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Macy's president named Tractor Supply CEO; Ulta Beauty narrows FY'19 EPS outlook

TOP NEWS

* Rural lifestyle retail store operator Tractor Supply Co. appointed Macy's Inc.'s President Hal Lawton as the company's president, CEO and director. The move is effective Jan. 13, 2020. Lawton will replace Greg Sandfort, who is set to retire from Tractor Supply.

* Cosmetics and personal products retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. adjusted its earnings and sales outlook for the 2019 fiscal year following third-quarter results that beat analysts' estimates. The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company now expects full-year diluted EPS to range between $11.93 and $12.03, versus the prior outlook of $11.86 to $12.06. For the third quarter ended Nov. 2, Ulta's net income fell marginally to $129.7 million from $131.2 million a year ago. The figure beat the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus net income estimate of $122.9 million.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB said its innovation department The Laboratory and its COS fashion brand have partnered with online clothing rental platform YCloset to test a subscription rental service in China. The trial will run for three months as H&M explores ways to transition toward a circular business model. Customers can purchase the rented item for a reduced price after the rental period is over.

* Shares of Express Inc. jumped 27.8% on Dec. 5 after the apparel retailer posted adjusted diluted loss of 3 cents per share for the third quarter, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized loss estimate of 9 cents per share, with five analysts reporting. Consolidated net sales slid 5% year over year to $488.5 million from $515 million, with a comparable sales decline of 5%. Express expects comparable sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 to decline between 1% and 3% and for diluted EPS to range 16 cents to 21 cents.

* Japan's Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. opened its first Uniqlo store in Vietnam at Dong Khoi Street in Ho Chi Minh City.

* J.Jill Inc. expects an adjusted diluted loss of 2 cents to 4 cents per share for fiscal 2019, instead of its prior adjusted diluted EPS outlook of 20 cents to 40 cents. For the third quarter, adjusted diluted EPS was 7 cents, down from 15 cents in the year-ago period, while net sales declined to $166.1 million from $174.1 million. Separately, the apparel retailer said it named director James Scully as interim CEO, effective immediately, after Linda Heasley resigned as director, president and CEO.

* Associated British Foods PLC-owned apparel retailer Primark will debut in Slovakia in 2020 with the launch of its first store in the city of Bratislava, Retail Gazette reported. The store, which will have 39,400 square feet of retail space over two floors, expands Primark's presence to 15 markets. "We are also excited to expand our store footprint in the U.S. with stores opening in New Jersey and Florida in 2020, and further leases signed in Chicago and Philadelphia," Primark CEO Paul Marchant reportedly said.

* V.F. Corp. aims to cut scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 55% and its scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030. The lifestyle apparel and footwear company also said 50% of its distribution centers globally are zero-waste facilities, and 16 of its owned-buildings are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Brazilian department store chain Marisa Lojas SA priced its offering of 51,562,500 shares at 10 reais each, Reuters reported, citing a securities filing. The retailer reportedly will use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and strengthen its working capital.

E-COMMERCE

* Amazon.com Inc. plans to offer customers in Japan the option to have their packages dropped off and left at their doors in 2020 through the national postal service, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. If the packages are stolen or damaged after delivery, Amazon will provide a refund or replace the item. The initiative, which Amazon has been testing since February 2019, reportedly challenges the Japanese culture of receiving deliveries in person.

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* Amorepacific Group teamed up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall Innovation Center to tailor its products and marketing specifically to Chinese customers. Under the partnership, Amorepacific will have access to big data and market research solutions that will enable it to cut its product-incubation processes to an average of six months, beginning January 2020. The South Korean retailer will establish a research and development team in Hangzhou, China, to work with Alibaba, marking the first overseas expansion of its product-innovation capacity.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Wal-Mart de México SAB de CV said total consolidated sales for November grew 7.7% year over year to 60.93 billion Mexican pesos. Walmart Inc.'s Mexican unit said total sales in Mexico jumped 8.4% year over year to 50.32 billion pesos during the month, while Central America sales rose 4.6% year over year to 10.61 billion pesos.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* The Michaels Cos. Inc. lowered its adjusted diluted EPS outlook for fiscal 2019 to between $2.07 and $2.12, from its previous forecast of $2.31 to $2.42, after posting weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter. For the three months to Nov. 2, adjusted diluted EPS declined to 40 cents from 48 cents in the year-ago period, below the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate 49 cents. Net sales came in at $1.22 billion, compared to $1.27 billion in the prior-year period.

* Signet Jewelers Ltd. reported that non-GAAP diluted loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 reached 76 cents per share, compared to a loss of $1.06 in the year-ago period, while revenue came in at $1.19 billion. The company now expects full-year non-GAAP diluted EPS to range between $3.11 and $3.29, up from its prior outlook of $2.91 to $3.23.

* AB Electrolux's board proposed to distribute the shares of its professional products business as part of its plan to spin off and list the unit on Nasdaq Stockholm in the first quarter of 2020. The company said shareholders will receive Electrolux Professional shares in proportion to their existing stake in Electrolux. The Swedish household appliances producer also named Kai Wärn as chairman of Electrolux Professional's board and Alberto Zanata as president and CEO.

LEISURE PRODUCTS AND FACILITIES

* American Outdoor Brands Corp.'s second-quarter 2020 non-GAAP diluted EPS declined to 9 cents from 20 cents in the year-ago period, while net sales decreased 4.5% year over year to $154.4 million. The company, which owns the Smith & Wesson brand, raised its non-GAAP diluted EPS outlook for fiscal 2020 to between 76 cents and 84 cents from its previous guidance of 70 cents to 78 cents. It also now expects net sales to reach $680 million to $700 million, from the prior range of $630 million to $650 million.

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* Marriott International Inc.'s W Hotels brand partnered with Rent the Runway Inc. to offer the e-commerce platform's Unlimited Closet at four of its locations. Guests can place their orders online after they book their stay and the clothes will be delivered directly to their destination when they arrive.

CASINOS AND GAMING

* Macao gambling revenue declined 8.5% year over year in November to 22.88 billion Macanese patacas from 25 billion patacas, according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Accumulated gross revenue for 2019 declined 2.4% to 269.62 billion patacas from 276.38 billion patacas.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 1.07% to 26,498.37, and the Nikkei 225 inched up 0.23% to 23,354.40.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.81% to 7,195.32, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.50% to 1,119.24.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the consumer sentiment report, the wholesale trade report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count and the consumer credit 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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