Oct. 10, 2014, 11:09 AM
- There was frustrated tone from Family Dollar (FDO -0.4%) after the company barely managed a positive comp in FQ4 despite a healthy round of promotions.
- The discounter's gross margin rate fell 170 bps to 32.95% for the quarter and operating profit slid 469 bps to 1.53%.
- Management pointed to merchandise mark-ups and mix (tobacco, frozen foods) as margin depressors.
- Macroeconomic factors were also cited. CEO Howard Levine put it bluntly: "Our core customer is still struggling."
- Execs were silent on the pending offers from Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
- Earnings call transcript
Oct. 9, 2014, 4:17 PM| Comment!
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. 29, 2014, 11:56 AM
- Family Dollar (FDO -0.1%) says a few state AGs have told the discounter that they will probe a merger with Dollar General due to the competition issues it raises in select markets.
- The company has shown nervous feet all along about a combination with FDO, preferring the safer route with Dollar Tree at a lower payoff to shareholders.
- Reuters reports state AGs are also looking at the impact from a Dollar Tree-Family Dollar combination.
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.
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Sep. 23, 2014, 8:37 AM
- Paulson & Co. suggested to Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) at least twice that it explore options to sell itself, reports Bloomberg.
- Though the hedge fund firm is only a passive investor in FDO, John Paulson met personally with the company's management last year to push for action and sent a letter to the board this year.
- The discussions between Paulson & Co. with Family Dollar were disclosed in recent SEC filings.
- SEC Form 14D-9
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. 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. 3, 2014, 4:23 PM
Sep. 3, 2014, 2:58 PM
- Carl Icahn has unloaded his holdings in Family Dollar (FDO), according to a report from Reuters.
- Sources indicate the activist investor exited his position in the discounter with a profit of close to $200M.
- What to watch: The sale by Icahn leaves a little bit more breathing room in the boardroom at Family Dollar as it considers competing bids from Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
FDO vs. ETF Alternatives
Family Dollar Stores Inc provides consumers with a selection of competitively priced merchandise in convenient neighbourhood stores. Its merchandise assortment includes consumables, home products, apparel accessories, seasonal and electronics.
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