pondering the future impact of Wal-Mart's (10% of all retail sales in the U.S.) new wage structure on U.S. unemployment rates.
- Related stocks: YUM, MCD, KR, TGT, SHLD, HD, WBA, LOW, GPS, JCP, BLMN.
Fri, Feb. 27, 11:31 AM
- Factset has compiled a list of the most popular holdings of hedge funds at the end of Q4 and which stocks fell in or out of favor within the group.
- Overall, hedge funds increased their positions in the top 50 holdings during the quarter by 1%.
- Top 50 hedge fund consumer staples/discretionary stocks showing an increase: Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) +1.3%, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) +20.3%, Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) +24.2%, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) +15.3%.
- Top 50 hedge fund consumer staples/discretionary stocks showing a decrease: Mastercard (NYSE:MA) -4.2%, Walgreen Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) -1.3%, Dollar General (NYSE:DG) -11.6%, Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) -0.9%.
- Another way to look at the list is to examine which stocks are missing. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) are in that club.
- Factset's hedge fund ownership report (.pdf)
Thu, Feb. 12, 9:43 AM
- The read on retail sales in the U.S. isn't nearly as bad as the headline -0.8% M/M drop for January.
- Retail sales were up 3.3% compared to a year ago with a few sectors showing strong growth.
- Restaurant sales +11.3% Y/Y: The strong read follows up on a positive report from Black Box Intelligence on the sector. CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, HABT, NDLS, PLKI, LOCO, YUM, KKD, TAST, GTIM, FRSH, COSI, FRS, PBPB, FRGI, QSR, CBRL, BLMN, ZOES.
- Sporting goods +8.0% Y/Y: DKS, BGFV, CAB, HIBB, SPWH.
- Building material and garden +6.9% Y/Y: A favorable weather compare came to the aid of this category. HD, LOW, LL.
- Health and personal care +6.6% Y/Y: Online channels have contributed for companies selling beauty and health items. ULTA, SBH, CVS, WBA, RAD.
Tue, Jan. 20, 4:48 PM
Tue, Jan. 20, 10:56 AM
- The Supreme Court passes on hearing a case over the level of swipe fees charged by banks to retailers.
- The cap on swipe fees will stand at $0.21-$0.24 following the high court decision.
- Intense lobbying from the financial services industry prompted the Fed to move off its original recommendation for a $0.12 cap.
- The National Retail Federation and other consumer groups have vowed to keep the fight going.
- Related stocks: V, MA, WMT, TGT, BBY, CVS, WBA, COST, HD, LOW, GPS, M.
Thu, Jan. 15, 5:17 PM
Sun, Jan. 11, 10:44 AM
- The better-than-expected round of reports on holiday sales in the retail sector has improved the outlook on the profitability of chain stores, according to RetailDive.
- Teen Retailers: Out with dark lighting and logo-centric marketing and in with fast-fashion and online fulfillment. American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) are finally pulling the right levers, according to analysts. Deb's Shops, Delia's, and possibly Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSL) won't be around to make the transition. It's Hail Mary time at American Apparel (NYSEMKT:APP).
- Department stores/specialty apparel: Smaller store counts and restructuring initiatives could be the theme in 2015 as mall traffic stays weak. RetailDive doesn't discount turnarounds at Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP). Gap (NYSE:GPS), Macy's (NYSE:M), and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) are viewed as ahead of the curve in setting their new agenda in place. Soft early comp compares and lower cotton prices could help lift Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), Ann (NYSE:ANN), L Brands (NYSE:LB), Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN), and Express (NYSE:EXPR).
- Drugstores 2.0: Significant changes in the sector have given Walgreen Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) the room to grab more market share in healthcare and grocery. A much worse flu season in the U.S. than a year ago has helped the group get off to a good start.
- Previously: Holiday retail sales something of a revelation (Jan. 8)
Fri, Jan. 9, 8:35 AM
- The House passed a bill to redefine a full-time worker under the Affordable Care Act to 40 hours a week from 30 hours.
- The legislation could impact millions of workers as companies adjust hours and employee policies around the issue.
- The measure was passed by a vote total of 252-172.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the bill will see a vote in his chamber.
- The White House has threatened to veto the bill on its view it will reduce the number of workers covered by healthcare.
- Most industry groups within the restaurant and food industry have issued support for the legislation.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, QSR, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, CASY, IMKTA, SFS, KR, WMK, SVU, WFM, SWY, VLGEA, TFM,NGVC, BIG, ZU, TUES, WMT, PSMT, COST, TGT, DLTR, BURL, FDO, DG, FRED, WBA, RAD, CVS, HABT, NDLS, PBPB.
Tue, Jan. 6, 8:38 AM| Tue, Jan. 6, 8:38 AM | Comment!
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:16 AM
- The Walgreens drugstore chain is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WAG) after the second step of the merger between the two companies was completed today.
- Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol (WBA).
- Debate on SA over the direction of the new global drugstore giant is underway: Shares fully valued, shares undervalued.
Dec. 30, 2014, 11:33 AM
- Walgreen (WAG -0.3%) is out with its latest flu activity report amid what's believed to be a wider outbreak than last year.
- Based on today's read from Walgreen - residents of Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee are most at risk this week.
- The company reported a 14.8% bump in flu shots administered in November.
- Typically, an increase in flu shots administered by Walgreens also boosts front-end sales at the drugstore chain.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:38 AM
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) reports comparable-store sales rose 1.5% in FQ1.
- Traffic at stores was down 2.7% on a comp basis, while the average basket size improved 4.2%.
- Pharmacy sales were up 9% on a 4.3% gain in prescription count for the quarter.
- Gross profit margin -100 bps to 27.1%.
- SG&A expenses +1.8% to $4.456B.
- WAG +2.3% premarket.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:34 AM
Dec. 22, 2014, 5:30 PM
Dec. 20, 2014, 10:17 AM
- The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 3.4% over the last month to outpace the S&P 500 Index as consumer spending trends improve. Analysts have honed in on some categories which show some promise for growth.
- Drugstores: The transition by the sector into more health/wellness services sets it up for new growth channels. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) reported strong comparable-store sales despite the full tobacco exit, while Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) is prepping for a roll-out of RediClinics and HealthSpot kiosks. The visibility on Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is somewhat clouded by the giant Alliance Boots integration, although it's ahead of rivals on the tech front with its rewards program, pharmacy app and developing online doctor concept.
- Athleisure: There's some gender initiatives going on in the athletic apparel sector with Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) growing their women's business and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) expanding on the men's side. All three companies have been closely on-trend with their assortment in a category with explosive demand. Importantly, pricing has held up this holiday season in the U.S., note retail watchers.
- Online replenishing: Fresh research into shopping trends indicates certain categories see continued buying through the online channel as consumers become attuned to a brand. Retailers positioned well to see more gains from the trend include Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP), Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), and of course Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- P-E buyouts: There are plenty of candidates in the retail sector for a leveraged buyout similar to the action that helped propel shares of PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) +40% from their lows. Keep an eye on Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), and Ann (NYSE:ANN).
Dec. 19, 2014, 5:07 PM
- Once Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) finishes acquiring the 55% of Alliance Boots it doesn't yet own, the company will move to the Nasdaq and change its symbol to WBA. The company will delist from both the NYSE and the Chicago Stock Exchange.
- On Dec. 10, Walgreens announced (to investor approval) CEO Greg Wasson will retire once the Alliance merger is finished. Shareholders vote on the deal on Dec. 29.
WBA vs. ETF Alternatives
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc operates drug-stores chain in the United States. It provides consumer goods and services, pharmacy, and health and wellness services through drug-stores, as well as mail, and by telephone and online.
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