* Walmart Inc.'s shares rose 5.6% in premarket trading as the company raised its full-year guidance after reporting adjusted EPS of $1.27 for the second quarter of fiscal 2020, above the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.22. It now expects full-year comparable sales growth at the upper end of its previously stated 2.5% to 3% range and a slight decrease to slight increase in adjusted EPS and consolidated operating income, compared to the previous forecast of low-single-digit percentage declines for both.
* Carlsberg A/S posted first-half earnings that beat analysts' expectations following strong sales of craft beer and other specialty products. For the six months ended June 30, the beer brewer saw adjusted EPS jump 15.6% year over year to 19 Danish kroner, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 18.23 kroner with five analysts reporting. Carlsberg said it will proceed with the second tranche of its 12-month buyback program to repurchase 4.5 billion kroner of its shares. It raised its full-year operating profit guidance Aug. 8.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* X5 Retail Group NV's shares rose 4% after the Russian grocer posted second-quarter net profit of 13.51 billion Russian rubles, up 55.5% year over year.
* Performance Food Group Co.'s fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 adjusted earnings and revenue surpassed analysts' estimates despite the company posting a drop in net income, which it attributed to a $56.6 million increase in its income tax expense.
* Canadian supermarkets and pharmacies operator Metro Inc. for the fiscal third quarter posted fully diluted EPS of 90 cents, up 20% year over year but short of the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of 92 cents. Metro's fiscal third-quarter figures included the integration of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., which it fully acquired in May 2018.
* Convenience store operator Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd.'s overseas unit, 7-Eleven Inc., reported that net sales were flat year over year in July. Total sales at the retailer's supermarket chain York-Benimaru declined 3.4%, while Seven & i Food Systems Co. Ltd., which operates the Denny's restaurant chain in Japan, reported that total sales in July dropped 7.3% year over year.
* Thai Beverage PCL, owner of the Chang beer brand, said diluted EPS for the fiscal third quarter was 26 Thai satang, up 18% from 22 satang in the year-ago period. For the quarter ended June 30, the company's revenue from sales and services increased 3% year over year to 62.66 billion baht from 60.66 billion baht.
* Australia's Treasury Wine Estates Ltd. recorded a 16.6% year-over-year increase in adjusted EPS to 60.4 Australian cents per share in the fiscal year ended June 30, below the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of 62 cents.
* Singaporean food distributor Olam International Ltd. said it has benefited from the U.S.-China trade war, particularly in grains. "As far as the grains trading question is concerned, there is clearly an opportunity in the marketplace because of the trade war in the world will be created by that, and we maximize on that," Olam COO Shekhar Anantharaman told analysts and investors during the company's most recent earnings call. Revenue at Olam's food staples and packaged foods segment for the first half of the year rose 38% to S$8.2 billion.
* Short-seller Blue Orca Capital accused Ausnutria Dairy Corp. Ltd. of overstating its revenues, hiding costs and misleading Chinese consumers through "undisclosed related party transactions." In a 42-page document, Blue Orca said it values Ausnutria at HK$5.78 per share, compared to its last close price of HK$12.18, and views the company as "simply uninvestable." Shares of Ausnutria plunged 20.11% in Hong Kong trading to HK$9.73 following Blue Orca's statement.
* San Francisco-based candy retailer Lolli and Pops Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a court filing. Lolli & Pops operates 69 U.S. shops and employs 789 people.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Shareholders of Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. approved the proposed sale of the hemp food products manufacturer to Aurora Cannabis Inc. The closing of the deal is subject to approval from the Supreme Court of British Columbia and regulatory bodies, as well as authorization from the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and NYSE.
* The Kraft Heinz Co. expects to cut 200 more jobs after eliminating 200 others during the first half of the year. The packaged food producer said the move is part of its restructuring programs through which it plans to reduce its workforce and close and consolidate its factories. Kraft Heinz added that its restructuring programs resulted in expenses of $41 million in the first six months of 2019, which includes $3 million in severance and employee benefit costs.
* A Mondelez International Inc. TV advertisement for Philadelphia soft cheese has been banned by the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority after viewers complained that it presented gender stereotypes, Sky News reported. The ad featured two dads being distracted by food and leaving a baby on a restaurant buffet conveyor belt.
* Nestlé SA's KitKat Chocolatory in Melbourne, Australia, unveiled a limited edition KitKat bar that is made from cocoa sourced from three volcanic islands across Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, Inside FMCG reported, citing a company statement.
* Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. appointed three new regional vice presidents. The new directors are Maria Hollandsworth, former Jack in the Box Inc. vice president; Jorge Salvat, ex-Burger King director of operations; and Peter Green, a former McDonald's Corp. director of operations.
* Dine Brands Global Inc.-owned Applebee's International Inc. rolled out deliveries across the U.S. through a partnership with DoorDash Inc.
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Food in Focus: Rising wholesale prices squeeze grocer margins in July
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.76% to 25,495.46, while the Nikkei 225 fell 1.21% to 20,405.65.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 1.54% to 7,037.60, and the Euronext 100 dropped 1.36% to 1,010.86.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook survey, the retail sales report, the Empire State manufacturing survey, the productivity and costs report, the industrial production report, the business inventories report, the housing market index, the EIA natural gas report, the treasury international capital report, the Fed balance sheet, and the money supply report are 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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