• Costco (COST) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates
    Zacks

    Costco (COST) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates

    Costco (COST) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 1.76% and -0.78%, respectively, for the quarter ended November 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • Home Depot (HD) Stock Takes a Hit on Soft Fiscal 2020 View
    Zacks

    Home Depot (HD) Stock Takes a Hit on Soft Fiscal 2020 View

    Home Depot (HD) provides an update on One Home Depot Plan and outlines view for fiscal 2020.

  • Stocks Hit Records on China Trade Hope & Buy this Biotech Stock - Free Lunch
    Zacks

    Stocks Hit Records on China Trade Hope & Buy this Biotech Stock - Free Lunch

    The latest U.S-China trade war news that includes a positive tweet from President Trump that helped lift stocks to new highs. A look at LULU's earnings. And why Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) is a Zacks Rank 1 (Strong Buy) stock right now...

  • NWL vs. PRPL: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?
    Zacks

    NWL vs. PRPL: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

    NWL vs. PRPL: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • Stock Market News for Dec 12, 2019
    Zacks

    Stock Market News for Dec 12, 2019

    Benchmarks ended a two-day losing streak on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced plans to hold interest rates steady.

  • Lamb Weston Gains on Robust Sales Trend, Cost Woes Linger
    Zacks

    Lamb Weston Gains on Robust Sales Trend, Cost Woes Linger

    Lamb Weston (LW) is benefiting from solid price/mix, strong Global segment, focus on LTOs and expansion efforts. However, high input costs and SG&A expenses are concerns.

  • 3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost Your Retirement Income - December 12, 2019
    Zacks

    3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost Your Retirement Income - December 12, 2019

    The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years?

  • Smucker (SJM) Down More Than 15% in 6 Months on Soft Sales
    Zacks

    Smucker (SJM) Down More Than 15% in 6 Months on Soft Sales

    Smucker (SJM) grapples with sluggish sales due to sale of its U.S. baking unit, lower net price realization and adverse currency fluctuations.

  • KB Home (KBH) Boosts Community Count in Denver & Menifee
    Zacks

    KB Home (KBH) Boosts Community Count in Denver & Menifee

    KB Home (KBH) announces the opening of Stone Creek Ranch in Denver and Salerno in Menifee.

  • The Retail Apocalypse Confronts a New Crop of CEOs
    Bloomberg

    The Retail Apocalypse Confronts a New Crop of CEOs

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Many of the retail industry’s challenges in 2020 will be familiar, such as adapting to the rise of e-commerce and trade-related uncertainty from Washington. But the lineup of CEOs navigating those conditions will include many new faces.There were more CEO exits in the retail industry in 2019 than in any year since at least 2010, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.(1)The leadership shake-ups in retail don’t appear to fit any particular pattern. There were carefully choreographed, harmonious baton passes, such as Best Buy Co. naming Corie Barry to succeed Hubert Joly. There were bombshells such as Steve Easterbrook’s abrupt ouster from McDonald’s Corp. over an inappropriate relationship with an employee. There were rebukes of poor performance, such as Art Peck’s departure from Gap Inc. And there were some left-field surprises, such as Tractor Supply Co. poaching Hal Lawton from Macy’s Inc.Retail’s recent bout of turbulence at the top is not such an outlier in corporate America; Bloomberg Opinion’s Stephen Mihm recently noted an uptick in CEO departures overall in the past few months. But it adds a certain intrigue about which retailers will end up in the winners’ circle next year.Here are predictions for how some of the more high-profile episodes of C-suite musical chairs will play out.CEO changes that are reason for optimism: By the time activist investor pressure finally led Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. to dump longtime CEO Steven Temares, the move was long overdue. But the board has scored by luring Mark Tritton — the chief merchant at its on-fire competitor, Target Corp. — for the job. Tritton’s experience creating covetable private-label brands and reimagining store displays are exactly what the big-box home goods chain needs. Meanwhile, though Gap has not yet named a permanent successor for the now-departed Peck, the company may be better off without a leader who tried but failed for five years to revive its flagship brand.CEO changes that are reason for pessimism: The biggest headscratcher comes from Nike Inc., which announced that CEO Mark Parker is to be replaced in January by John Donahoe, a former ServiceNow and eBay Inc. executive. Sure, Donahoe knows Nike’s business from serving on its board, but his tech-centric resume is a weird fit for a company that thrives on its marketing savvy and merchandising expertise. There is potential for trouble, too, in the leadership plans of Under Armour Inc., where founder Kevin Plank is set to relinquish the CEO title to COO Patrik Frisk in the new year. Plank is to become chairman and “brand chief,” and Frisk will still report to Plank. This set-up is reminiscent of when Ralph Lauren first tried to step back from the CEO role of his namesake company while staying on in a creative position. The fashion mogul clearly had trouble releasing the reins, and it cost the company a highly capable CEO, Stefan Larsson.(2)Elsewhere in the apparel world, Ascena Retail Group Inc., corporate parent of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and other brands, probably will regret tapping an insider, Gary Muto, to replace David Jaffe. This company needs the kind of total overhaul that an outsider would be better equipped to pull off.CEO changes that promise business as usual: Electronics giant Best Buy is in good hands under Barry, a veteran executive of the chain who had served as its CFO and chief strategic growth officer. Thing is, the electronics giant was already in good hands under Joly, who had steered the chain through an improbable comeback. So expect steadiness for the retailer in the year ahead —by no means a bad thing. Same goes for McDonald’s: Even though it said goodbye to a successful CEO under far more soap-operatic circumstances, his replacement, Chris Kempczinski, is a close lieutenant poised to stick to the same playbook that has fueled the fast-food giant’s recent strength.CEO change wild card: It’s understandable that Tapestry Inc.’s board had lost confidence in recently departed CEO Victor Luis. The company that used to be named Coach has been struggling to boost the Kate Spade brand it acquired in 2017, a bad sign for a company intent on transforming into a luxury conglomerate. Luis has been replaced by Jide Zeitlin, a longtime Tapestry board member. He has little experience in the retail or fashion worlds, which is concerning. But his finance industry chops could prove invaluable in future deal-making — an essential ingredient in the company’s quest for growth.(1) The Challenger data in the chart is for the retail sector only. The apparel industry, which includes manufacturers such as Nike, is a separate category that also saw a particularly high number of exits in 2019. So far, apparel has 12 CEO exits, matching the 2015 annual total that was the highest this decade. Restaurants such as McDonald’s are included in the entertainment and leisure category in Challenger’s data.(2) Lauren seems to have settled into his new role alongside current CEO Patrice Louvet, who took that job in 2017 after Larsson’s exit.To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at shalzack@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hot Scoop! Ben & Jerry's Needs to Watch Out
    Bloomberg

    Hot Scoop! Ben & Jerry's Needs to Watch Out

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Nestle SA Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider just proved his ability to be both strategic and creative as he methodically shapes the Swiss food giant, scooping and scraping up where he can.The company, which spans water, pet food and coffee, on Wednesday agreed to sell its U.S. ice cream business for $4 billion to Froneri, the joint venture it created three years ago with private equity group PAI Partners. The price equates to 2.2 times Nestle’s U.S. ice cream sales in 2018, similar to the multiple European rival Unilever NV achieved when it sold its spreads business to KKR & Co. almost exactly two years ago. That looks reasonable for Nestle’s unit, which includes the Haagen-Dazs brand in the U.S.With the sale, Schneider, a German-American educated at Harvard Business School, is very close to his target of changing up 10% of Nestle’s portfolio, helping to keep activist investor Dan Loeb happy. An outright sale would have been cleaner. But given that Froneri already holds Nestle’s European ice-cream assets, it was probably the easiest option.Nestle and PAI will each inject some funds into the joint venture to facilitate the deal. Even so Nestle should still receive between $3 billion and $4 billion in cash from the proceeds.Most importantly, there is scope for a fuller exit in time. PAI could acquire Nestle’s stake in the joint venture, or, more likely, the two could pursue an initial share sale for Froneri. Increasing sales growth, elevating profitability by developing Haagen-Dazs and cutting costs could potentially generate further value for Nestle in a few years’ time.That Nestle has been able to find a creative way to offload ice cream is encouraging. Schneider had already tackled many of the obvious disposal candidates within the group, including the U.S. confectionery and skincare divisions.Stay tuned for more. He may be equally imaginative with other parts of the group, such as its joint ventures in cereals with General Mills Inc., the U.S. maker of Cheerios, and in chilled dairy with Lactalis International, the French milk and cheese company.For example, Nestle has a few more ice cream divisions in Canada, Latin America and Asia that could be folded into Froneri in due course. But it’s likely Nestle didn’t want to rush it to avoid a bout of indigestion. There are other disposal candidates elsewhere in the group. It is already selling its Herta cooked meats business, while Bloomberg News has reported that it’s weighing the $1 billion sale of two Chinese brands.At least some parts of  the U.S. frozen-food division, such as pizzas, could be put on the block, although Nestle has so far stressed its commitment to staying in the business of frozen food. It doesn’t want to miss out on the latest trends with people cooking less and cutting down on meat, which has created a boom in vegetarian and vegan dishes. And although Nestle has restructured its waters business, indicating it wants to keep this division rather than offload it, it could always decide to carve out for sale the part that delivers bottles and dispensers directly to homes and offices.And of course there is Nestle’s stake in L’Oreal SA, although so far the group has remained committed to this. Nestle doesn’t need the money. Even with returning $20 billion to shareholders, year-end net debt is estimated just 1.4 times Ebitda. Deleveraging isn’t part of the strategy, indicating further capital returns. A wild card would be a big deal, for example in medical nutrition.In the meantime, it’s a question of delivering on Schneider’s strategy of steering a steady course between revenue-driven start-ups that make little profit and companies that prioritize margin expansion at the expense of investing in growth. So far, this has paid off for Nestle shareholders, with the stock up 27% this year. But the turn of events may be slightly worrying for Magnum owner Unilever, which now faces a more muscular competitor in ice cream.While Schneider has exhibited laser-like focus in M&A, Unilever’s relatively new CEO Alan Jope and incoming chairman, Nils Andersen, face the challenge of integrating the plethora of small acquisitions the Anglo-Dutch owner of Ben & Jerry’s has made over the past few years, all while trying to elevate sales growth.That was already a tall order. Now they’ll need to add avoiding a malfunction in the frozen aisle to their to-do list.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investing.com

    U.S. Stock Futures Edge Higher Ahead of Open

    Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and signaled that borrowing costs are likely to remain on hold through 2020.

  • Verizon Communications (VZ) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Verizon Communications (VZ) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Verizon Communications (VZ) closed the most recent trading day at $61.08, moving -0.24% from the previous trading session.

  • Buy Amazon (AMZN) Stock on the Dip Before a 2020 Rally?
    Zacks

    Buy Amazon (AMZN) Stock on the Dip Before a 2020 Rally?

    Is now the time to buy Amazon stock on the dip heading into 2020 with AMZN stock down 6% in the last six months?

  • Stocks Rise, Dollar Falls on ‘Accommodative’ Fed: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Rise, Dollar Falls on ‘Accommodative’ Fed: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose with Treasuries, while the dollar fell after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and its chairman signaled it would keep policy “somewhat accommodative.”The S&P 500 halted a two-day slide as investors viewed the last Fed decision of the year as dovish because the central bank signaled rate hikes are unlikely unless there is a meaningful change in the outlook for the economy. The 10-year Treasury rate fell below 1.8%.The Fed, in its first unanimous vote since May, said it will continue to monitor the implications of data for the economic outlook “including global developments and muted inflation pressures.”“It’s ‘steady as she goes’ from the Fed today,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede Trust. “This accommodative stance should provide a measure of support for risk assets heading into the new year.”Equity gains had been muted throughout the session as investors kept an eye out for trade headlines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed amid more trouble for Boeing Co.’s Max plane and Home Depot Inc.‘s weak forecast. Crude slipped after U.S. inventory data.With the world’s top two economies still wrangling over an interim deal, Thursday may bring news as Trump is expected to meet with his trade team, according to people familiar with the talks.Here are some other key events to watch:Brazil’s central bank also decides on interest rate.The next European Central Bank policy meeting is on Thursday.The U.K. holds a general election Thursday.And these are the main market moves:\--With assistance from Claire Ballentine.To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Dave LiedtkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    GM’s Former President Calls for the End of Car Ownership

    (Bloomberg) -- Talk about biting the hand that feeds.Dan Ammann, the chief executive officer of a self-driving car startup majority owned by General Motors Co., on Wednesday called solo drivers of gasoline-powered cars “the fundamental problem” behind pollution, congestion and vehicle crashes. His complaint is ironic since as recently as January, Ammann was president of GM, which derives much of its profits from gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks, few of which are owned by commuters who regularly carpool.“Imagine if someone invented a new transportation system and said, ‘I’ve designed a new way of getting around: it’s powered by fossil fuels that will pollute our air. It will congest our cities to the point of inciting rage in its users. Its human operators will be fallible, killing 40,000 Americans — and more than a million people around the world — every year,’” Ammann wrote in a blog post. “You’d say, ‘You’re crazy.’”As head of Cruise LLC, Ammann, 47, is looking to promote the idea that electric, self-driving vehicles purpose built for ride-sharing are the best cure for modern-day urban transportation woes. His old boss, GM CEO Mary Barra, has echoed those comments, but also stressed the need to make money on the company’s current lineup to pay for that transformation to a more sustainable future.GM funds Cruise with $1 billion a year, which it can afford to do thanks to the fat profit margins earned from sales of vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, a revamped and much-larger version of which the company showed off on Tuesday. Notably, the 2021 model lacks an optional electric powertrain or self-driving technology, though GM does have electric SUVs in the works.Meanwhile, Cruise will miss its original goal to launch a self-driven ride-sharing service by the end of this year, something the venture now plans to introduce at an unspecified date.To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in Southfield at dwelch12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • General Mills (GIS) Earnings Expected to Grow: Should You Buy?
    Zacks

    General Mills (GIS) Earnings Expected to Grow: Should You Buy?

    General Mills (GIS) possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • Is Newell Brands (NWL) a Great Value Stock Right Now?
    Zacks

    Is Newell Brands (NWL) a Great Value Stock Right Now?

    Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

  • 3 Top Dividend Stocks to Maximize Your Retirement Income - December 11, 2019
    Zacks

    3 Top Dividend Stocks to Maximize Your Retirement Income - December 11, 2019

    The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years?

  • Frontier Unveils Call Authentication Technology With Neustar
    Zacks

    Frontier Unveils Call Authentication Technology With Neustar

    Frontier (FTR) collaborates with Neustar to thwart robocalls with the deployment of latest technology solutions for protecting consumers from malicious telephonic scams.

  • Home Depot Falls as Next Year’s Forecast Rips Off ‘Band-Aid’
    Bloomberg

    Home Depot Falls as Next Year’s Forecast Rips Off ‘Band-Aid’

    (Bloomberg) -- Home Depot Inc. shares fell as much as 2.5% Wednesday as the retailer’s sales and operating margin guidance for next year disappointed Wall Street. The forecasts were provided ahead of the its 2019 Investor and Analyst Conference, which began at 9 a.m.Analysts weren’t completely surprised by the guide down, following Home Depot’s weaker-than-expected third-quarter report Nov. 19, which included cuts to its current year comparable sales and net sales forecasts. Sentiment was low in the stock since then, with shares down 9.6% through Tuesday’s close. The slightly lower views will result in earnings-per share reductions for the year ending in January 2021, sell-side analysts said this morning.Here’s more of what analysts had to say following the press release, but ahead of the meeting:Evercore ISI, Greg Melich“HD decided to rip off the band-aid this am,” with its new forecast“The 3.5-4% top-line guide and 14.0% EBIT margin should soften expectations into next year,” the analyst wroteHe predicts a bear case for EPS for the year ending January 2021 will come in around $10.50, with comparable sales growth around 3.5%, while those more bullish on the home improvement outlook can use 4.0% on the comp. line “and stay closer to $11.00”While next year’s outlook is a “touch lighter than we expected,” it does affirm the company’s current trends and investments in a “healthy home improvement market”Rates outperformGordon Haskett, Chuck GromNext year’s forecasts were “a touch below what we think the bull camp was hoping to receive;” believes the forecasts imply EPS of around $10.20-$10.30, which compares to the current estimates of $10.87, as compiled by Bloomberg data“Ultimately, HD has and will continue to invest from a position of strength as it continues to fortify its leadership on the Pro front, but with the multiple not in a forgiving position and numbers coming down, the stock may retreat before moving higher”Rates buy, price target $260Morgan Stanley, Simeon Gutman“We were wrong thinking the stock had been largely de-risked ahead of the Investor & Analyst Conference,” the analyst wrote in a noteHe and buy-side were already expecting a “below-consensus guide,” but he didn’t expect “the magnitude of the miss relative to expectations”The “incremental margin pressure” appears mostly to be caused by shrinkage, as well as a merchandise mix shiftIn addition, the softer-than-expected sales growth results in expense deleverage against a “peak investment year”Gutman cuts his EPS estimate for next year to $10.40 from $10.80Maintains overweight, but reduces his price target to $225 from $235RBC, Scot CiccarelliThe stock is down ~10% from recent highs as investors have adjusted their growth outlooksThe analyst believes industry trends remain “solid, albeit not as robust as they were 18+ months ago”HD has built up “a lot of goodwill with investors for delivering nearly a decade of strong performance,” but this year has been “a bit rockier for the company than what we had become accustomed to,” and today’s margin forecast suggests that next year’s forecasts will also have be lowered, “at least modestly”This could add incremental pressure on the stock in the near-termCiccarelli remains a long-term bull on Home Depot and expects a “fairly upbeat message” at today’s meetingRates outperform and recommends investors buy the stock on today’s pullback; price target $246(Updates stock move to reflect regular session trading.)To contact the reporter on this story: Janet Freund in New York at jfreund11@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Scott SchnipperFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Stocks - Gamestop, American Eagle, Chevron Slump Premarket
    Investing.com

    Stocks - Gamestop, American Eagle, Chevron Slump Premarket

    Investing.com -- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Wednesday, 11th December.

  • Chewy (CHWY) Looks Good: Stock Adds 5.5% in Session
    Zacks

    Chewy (CHWY) Looks Good: Stock Adds 5.5% in Session

    Chewy (CHWY) shares rose nearly 6% in the last trading session, amid huge volumes.

  • Colgate Down 6% in 3 Months: Can Growth Efforts Revive Stock?
    Zacks

    Colgate Down 6% in 3 Months: Can Growth Efforts Revive Stock?

    Colgate (CL) is grappling with weak margins and adverse impacts of foreign currency. Nevertheless, its innovation plans, savings program and expansion strategies bode well.