Tue, Jan. 6, 4:16 PM
- GasBuddy.com projects gas prices will average $2.64 per gallon in 2015.
- Most economists see a boost in U.S. retail spending from the gas savings with the exception of regions highly dependent upon the energy industry.
- While some Q4 reports from restaurant chains and retailers may show a marginal lift in sales due to the drop in gas prices, insiders think quantifying the impact will be more art than science.
- The following sub-sectors have been tapped by analysts as potential under-the-radar beneficiaries of the gas price effect.
- C-stores:KR, CASY, PTRY, OTCPK:ANCUF, CST, MUSA.
- Theme parks: SIX, FUN, DIS, CMCSA, PLAY.
- Beverages: KO, PEP, COT, DPS, BUD, SAM, BREW, TAP, MNST.
Fri, Jan. 2, 11:26 AM
Dec. 11, 2014, 9:30 AM
- Retail sales struck their biggest gain since March on broad strength.
- What's working: Strong growth was seen in auto parts (PBY, ORLY, AZO, AAP, MNRO) with the broad parts category showing year-over-year sale growth of over 8% in November. Sales were up 6.8% Y/Y for health and personal care stores (ULTA, SBH, CVS, WAG, RAD) during the month.
- What's not working: Department stores (DDS, M, SSI, BONT, SHLD, JCP, KSS, JWN) went backwards with sales off 1.1% from a year ago. No surprise, but sales at gas stations (CASY, KR, PTRY) also fell off from a year ago.
- Retail ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, IYC, FDIS, SCC, UCC, PMR, UGE, RCD, SZK.
Dec. 10, 2014, 10:22 AM
- The S&P 500 Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 0.3% today despite the negative action in the broader market.
- A forecast for sustained lower oil prices is the major reason for the upswing.
- Top 20 XRT holdings showing gains: Limited Brands (LB +0.6%), Whole Foods Markets (WFM +0.4%), Casey's General Stores (CASY +0.3%), Ross Stores (ROST +0.7%), Kroger (KR +0.9%), Advance Auto Parts (AAP +0.4%), Target (TGT +0.4%), Zumiez (ZUMZ +0.3%), CST Brands (CST +1.3%).
Dec. 6, 2014, 10:24 AM
- Grocery delivery upstart Instacart is raising $100M from new and old investors at a pricing which gives the company a $2B valuation and plenty of cash to fund expansion.
- Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz have added to their original investments, reports Re/code.
- Instacart, which was started by a former Amazon supply chain engineer, delivers groceries from participating stores to consumers in larger markets within an hour.
- Major retail chains such as Whole Foods Markets (NASDAQ:WFM), Kroger (NYSE:KR), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) are participating in Instacart's expansion - perhaps playing a little defense against Amazon Fresh (NASDAQ:AMZN) which also has growth plans.
- What to watch: Instacart's simple business model of a personal shopper army and vibrant website contrasts sharply with the distribution/branding might of Amazon Fresh (AMZN), but could end up in the same razor-thin margin predicament ($5.99 for one-hour delivery?). Meanwhile, old-school Kroger (KR) has recorded 44 straight quarters of positive comps and just raised its full-year profit guidance off of solid store execution.
- Related grocery stocks: SVU, SWY, RNDY, SFM, OTCQB:PUSH, TFM, WMT.
Dec. 4, 2014, 3:22 PM
- There's an increasing rate of reports of long lines at convenience store outlets across the U.S. as consumers rush to find sub-$2.50 gas.
- C-store chains are pricing aggressively in order to increase traffic into stores where margins tend to be higher.
- The sector has been identified by retail analysts as likely to outperform in Q4 due to the spending boost provided by lower gas prices (you could ski down the chart of retail gas prices over the last three months). Some forecast in-store spending will pop.
- Convenience store operators in the mix: Circle K (OTCPK:ANCUF), 7-11, Pantry (NASDAQ:PTRY), BP Connect (NYSE:BP), On the Run (NYSE:XOM), Speedway America (NYSE:MPC), Kwik Shop (NYSE:KR), Caseys General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY), and Qwiktrip.
- Related: Let's talk $2 gas (Nov. 29 2014), Sub-$2 per gallon spotted as pump prices fall to 4-year low (Dec. 03 2014)
Dec. 4, 2014, 8:40 AM
- Kroger (NYSE:KR) reports identical-supermarket sales rose 5.6% in Q3 to extend an impressive streak of 44 straight quarters with a positive comp.
- The company says its FIFO gross margin rate fell 2 bps to 21.24% in the quarter.
- FY14 EPS guidance is raised to $3.32-$3.36 vs. $3.22-$3.28 prior and $3.29 consensus.
- KR +4.0% premarket.
Dec. 4, 2014, 8:32 AM
Dec. 3, 2014, 5:30 PM
Dec. 2, 2014, 9:09 AM
- Oppenheimer raises its price target on Kroger (NYSE:KR) to $70.
- Shares of the grocery store operator remain rated by the investment firm at Outperform.
- Kroger has been one of the stronger names in retail as it has beat back competitors ranging from Whole Foods Market to Wal-Mart. Shares are up 51% YTD.
Nov. 19, 2014, 12:56 PM
- R&D is paying off at Kroger (KR -0.1%) with wait times in checkout lines vastly reduced through a mix of new technology and advanced algorithms.
- The grocery store chain uses heat sensing technology to track traffic at store entrances, exits, and checkout lanes and then adjust in real time.
- Execs says the average checkout wait time has gone from a range of 3.5 minutes to 4 minutes down to 30 seconds.
- Kroger's identical-store sales increased 4.6% in Q1 and 4.8% in Q2 as the company defended its market share against Wal-Mart, Target, and other grocers.
- NRF video on the Kroger innovation
Nov. 8, 2014, 9:25 AM
- Energy companies finally are starting to halt a few new U.S. drilling projects as oil prices fall, which Barclays believes may put the U.S. oil boom at risk but "on balance, we believe lower oil prices are good.”
- If strong U.S. energy growth is interrupted, spending in the sector could be cut by $40B, but consumers could save $70B next year as the price at the pump falls for gasoline and diesel, according to Barclays head of U.S. equity strategy Jonathan Glionna.
- The most likely beneficiaries would be discretionary areas such as restaurants, entertainment, apparel, electronics and furniture, he says.
- Glionna lists 27 stocks that could benefit from lower oil prices: AAL, AGCO, AXL, BERY, BLMN, BWLD, CHH, CLX, DE, DPZ, FDX, GM, HD, KMB, KR, KSS, MHK, MMM, PENN, PPG, SAVE, SHW, TGT, UPS, VAL, WMS, WMT.
Oct. 31, 2014, 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.
Oct. 28, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Redbook notes the timing of Halloween on a Friday is giving a boost to merchandise sales related to the holiday as more consumers prep for parties and celebrations.
- Both Redbook and ICSC's weekly read on retail store sales showed year-over-year improvement with Halloween sales a factor.
- Stores have also been extending their hours to draw in more shoppers.
- Looking for a Halloween boost: DLTR, DG, FDO, KR, SVU, SWY, WMT, TGT, HSY, KRFT, CVS, RAD, WAG, MDLZ.
Oct. 22, 2014, 8:40 AM
- Kroger (NYSE:KR) is tapped by JPMorgan as a Top Pick to go along with an Overweight rating it's had locked in on the stock for most of the year.
- The grocery store's expansion of organic and health product offerings sets it up for higher comps and average ticket prices, say analysts.
- The integration of Harris Teeter is also forecast to pull up margins.
- Shares of Kroger are already up 36% YTD.
Oct. 21, 2014, 3:35 PM
- Kroger (KR -0.1%) has passed the $1B mark in annual sales for the the organic foods category.
- The company reached the milestone only two years after launching The Simple Truth brand.
- Though still only a bit player on Kroger's total revenue, the wider margins for natural and organic products are a positive contributor to margins.
- Jefferies thinks the category could grow to $4B-$5B for the grocery store operator.
KR vs. ETF Alternatives
Kroger Co operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores throughout the United States. It also manufactures and processes some of the food for sale in its supermarkets.
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