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Nov. 25, 2015, 8:15 AM
- Cowen and Company projects holiday retail sales will increase between 2% and 3%. The forecast is below the 3.5% to 4.2% consensus range of analysts.
- Analyst Olivia Chen notes the earlier start to the promotional season and that online is driving a larger percentage of revenue. Typically, online shopping leads to a smaller basket size when compared to brick-and-mortar shopping and a higher degree of fragmentation of sales. Both trends work against big-box retailers (TGT, WMT, COST, BBY]]).
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Nov. 24, 2015, 5:10 PM
- A Justice Department investigation into potential foreign bribery by Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has found evidence of possible misconduct by the company in Brazil, after uncovering little to support sweeping allegations involving Mexico that initially sparked the probe, WSJ reports.
- Federal prosecutors reportedly are examining $500K in payments they believe ultimately went to a person hired to obtain government permits WMT needed to build two stores in Brasilia, between 2009 and 2012.
- The probe is examining whether senior WMT employees in Brazil at the time knew of and approved of the suspected payments, according to the report.
Nov. 23, 2015, 11:26 AM
Nov. 23, 2015, 7:09 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) announces it will unveil Cyber Monday deal on Sunday, November 29 at 8:00 p.m.
- The company's Cyber Week will run through December 4 with at least 2K online specials each day.
- Early online searches indicate 4K TVs, Beats by Dre headphones, Star Wars toys, and drones are in demand with consumers this season.
Nov. 23, 2015, 2:11 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is pulling back Cyber Monday - the biggest online shopping day of the year - to Sunday, in yet another Thanksgiving makeover at the world's largest retailer.
- Cyber Monday's origins trace back more than a decade when people started using the high-speed Internet access at their office to purchase things they saw but did not buy during trips to the shopping mall over Thanksgiving weekend.
- Now, with Internet access readily available, the logic of limiting the event to a weekday no longer holds, said Fernando Madeira, chief executive of Walmart.com.
- Previously: Another Black Friday makeover at Wal-Mart (Nov. 12 2015)
Nov. 21, 2015, 10:29 AM
- Global toy sales are up 7% for the first nine months of the year, according to data from markets tracked by NPD Group.
- The solid read on demand is positive heading into the holiday period when close to half of all annual sales are struck. Most forecasts from analysts call for a brisk pace to toy sales in Q4 with Star Wars and emerging markets a major factor.
- Toy sales in Russia (+34%) and Mexico (+18%) are rising rapidly, while France (-0.7%) was the only major market with a dip. The U.S. (+7.5%) and Germany (+7.6%) were slightly ahead of the average. China, Japan, and other Asia nations weren't included in the NPD study. Volume has been solid in those markets, but the F/X conversion painful for U.S. firms.
- By product, Mattel's (NASDAQ:MAT) Hot Wheels and Minecraft toys are selling well in the U.S., while there's been an unexpected surge for Hasbro's (NASDAQ:HAS) Furby in Russia and Poland. Spin Master (OTC:SNMSF), Denmark's The Lego Group, JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK), Mega Brands (owned by Mattel), Playmobil, and Flair Preziosi have all made recent best-selling toy lists.
- Not expected to be have a banner holiday season is LeapFrog (NYSE:LF) which has shrunk to a $47M market cap in a death-by-tablet scenario.
- On the retail side, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has increased toy market share in recent years at the expense of Toy "R" Us, Target (NYSE:TGT), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). The Seattle giant makes things tough for its e-commerce rivals by strategically changing prices on thousands of items a day in a battle of algorithms.
Nov. 20, 2015, 9:14 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) grew store space in the U.S. at a much faster rate than employee headcount over the last ten years, according to analysis from Reuters.
- New store space increased 45%, and revenue was up 50%, while the U.S. labor force only rose 8%.
- The store space to employee ratio wouldn't be alarming if the retail giant wasn't facing broad criticism for the conditions of product stocking and overall customer service in stores.
- Though execs with Wal-Mart acknowledge the need for store improvements, they also note the role of technology in areas such as self-checkout lanes and packaging. Still, during recent quarters there has been a not-so-subtle shift from management to prioritize total sales over profit.
- Shares of Wal-Mart are down 29% YTD to trail the S&P 500 (+1.5%) and S&P Retail ETF (-9.8%) by wide margins.
Nov. 17, 2015, 7:27 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) reports U.S. comparable-store sales rose 1.5% in FQ3 on a traffic increase of 1.7%. Neighborhood Markets led again with a +8% comp during the quarter.
- Operating income in the U.S. segment fell 8.6% Y/Y.
- International sales -11.4% Y/Y to $29.8B (+3.2% ex-F/X). Operating income -6.4% to $1.3B.
- Revenue at Sam's Club -2.2% to $14.1B (+1.6% ex-fuel). Traffic was up 0.2%. Operating income +9.3% to $500M.
- E-commerce sales +10% Y/Y during the quarter.
- Guidance: The company narrows full-year EPS to $4.50 to $4.65 vs. $4.40-$4.70 prior and $4.51 consensus.
- Previously: Wal-Mart beats by $0.05, misses on revenue (Nov. 17 2015)
- WMT+2.57% premarket to $59.36.
Nov. 17, 2015, 7:05 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): Q3 EPS of $1.03 beats by $0.05.
- Revenue of $117.05B (-1.6% Y/Y) misses by $740M.
- Shares +2.38% PM.
Nov. 16, 2015, 5:30 PM
Nov. 16, 2015, 7:46 AM
- The latest 13F from Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) shows a new 59.3M share stake in AT&T (NYSE:T), and the GM stake taken up to 50M shares from 41M. At least part, if not all of the T stake is the result of shares received in the DirecTV merger.
- Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) is up to 61.5M shares from about 30M; Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) 325.6M shares from zero; Suncor (NYSE:SU) 30M shares from 23.3M, John Malone (LMCK, LMCA) a total of about 24M shares from about 13M.
- Buffett trimmed his Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) position to 56.2M shares from 58.3M.
- AT&T +1.4% premarket
Nov. 13, 2015, 2:23 AM
- A Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) worker group that recently pushed the retailer to raise pay and benefits is launching a 15-day protest to rekindle the fight for $15/hour minimum wage.
- The group organizing the protests ahead of Black Friday is led by a former United Food and Commercial Workers International Union employee but no longer has the union's financial backing.
- Wal-Mart has already spent $1B this year on the wage increase to $9/hour and will raise that number to $10 for current employees by February 2016.
Nov. 12, 2015, 3:04 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is pulling back on the Black Friday frenzy this year, but is significantly boosting its holiday inventory.
- Instead of stretching the event over about five days as the retailer did in 2014, Wal-Mart will offer deep discounts on items starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving until they're all gone.
- The company also plans to offer longer term, though less drastic, discounts through the holiday season.
Nov. 9, 2015, 10:15 AM
- Department store stocks are off to a rough start with earnings coming into focus this week. Macy's (M -5.5%), J.C. Penney (JCP -4.2%), Kohl's (KSS -4.9%), Dillard's (DDS -3.3%), and Nordstrom (JWN -3.9%) are all sharply lower.
- Retailers Target (TGT -2.7%), Costco (COST -1.5%), TJX Companies (TJX -2.9%), The Children's Place (PLCE -4.8%), L Brands (LB -4.4%), and Wal-Mart (WMT -0.9%) are also below broad market averages with earnings reports due to roll in this week and next.
- The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is down a crisp 2.0%.
Nov. 9, 2015, 9:53 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has reopened four of the five Supercenters that were controversially closed earlier this year. The fifth store in Florida will be open in time for the holiday season rush.
- The company took some heat for blaming the closings on plumbing issues, including allegations from the NLRB.
- Layouts at the five Supercenters have been updated during the down time.
Nov. 3, 2015, 3:49 PM
- U.S. auto sales soared in October with the Detroit Three (F, GM, FCAU) all showing double-digit gains from a year ago. An extra selling weekend helped traffic, while low gas prices drove sales for SUVs and trucks.
- The annual selling rate came in at 18.2M for the month to sail past almost all estimates. Japanese automakers performed strong, while German brands performed better than expected after some spillover from the Volkswagen cheating scandal was anticipated.
- If there's a catch, it might be what the crowding out impact is on broad retail as consumers take on larger auto payments. Retail sales have disappointed in recent months with heavyweights such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) unable to pull off the comps the auto sector is rolling out.
- U.S. auto sales reports
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Wal-Mart Stores Inc operates retail stores in various formats under various banners. Its operations comprise of three reportable business segments, Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club in three categories retail, wholesale and others.
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