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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
October 6, 2011
07:06 EDTBJ, BBY, COST, KSS, JCP, M, TGT, WMTRetail trade group sees holiday sales up 2.8%, LA Times reports
The National Retail Federation forecasts U.S. retail sales in the upcoming holiday season will rise 2.8% to $465.6B, reported The Los Angeles Times. Reference Link
News For WMT;TGT;M;JCP;COST;BJ;KSS;BBY From The Last 14 Days
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April 17, 2015
15:42 EDTWMTWal-Mart to slash layer of in-store management, Bloomberg reports
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15:39 EDTCOSTCostco deal with Visa, Citi has 'near zero' acceptance costs, Bloomberg says
Costco’s (COST) acceptance costs will be near zero under the terms of its new deal with Visa (V) and Citigroup (C), compared to the roughly 0.6% of each transaction it currently pays to incumbent card partner American Express (AXP), reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the deal. Reference Link
April 16, 2015
06:05 EDTWMTFormer Wal-Mart CEO Duke heads to Carlyle Group, WSJ reports
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April 15, 2015
17:32 EDTTGTMasterCard reaches agreement with Target to resolve claims
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14:58 EDTCOSTEarnings Watch: Analysts more bullish on Citi after asset sales, CCAR approval
Citigroup (C), one of the largest banks in the U.S., is expected to report first quarter earnings before the open on Thursday, April 16, with a conference call scheduled for 11:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.39 on revenue of $19.82B. The consensus range is $1.32-$1.45 for EPS on revenue of $18.43B-$20.36B, according to First Call. On its last earnings conference call, Citi said it was committed to its 2015 targets and to returning capital to shareholders. Citi is targeting a 2015 consumer banking efficiency ratio of 49%-52%, compared to a ratio of 56% in 2014 and a pro forma 2014 ratio of 55%. LAST QUARTER: Citigroup reported fourth quarter EPS of 6c, versus analysts' consensus forecast of 11c. The company’s revenue came in below expectations at 17.81B. Citi CEO Michael Corbat said at the time: "While the overall results for 2014 fell short of our expectations, we did make significant progress on our top priorities... Although we made some difficult decisions over the course of the year, I believe they allowed us to put our franchise in a position to have a successful 2015." NEWS: On March 2, Costco (COST) announced it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa (V). Under the terms of the agreements, Citi would become the exclusive issuer of Costco's co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the U.S. and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016. The next day, Citi announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell OneMain Financial Holdings to Springleaf (LEAF) for a purchase price of $4.25B. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015, subject to approvals and other customary conditions. The sale, along with retirement of related funding, are expected to result in a net addition to earnings before income taxes of approximately $1B, the bank stated. On March 5, the Federal Reserve said that Citi had passed its Dodd-Frank stress test, as did all 31 banks that were examined. About a week later, the central bank announced it had not objected to the capital plans of 28 bank holding companies participating in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, or CCAR. After the Fed advised Citi that it has no objection to the planned capital actions requested by the bank, Citi said it will increase its quarterly common stock dividend to 5c per share from 1c per share. Citi also announced plans for a common stock repurchase program of up to $7.8B during the five quarters starting in the Q2. At the end of March, Citi announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell 100% of the shares of Citi Cards Japan, the exclusive issuer of Diners Club cards in Japan, to Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. Also in March, Citi announced that it has sold 396M common shares in Akbank T.A.S. through an equity offering representing its entire 9.9% equity interest in the company. Total proceeds from the transaction are expected to be approximately $1.15B at then current exchange rates. The financial terms of those two transactions are not material to Citi, the bank noted. STREET RESEARCH: On February 10, Deutsche Bank upgraded Citi to Buy from Hold and raised its price target for shares to $54 from $51. Deutsche said then that it believed the decline in the stock since the firm's December 4 downgrade had priced in some of the earnings risk, but added the FY15 consensus estimates for Citi still looked too high. On March 17, Deutsche Bank further raised its price target for Citi shares to $56 from $54, citing positive news flow around the sale of OneMain, its credit card deal with Costco and the Fed's stress test results. On March 3, JPMorgan upgraded Citigroup to Overweight, saying the Costco co-branding credit card deal will add to revenue growth and return on assets. Further, the firm said it expects the banking giant to achieve its operating efficiency targets this year. It upped its price target for shares to $58 from $54. The next day, Morgan Stanley said it believes Citi's sale of OneMain and its new Costco partnership imply, when taken together, that the bank is substituting OneMain's higher risk assets with the Costco portfolio, which has a lower yield, risk and RWA. Such a trade will be viewed favorably by regulators, the firm said. Morgan Stanley, which has an Overweight rating on Citi, said then it sees potential upside to its $60 price target on Citi shares if capital freed from the OneMain sale is returned to shareholders. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading ahead of tomorrow morning's report, Citi rose over 1% to $53.31. Over the last three months, Citi shares are up nearly 13%.
11:09 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney rally would be opportunity to issue shares, says Imperial Capital
Imperial Capital continues to expect elevated debt levels to erode the value of J.C. Penney shares, but it thinks favorable operating momentum could drive the stock price above $10. Imperial believes such a rally would provide Penny with a "great opportunity" to issue additional shares to pay down debt. The firm keeps an Underperform rating on Penny with a $3 price target. Shares of the retailer are up 9c to $9.23 in late morning trading.
April 14, 2015
18:41 EDTTGTTarget close to $20M settlement with MasterCard over data breach, WSJ says
According to people familiar with the negotiations, Target (TGT) is approaching a settlement with MasterCard (MA) to reimburse financial institutions roughly $20M for costs they incurred from the retailer’s massive data breach in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports. Target is negotiating a separate settlement with Visa (V), according to sources, WSJ added. Reference Link
18:32 EDTWMTCourt rules Wal-Mart can reject shareholder proposal on gun sales, WSJ says
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18:17 EDTTGTTarget close to $20M settlement with MasterCard over data breach, DJ says
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11:47 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney business on 'more stable footing,' says Baird
Baird analyst Mark Altschwager says J.C. Penney's business is on "more stable footing" after the retailer reported a quarter-to-date comp of 6% and provided Q1 comp guidance above consensus. Altschwager raised his price target for shares to $10 from $9 but keeps a Neutral rating on Penny. He believes meaningful free cash flow growth will be challenging as investment needs normalize.
08:55 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney sees Q1 SSS up 3.5%-4.5%
J.C. Penney said in a regulatory filing that on April 13, the company became aware that a senior official of the company inadvertently sent an e-mail communication to a securities analyst that contained non-public information regarding the company’s comparable store sales results for Q1 to date, which are approximately 6%. Based on results to date, and taking into account the shift of Easter into the fiscal month of March this year, the company currently expects comparable store sales for Q1 to be in the range of 3.5%-4.5%.
April 13, 2015
16:07 EDTBBYBest Buy chairman retiring June 9, CEO Joly to take on chairman role
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14:18 EDTTGTTarget names Anne Dament as SVP, Merchandising
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07:15 EDTCOSTAmerican Express shares could hit $105 in 18 months, says William Blair
William Blair analyst Robert Napoli says shares of American Express (AXP) are trading at nearly a 20% valuation discount to the S&P 500, reflecting "very high" pessimism in the name. Napoli tells investors today that other periods of "extreme pessimism" for American Express included 1998, 2001, and 2008/2009, with each proving to be a buying opportunity. He believes the current period will be no different. Napoli expects Amex shares to trend to historical valuation levels as investors look past the loss of Costco (COST) and better appreciate the company's growth opportunities. The analyst believes a stock price of around $105 is “reasonable” in about 18 months. The credit card issuer closed Friday up 43c to $79.59.
06:22 EDTJCP, TGTGap, Target, others scrutinized by NY AG over staffing practices, WSJ says
Several major retailer including Gap (GPS) and Target (TGT) are under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over their staffing practices and whether they require workers to show up or stay home with little notice, The Wall Street Journal reports. Schneiderman sent letters warning Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), JC Penney (JCP), Urban Outfitters (URBN), TJX Cos (TJX), Ann Inc (ANN), L Brands (LB), Burlington Stores (BURL), Sears Holdings (SHLD), Williams-Sonoma (WSM) and J Crew Group that he believes the chains are using on-call scheduling and that such practices may be in violation of New York laws. Reference Link
April 12, 2015
15:43 EDTWMTWal-Mart's Walton family puts shares in newly formed trust, Reuters says
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April 10, 2015
18:29 EDTWMTWal-Mart says Walton family to place 6% of shares in trust, Reuters reports
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10:00 EDTMOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Bemis (BMS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Gigamon (GIMO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William... Global Payments (GPN) upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at First Analysis... Knight Transportation (KNX) upgraded on valuation, catalysts at Stifel... Macy's (M) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham... Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Union Pacific (UNP) upgraded on valuation, growth outlook at Stifel... Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
08:24 EDTMMacy's upgraded at Buckingham
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07:51 EDTMMacy's upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham
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