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Walmex Q3 EPS beats estimates; Hershey posts Q3'19 earnings beat

TOP NEWS

* Wal-Mart de México SAB de CV, or Walmex, said EPS for the quarter amounted to 53 centavos, up from 50 centavos a year ago and ahead of the S&P Global Market Intelligence GAAP EPS estimate of 52 centavos. The Mexican subsidiary of U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc. said total revenue of 155.02 billion Mexican pesos for the third quarter, marking a 4.9% year-over-year rise from 147.77 billion pesos. Net income amounted to 9.25 billion pesos, up 6.6% from 8.68 billion a year ago.

* The Hershey Co. maintained its adjusted diluted EPS outlook for fiscal 2019 to between $5.54 and $5.66 after reporting that third-quarter adjusted diluted EPS rose 3.9% to $1.61, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate $1.60. Net sales grew 2.6% year over year, or 1.6% at constant currency, to $2.13 billion, and adjusted operating margin was at 22.3%. The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 77.3 cents on common shares and 70.2 cents on class B common shares, payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record on Nov. 22.

FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION

* Walmart Inc. will launch a holiday savings program Oct. 25, offering discounts ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It will also expand its shopping services to include a gift finder on its online platform, a scannable toy catalog and free next-day delivery.

* Amazon.com Inc. announced three new renewable energy projects in the U.S. and the U.K. to help it reach its goal of reaching 80% renewable energy by 2024 and becoming completely carbon neutral by 2040. The e-commerce giant is setting up a wind farm on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland and will invest in solar projects in Warren County, N.C., and Prince George County, Va.

* Swedish grocery chain ICA Gruppen AB (publ) posted third-quarter net sales of 29.82 billion Swedish kronor, marking a 3.4% rise from 28.85 billion kronor a year ago. The grocer's EPS amounted to 5.96 kronor, compared to 5.36 kronor in the same period last year, while net profit increased year over year to 1.20 billion kronor from 1.08 billion kronor.

* Venture capital firm SM Trust, Just Eat PLC's largest investor, and asset manager Aberdeen Standard Investments are pushing for a higher offer for the London-based food delivery company, the Financial Times reported. The development comes after Just Eat on Oct. 22 rejected Prosus' £4.9 billion takeover offer, with investment firm Cat Rock Capital Management LP also opposing the bid. SM Trust, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Cat Rock reportedly hold more than a fifth of Just Eat's shares.

BEVERAGES

* Coca-Cola European Partners PLC projects full-year diluted EPS to grow 10%, compared with its previous forecast of between 10% and 11%, adding that it "slower than expected" start of the fourth quarter. For the third quarter, total revenue remained flat year over year at €3.28 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. bottler also announced a second-half interim dividend of 62 euro cents per share, payable Dec. 3.

PACKAGED FOODS

* The Kraft Heinz Co. will keep its Italy-based baby food brand Plasmon after exploring the possibility of selling the business, along with other labels, earlier this year, Reuters reported, citing the company's general manager for Italy, Felipe Della Negra.

* Smithfield Foods Inc. and partner Dominion Energy Inc. will double an investment in renewable natural gas projects from $250 million to $500 million across the U.S. through 2028.

* Canada's Organto Foods Inc. said it received shareholder approval and final acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange to sell its Colombian cannabis unit, Medicannabis SAS, to Xebra Brands Ltd. The deal, subject to formal closing conditions, is expected to close in the near term.

* Impossible Foods Inc. has filed an application with the European Food Safety Authority to market soy leghemoglobin, a color additive, as it looks to expand in Europe, Bloomberg News reported.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng jumped 0.87% to 26,797.95, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.55% to 22,750.60.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.69% to 1,099.00, and the Euronext 100 increased 0.68% to 1,098.98.

On the macro front

The durable goods orders report, the jobless claims report, the PMI composite FLASH report, the new home sales report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index, 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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