Oct. 17, 2014, 4:25 PM
- Elliott Management, a veteran of many activist campaigns, says it has a 4.9% stake in Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), and (in an open letter) urges management to provide Dollar General (NYSE:DG) with "an even playing field in its continuing efforts to acquire the Company at price levels that are clearly superior" to that provided by FDO's current deal with Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR).
- Elliott asserts FDO was "in a position earlier this year to facilitate a bidding war between two large, well-capitalized strategic acquirers, " and that its board "could have and should have engaged with Dollar General in order to gain a better understanding of their pricing architecture in aid of a more comprehensive anti-trust analysis."
- Proxy war: Elliott has nominated 7 directors to FDO's board to "preserve our ability to seek to elect directors at the 2015 Annual Meeting who are both qualified and committed to achieving a value maximizing outcome for shareholders."
- Though Dollar General is offering $600M more for Family Dollar than Dollar Tree, regulatory scrutiny of its bid is already intense: The FTC sent a second request for info last week.
- FDO +1% AH. DG +0.5%. DLTR -0.5%.
Oct. 15, 2014, 12:58 PM
- Top Wal-Mart (WMT -2.3%) U.S. exec Greg Folan announced the company will open between 180 and 200 Neighborhood Markets stores during its next fiscal year.
- The expansion plan for the concept is smaller than the forecast for 270 to 300 NM stores to be opened this fiscal year.
- Neighborhood Markets has had a stronger impact on the dollar store group (FDO, DG, DLTR) than grocery stores so far, according to analysts.
- Highlights from Wal-Mart's investor day
- Wal-Mart investor meeting webcast
Oct. 14, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Global growth, foreign-exchange, oil, and small caps are the subject of every client inquiry, says David Kostin. His team's recommendation: Buy "American exceptionalism."
- In Kostin's view, U.S. economy and corporate fundamentals are still strong, with economic growth expected by Goldman economists to be 3.2% next year, the fastest expansion since 2005. Europe is expected to grow just 1%.
- What his team likes are those stocks of companies which have a high proportion of domestic sales, plus sectors like Consumer Staples (XLP -0.1%) and Discretionary (XLY +0.7%) which stand to benefit from lower oil prices (plunging again today).
- As for small caps (IWM +0.9%), Kostin is wary, noting downward earnings revisions have boosted small cap P/E ratios even as prices have declined.
- The list of S&P 500 names capturing two or more of Kostin's themes: GT, GM, PCLN, AMZN, CMCSA, LOW, DG, TSN, ADM, CVS, AVP, WAG, PXD, HAL, JPM, BAC, SCHW, PNC, MS, C, GNW, LNC, MET, THC, AET, UNH, ESRX, HUM, WLP, BIIB, GILD, DAL, CMI, FLR, CRM, JBL, MA, FB, MU, FSLR, VMC, MON, T.
Oct. 10, 2014, 5:31 PM
- The FTC has issued a second request for additional info to Dollar General (NYSE:DG) regarding its $9.1B buyout offer for Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO). State AGs have already been probing the bid on antitrust grounds.
- DG -1.2% AH. For now, Family Dollar continues supporting Dollar Tree's (NASDAQ:DLTR) $8.5B offer.
Sep. 29, 2014, 2:50 PM
- Deutsche Bank thinks Dollar Tree (DLTR +0.6%) and Dollar General (DG -0.3%) could be prepping to make fresh bids for Family Dollar Stores (FDO).
- The investment firm is sticking with its Buy rating on FDO amid the potential for new action.
- What to watch: State AGs are reportedly looking at bids from Dollar General and Dollar Tree for FDO. It's possible the new offers from the discounters could involve a plan to divest more stores in front of the merger to appease regulators.
Sep. 24, 2014, 8:13 AM
- Retail sales could increase by 4.5% to $986B this holiday season on an improved macroeconomic backdrop, forecasts Deloitte Touche.
- The mark would easily top last year's 2.8% rise.
- Online sales are tipped to rise by 14%.
- Promotional activity across broad retail has been dialed back a touch during the back-to-school season, but is still a risk to margins heading into the crucial shopping period.
- What to watch: This holiday season could be an operational pressure cooker for UPS (NYSE:UPS) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) with demand expected to be high.
- Related stocks: AAP, AEO, ANF, BBBY, BBY, BJ, CHS, COH, COST, DG, FDO, FL, GPS, JCP, JNY, JWN, KSS, LB, LULU, M, NDN, PIR, RL, TGT, TIF, TJX, UA, URBN, VFC, WMT, ZLC, PERY, SQBG, VNCE, KORS, GIII, KATE, GIL, VRA, ICON, PSMT, AMZN.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, FDIS, PMR, UGE, RCD, SZK
Sep. 23, 2014, 8:10 AM
- Halloween spending by consumers in the U.S. is expected to rise to $11.3B this year, according to an estimate from ICSC.
- Discount stores (DG, DLTR, FDO) and grocery stores (KR, SVU, SWY, WMT, TGT) are expected to keep a lion's share of the costume spend with shoppers indicating price and the ability to touch costumes as the biggest factors in deciding where to shop.
- Halloween is one of the few calendar events where online has stayed more of a bit player with only an estimated 7% share of purchases.
Sep. 17, 2014, 9:07 AM
- Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) recommends shareholders pass on the tender offer of Dollar General (NYSE:DG) as it continues to throw its support behind a merger with Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) which it sees as more likely to clear regulatory hurdles.
- The company maintains the $80-per-share offer from Dollar General is "highly conditional" and illusory in nature.
Sep. 12, 2014, 2:02 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT -0.5%) plans to rebrand all of its Express stores to Neighborhood Market in a move that signals a stronger push into grocery.
- The new strategy means that Neighborhood Market stores will range in size from 15K to 40K square feet.
- The company is still testing the smaller Walmart To Go and Walmart On Campus concepts.
- What to watch: Though there's plenty of retail chains which could be impacted by Wal-Mart's NM push, Gilford Securities reasons that dollar stores (FDO, DLTR, DG) and drugstores (RAD, CVS, WAG) top the list.
Sep. 12, 2014, 7:36 AM
- Dollar General (NYSE:DG) expects to receive feedback from regulators by the middle of October on its proposed merger with Family Dollar.
- A decision to go "hell or high water" with a final offer will be made by the retailer at that point, sources tell The New York Post.
- Dollar General's hostile tender offer is at $80 per Family Dollar share.
Sep. 10, 2014, 10:50 AM
- Though management at Family Dollar (FDO -0.2%) is nervous about the regulatory risk of merging with Dollar General (DG), institutional and retail investors are likely to focus more on the higher per-share offer offered by Dollar General than Dollar Tree (DLTR -0.1%), say analysts.
- Ready for action: Dollar General says it has buyout funding commitments from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup in its back pocket. The company's tender offer expires on October 8.
- Still in the mix: Dollar Tree could still match the Dollar General offer, although Edward Jones notes the company lacks the firepower of its discounter rival and is a good bet to stand pat.
- Previous: Wal-Mart the wildcard in battle for Family Dollar.
Sep. 10, 2014, 6:29 AM
- Dollar General (NYSE:DG) initiates a tender offer to acquire all the shares of Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) at $80 per share.
- The tender is set to expire on October 8 unless extended by the company.
- Dollar General reiterates its position that it's confident the merger will pass regulatory review.
- FDO +0.3% to $78.96 premarket.
Sep. 10, 2014, 1:51 AM
- Following the rejection of its second bid for rival Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Dollar General (NYSE:DG) is preparing to go hostile, taking its $9.1B offer directly to shareholders.
- Family Dollar rejected Dollar General's bids citing antitrust risks, and wants DG to assume the entire risk of the deal, such as carrying out any divestiture that antitrust regulators ask for.
- While Dollar General believes it has already offered far more divestitures than is necessary, it has not gone as far as Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) which has included a commitment to divest as many stores as necessary to clear antitrust hurdles.
Sep. 9, 2014, 9:56 AM
- Though Family Dollar Stores (FDO -0.1%) seems to have some nervous feet over potential regulatory issues if it were to be acquired by Dollar General (DG -0.4%), there's a case to be made that the deal could fly.
- Research from Kantar Research indicates that in some markets 90% of Family Dollar customers also shop at Wal-Mart (WMT -0.4%).
- The data point bolsters the argument that the Bentonville giant should be a consideration by regulators as they examine the competitive implication of a Dollar General-Family Dollar merger.
- Analysts also think Dollar General could flip the anti-competitive argument around to make the case that a DG-FDO combination would cut into Wal-Mart's dominance in many markets.
Sep. 5, 2014, 8:55 AM
- Citing antitrust concerns, the Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) board rejects Dollar General's (NYSE:DG) latest bid, which came at a 7.4% premium to Dollar Tree's (NASDAQ:DLTR) buyout price.
- "There is a very real and material risk that the transaction proposed by Dollar General would fail to close, after a lengthy and disruptive review process," says Family Dollar boss Howard Levine.
- Family Dollar and Dollar Tree amend their merger agreement, with Dollar Tree committing to divest as many stores as necessary to receive antitrust clearance. The two also accelerate their expectations for closing the deal to as early as the end of November.
- FDO -0.8%, DG -1.4%, DLTR -1.4% premarket
Sep. 2, 2014, 9:07 AM
- Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) indicates it will review the updated offer from Dollar General (NYSE:DG) with advisers before it will offer a recommendation to shareholders.
- The Dollar General bid commands a 7.4% premium over what discounter peer Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) offered up and includes a commitment to shed up to 1.5K stores.
- Retail analysts think the ample competition in the supercenter/superstore/supermarket space will keep regulators largely at bay as they evaluate the potential combination of the two dollar store chains.
- FDO +0.8% to $80.45, a shade above the $80 bid price from Dollar General, in an indication that some investors are betting yet another offer could come down the road.
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