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Six Flags shares drop 17.8% over China parks warning; Casper Sleep files for IPO


* Shares of Six Flags Entertainment Corp. closed down 17.82% to $35.96 on Jan. 10 after the amusement park operator disclosed that the development of its Chinese locations "has not progressed" due to the country's macroeconomic environment and declining real estate market. Six Flags expects a negative $1 million revenue adjustment from its international agreements in China for the fourth quarter of 2019 since its partner Riverside Investment Group defaulted on its payment obligations. It also expects a one-time $10 million charge during the quarter related to international agreements in the country and litigation matters.

* Online mattress seller Casper Sleep Inc. filed for an IPO Jan. 10. The New York-based company plans to raise up to $100 million in the offering, according to paperwork it filed with the SEC. The company has applied to list common stock on the NYSE under the symbol CSPR.


* Italian clothing company Valentino SpA appointed Alessio Vannetti to the newly created role of chief brand officer, effective March 1, CEO Stefano Sassi confirmed to Women's Wear Daily. Vannetti was previously the worldwide communications director of Kering SA's Gucci brand.

* Kering SA-owned Saint Laurent will establish a leather goods factory in Florence, Italy, Reuters reported, citing President and CEO Francesca Bellettini. Bellettini reportedly said the site, which will span 29,000 square meters, is expected to create about 300 jobs in addition to the 340 workers that will move into the facility.


* Target Corp. director Roxanne Austin, who has been with the big-box retailer since 2002, will not stand for reelection at the end of her term in June.

* Debenhams PLC is in advanced talks to sell its executive pension scheme, which holds more than £200 million of assets, to insurer Aviva PLC, Sky News reported. The two companies reportedly could reach an agreement within weeks. The deal does not include the pension scheme that covers the majority of Debenhams' workers. The retailer did not respond to several requests for details of its pension schemes, while a spokesman for the schemes' trustees declined to comment, the report said.

* British department store chain Beales has filed its intention to appoint administrators, putting about 1,000 jobs at risk, The Guardian reported, citing sources close to the company. Sources reportedly said Beales, which needs to secure a rescue deal within days, has drawn interest from at least two bidders that are in talks with the company. KPMG, which Beales has previously appointed to advise on its "strategic and financing options," reportedly declined to comment on the matter.


* Inc. founder Jeff Bezos is expected to face protests from thousands of small-scale traders in India as he visits New Delhi in the week of Jan. 13, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter. One of the sources reportedly said Bezos will also meet with the prime minister and other government officials to talk about e-commerce. Amazon did not respond to a request to confirm the visit, while the prime minister's office also did not respond to requests for comment, the report added.


* J Sainsbury PLC's retail and operations director, Simon Roberts, appears to be the internal favorite to succeed Mike Coupe as CEO, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. One of the sources reportedly said Coupe could exit the company in 2020, with the annual general meeting in July to become his last day. Sainsbury's declined to comment, the report added.

* French grocer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA is close to selling its discount chain Leader Price to its German rival Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. OHG in a deal worth €750 million, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge on the matter. Casino declined to comment, while privately held Aldi did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters said.

* Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. reported that total sales in its Seven-Eleven Japan business rose 2% year over year in December 2019, with a 0.9% increase in same-store sales. Customer numbers went down 0.5% from the year-ago period, but average customer spending grew 1.4%. Store numbers rose to 20,988 from 20,974 in November 2019.


* Walmart Inc. laid off about 56 of its executives in India as part of the subsidiary's restructuring, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter. Sources reportedly said the firings mostly affected executives in the real estate division as the company struggles to expand its wholesale business.

* Walmart Inc.'s Asda Stores Ltd. has begun redundancy consultations with 2,832 of its staff who work back-office functions in its supermarkets as the company seeks to cut costs, The Guardian reported. The GMB trade union reportedly said Asda aims to halve back-office roles in each of its 639 stores, and the layoffs are expected to begin in April. "The way in which we operate our store-based back office has evolved over recent years to adapt to changing customer behavior," Asda reportedly said in a statement.

* Walmart Inc.'s South African unit, Massmart Holdings Ltd., plans to close 23 of its Dion-Wired stores and 11 of its Masscash outlets, affecting about 1,440 workers, a company spokesman told Bloomberg News. The spokesman reportedly said the company has begun consulting with unions about the closures. Massmart, whose stocks have dropped by more than half in the past 12 months, aims to recover from its earning slump, the report added.


* William Hill PLC expects adjusted operating profit for fiscal 2019 to come in at £143 million to £148 million, driven by "favorable sporting results" through the end of the year. The company's online business in the U.K. grew in line with expectations while its online international business saw a mixed performance. William Hill also said CFO and director Ruth Prior will leave the company to join inspection and certification services provider Element Materials Technology Ltd. in a similar role.


* Retail sales in Singapore declined 4% year over year in November 2019 to S$3.6 billion, of which 8% came from online sales, according to the city-state's statistics department. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales for the month went up 0.2% from October 2019.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased by 1.11% to 28,954.94.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.23% to 7,605.06, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.04% to 1,156.90.

On the macro front

The Treasury budget is due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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