• Tue, Oct. 17, 8:37 AM
    • Susquehanna initiates coverage on Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) with a Positive rating on a favorable view on valuation after the sharp decline in share price.
    • The firm's price target of $23 on Sprouts reps 23% upside from last night's closing price.
    • Previously: Telsey gloom hangs over grocery sector (Oct. 16)
    Tue, Oct. 17, 8:37 AM
  • Mon, Oct. 16, 3:51 PM
    • Grocery store stocks were hit today by a cut in estimates from Telsey on Supervalu (SVU -7.7%) amid ongoing concerns over margin pressure.
    • Decliners include Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM -2.7%), Kroger (KR -4%), Ingles Markets (IMKTA -4.2%) and Natural Vitamin Grocers Cottage (NGVC -7.2%).
    • The grocery sector has been very sensitive to cuts in EPS forecasts since the Amazon-Whole Foods deal was inked.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    Mon, Oct. 16, 3:51 PM | 19 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 11, 10:05 AM
    • Grocery store stocks are being eyed by investors after Kroger (KR +6.5%) issues a strategy update and, perhaps more importantly, backs its current EPS forecast.
    • The grocery store giant also said that it sees flat EPS growth for next year, a shot of confidence amid sector concerns on wage pressure and Amazon pricing competition.
    • The update from Kroger has relevance for a large number of companies, including Supervalu (SVU +1.4%), Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM +1.5%), Weis Markets (WMK +0.4%), Ingles Markets (IMKTA -0.1%) and Target (TGT +1.9%).
    • Previously: Kroger rallies after strategy reset announced (Oct. 11)
    Wed, Oct. 11, 10:05 AM | 29 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 9, 1:12 PM
    • Grocery store stocks start the week off on a down note after Barclays warns on the impact of Amazon.
    • Though the Barclays thesis isn't anything new, analyst Karen Short issues a more dire assessment on the sector than what most other analysts have published..
    • She writes that most grocers lack "scale, sophistication and the balance sheet in order to make the necessary investments" and maintains that no food retailer will be left unscathed from the Amazon-Whole Foods evolution (per Bloomberg).
    • In a broad look at grocery-related stocks -- Casey's General Stores (CASY -1.1%), Kroger (KR -1.9%), Supervalu (SVU -3.1%), Ingles Markets (IMKTA -2.6%), Weis Markets (WMK -4.2%), Core-Mark (CORE -1.6%), Smart & Final Stores (SFS -7.1%), iFresh (IFMK -3.1%), Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM -1.9%), Costco (COST -1.8%), Blue Apron (APRN -1.5%) and Target (TGT -0.8%) are all swinging lower today.
    Mon, Oct. 9, 1:12 PM | 76 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 3, 7:12 AM
    • Data tracking firm Thasos Group publishes a report on the impact of the price cuts at Whole Foods (NASDAQ:AMZN) fired off on August 28.
    • Foot traffic was down 4% Y/Y at Whole Foods stores for the week following the pricing move, but was elevated in comparison to the three weeks before the action.
    • While the largest percentage of Whole Foods customers during the week were regular shoppers from Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Kroger (NYSE:KR) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST), on a percentage basis adjusted for stores chain size it was Trader Joe's and Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) that saw the biggest impact.
    • Thasos says "customer defection rates" remained elevated for all the chains through September 16.
    Tue, Oct. 3, 7:12 AM | 74 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 29, 7:43 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is estimated to have sold about $1.6M in Whole Foods brand products off its site in the month since taking over the grocery chain. While deli turkey breast and coconut water were hot sellers, condiments and health/beauty items saw less demand.
    • Perhaps more intriguing are the estimates on Whole Foods store traffic. Data indicated that traffic jumped 10% in August following the Amazon announcement of price cuts, but fell about 4% below average in September.
    • Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) are down about 30% since the AMZN-Whole Foods deal was announced, while Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is off 20%.
    Fri, Sep. 29, 7:43 AM | 61 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 11, 12:43 PM
    • As reported by Bloomberg, data from Foursquare Labs showed a 25% increase in traffic at Whole Foods in the first two days after the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) purchase closed (your humble editor set foot in WFM for the first time in years last week).
    • The rough run continues for competitor Sprouts (SFM -5.3%), now off 20% in the last two weeks.
    Mon, Sep. 11, 12:43 PM | 73 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 30, 10:04 AM
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is up 1.86% on heavy volume with some M&A chatter floating around trading desks.
    • Yesterday, call options activity was elevated on Sprouts. Bloomberg reports total call volume was 7X the 20-day average.
    • Shares of Sprouts are still down 18% since Amazon fired off notice last week of lower prices at Whole Foods.
    Wed, Aug. 30, 10:04 AM | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 29, 9:26 AM
    • RBC Capital says produce and egg prices at Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) are still lower than comparable items at Whole Foods even after Amazon triggered a round of price cuts.
    • In a similar test, William Blair found that 41 out of 44 items at Sprouts stores in Denver were priced level with or below comparable items at Whole Foods.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • SFM -0.25% premarket to $19.67.
    Tue, Aug. 29, 9:26 AM | 15 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 28, 1:03 PM
    • Barclays issues its thoughts on how it see the Whole Foods evolution under Amazon (AMZN +0.1%) playing out.
    • The firm expects broad price cuts across key categories, while some areas such as apparel are drastically paired down. Extra store space is seen going to Amazon innovation/help stations and online order pickup/Amazon Lockers.
    • Beyond the brick-and-mortar plans from Seattle, pricing strategy is seen as crucial.
    • "If AMZN were to reduce WFM’s merchandise margins to KR’s (~25%), WFM would generate an operating loss in the $1.2B range annually (excluding any offset from operating expense reductions from automation etc…)," calculates Barclays.
    • "The demise of mediocre conventional retailers will meaningfully accelerate, in our view - as will the demise of other higher priced natural/organic/specialty retailers," writes the Barcap team. That last part isn't good news for Vitamin Shoppe (VSI -3.2%), GNC Holdings (GNC -2.5%) and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC -2.3%).
    • Investors are betting with Barclays on the retail reset today. Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is down 9.64% and is 19% lower over the last three trading sessions, while Apollo-backed Fresh Market bonds have plunged in value. Supervalu (SVU -3%) and Kroger (KR -0.9%) are also slipping again.
    • The food sector is also pricing the impact of Amazon shouldering in to the industry. Post Holdings (POST -1.5%), Hershey (HSY -1.1%)., Kellogg (K -2%), Conagra Brands (CAG -1.8%), Treehouse Foods (THS -1.3%) and Mondelez International (MDLZ -1%) are peeling off value.
    Mon, Aug. 28, 1:03 PM | 130 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 28, 12:40 PM
    Mon, Aug. 28, 12:40 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Aug. 28, 10:19 AM
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is down another 6.0% as the grocery stocks continues to get sold off by investors over concerns on Amazon lowering prices at Whole Foods.
    • Late last week, Jefferies came out in defense of the grocery sector, saying it didn't make sense to punish the stocks twice for the same reason.
    • Sprouts sold off in the days after the Amazon-Whole Foods decision was announced on the conclusion that organic food pricing from Seattle would get aggresssive.
    • Previously: Grocery sector reeling with Amazon hitting the ground running (Aug. 24)
    Mon, Aug. 28, 10:19 AM | 26 Comments
  • Sat, Aug. 26, 10:07 AM
    • Key events are scheduled for the companies listed below next week.
    • Notable earnings reports: American Software (NASDAQ:AMSWA) on August 28; Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) and Movado (NYSE:MOV) on August 29; Greif (NYSE:GEF), Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP), Workday (NYSE:WDAY) and Box (NYSE:BOX) on August 30; Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), Dollar General (NYSE:DG) and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) on August 31.
    • IPO quiet period expirations: Venator Materials (Pending:VNTR) and Clementia Pharmaceuticals (Pending:CMTA) on August 28.
    • Secondary offering lockup expirations: Finjan (NASDAQ:FNJN), Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ:BLUE), Hamilton Lane (NASDAQ:HLNE) on August 28; Snap (NYSE:SNAP) on August 29; Savara (NASDAQ:SVRA) and TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) on August 31; Viper Energy Partners (NASDAQ:VNOM) on September 1.
    • Notable annual meeting: First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) and La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB) on August 29
    • M&A closing: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) takes over Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) on August 28. Target (NYSE:TGT), Kroger (NYSE:KR), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kellogg (NYSE:K) and other food/grocery names will be in the spotlight as analysis on last week's sell-off pours in. DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) are expected to close on August 31.
    • Comparable sales updates: Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) on August 30; Buckle (NYSE:BKE), Cato (NYSE:CATO), Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED), L Brands (NYSE:LB) and Tandy Leather Factory (NASDAQ:TLF) on August 31.
    • FDA watch: GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) expects to hear on Nucala sBLA review by August 28; Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACOR) expects to hear on CVT-301 NDA by August 29; SteadyMed expects to hear on Trevyent NDA by August 29; BioMarin Pharmaceuticals to find out about pegvaliase BLA review by August 30.
    • Auto sales reports: Kelley Blue Book expects U.S. auto sales to increase 1.5% in August to 1.53M units. Forecast by automaker - General Motors (NYSE:GM) +6.1% to 272K, Toyota (NYSE:TM) +6.5% to 227K, Ford (NYSE:F) -3.5% to 206K, Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) -3.5% to 190K, Honda (NYSE:HMC) +6.3% to 159K, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) +1.9% to 127K, Hyundai (OTCPK:HYMLF) -5.0% to 120K, Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) +7.6% to 65K, Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) +4.0% to 56K.
    • Barron's mentions: Upside is seen on Vornado (NYSE:VNO), Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) for investors. A retired hedge fund manager pitches the short case on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Investor angles on the space race are in the cover article.
    • Mayweather/McGregor: Sports books are reporting record volume on the boxing match. MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHF) and Showtime owner CBS (NYSE:CBS) are set up for windfalls from the event. At last check, Oddsshark.com lists Mayweather -375 to win and McGregor +285.
    • Sources: EDGAR, Bloomberg, Nasdaq.com.
    Sat, Aug. 26, 10:07 AM | 59 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 24, 2:07 PM
    • The grocery store sector is getting jolted by news that Amazon is wasting no time is lowering prices at Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM).
    • Kroger (NYSE:KR) is down 4.40%, while Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) has shed 2.8%. Ingles Markets (IMKTA -3.1%) and Supervalue (SVU -3.5%) also dropped quickly off the news.
    • Supplier United Natural Foods (UNFI -3.3%) and Hain Celestial (HAIN -2.4%) are also reeling.
    • Previously: Amazon plans on lower prices at Whole Foods (Aug. 24)
    Thu, Aug. 24, 2:07 PM | 122 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 17, 8:52 AM
    • Grocery store stocks could feel some pressure today after Wal-Mart reported its strongest quarterly comparable sales growth mark across food categories in five years. The Bentonville giant, which is continuing to sacrifice margins for grocery market share, lowered its annual profit guidance earlier today.
    • Kroger (NYSE:KR) is already down 1.19% in premarket trading. Wal-Mart's grocery pricing could also be a factor for Supervalu (NYSE:SVU), Smart & Final Stores (NYSE:SFS), Ingles Markets (NASDAQ:IMKTA), Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), Weis Markets (NYSE:WMK) and even Target (NYSE:TGT).
    • Previously: Weak profit guidance clips Wal-Mart (Aug. 17)
    Thu, Aug. 17, 8:52 AM | 10 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 3, 9:01 AM
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM): Q2 EPS of $0.29 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $1.18B (+14.6% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Shares +8.42% PM.
    • Press Release
    Thu, Aug. 3, 9:01 AM | 7 Comments