Housing-Related Industry Update [Housing Tracker]

Includes: KSS, LOW, TUP
by: Judy Weil

Housing- Related Industries 

Kohl's President Mansell appointed CEO. “Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS), a mid-priced apparel and home goods retailer, said on Thursday that Chief Executive Larry Montgomery would step down from the role, to be succeeded by President Kevin Mansell. Montgomery will remain chairman at Kohl's and continue to manage its human resources, legal and real estate departments, Kohl's said… Mansell's appointment as CEO, in addition to his post as president, is effective immediately. WSJ quoted a Kohl's director as saying the board delayed announcing the change by "a couple of months" to avoid giving the impression that Montgomery was being pressured to resign due to poor performance.” (Washington Post, Aug. 21)

The Merits of Staying in Cash. “Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) 10-Q report: Gross margins have decreased by 30% y/o/y.  Cash resources have shrunk by 30%.  Comparable store sales are expected to decline 6-7% this year.  That, to my mind, is very optimistic. Operating margins are expected to decline by 1.8%.  The net cost of opening new stores is projected at $103 million, but that is impossible. How can they open 120 new Lowe’s stores for only $103M? By mortgages themselves to the hilt… To come up with $103M, it must have taken on huge mortgage liabilities, in the midst of a falling commercial real estate market… The drain on the company’s earnings, assuming the stores are not immediately profitable, is going to be heavy.” (James Conrad in Seeking Alpha, Aug. 21)

Tupperware Brands Raised On Sales Growth, EBITDA Expansion; Outlook Stable - S&P. “Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its ratings on Tupperware Brands Corp. (NYSE:TUP) including its corporate credit rating, to 'BB+' from 'BB' and issue-level rating on the company's secured credit facilities to 'BBB' from 'BBB-', and retained the recovery rating of '1' reflecting Tupperware's ongoing revenue growth and EBITDA expansion and S&P's expectation that the company will continue to improve credit metrics and sustain these improvements. S&P said it removed the issue-level ratings from CreditWatch following the company's improved operating performance over recent quarters, its ongoing debt reduction efforts and S&P's expectations that credit measures will remain strong.” (Forbes, Aug. 19)


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