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Home Depot issues FY'20 forecast; Kroger, Walgreens create purchasing alliance

TOP NEWS

* Shares of Home Depot Inc. closed down 1.8% on Dec. 11 after it said it expects total and comparable sales to grow about 3.5% to 4% in fiscal 2020. It continues to expect sales growth of about 1.8% and comparable sales growth of 3.5% for fiscal 2019 and diluted EPS to come in at $10.03.

* The Kroger Co. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. set up a purchasing alliance to improve supply chain efficiencies and lower costs. The two companies have also been collaborating on a store format that allows customers to pick up Kroger grocery orders and buy Kroger food products at select Walgreens locations.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. closed down 6.6% at $14.13 on Dec. 11 after the retailer posted third-quarter EPS of 48 cents, flat from the year-ago period and meeting the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate. The company said it expects fourth-quarter EPS to be between 34 and 36 cents, down from 43 cents in the year-prior period.

* Shares of Superdry PLC dropped 4% after the U.K.-based apparel retailer reported that underlying basic EPS for the six months to Oct. 26 fell 98.3% to 0.2 pence from 11.9 pence. Group revenue declined 11% year over year to £369.1 million from £414.6 million. Superdry proposed an interim ordinary dividend of 2 pence per share, down 78.5% from the year-ago period.

* Athletic-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. raised its diluted EPS guidance for fiscal 2019 to a range of $4.75 to $4.78 from the previous outlook of $4.63 to $4.70. It also raised its full-year net revenue forecast to between $3.90 billion and $3.91 billion from $3.80 billion to $3.84 billion. For the third quarter ended Nov. 3, Lululemon's diluted EPS came in at 96 cents, up from 71 cents in the year-ago period and above the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate of 93 cents. Lululemon shares fell 4% to $223.77 in after-market trading Dec. 11.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Kohl's Corp. will keep its stores open for 24 hours between Dec. 20 and Dec. 24. The department store chain is also offering its in-store pickup service for free within two hours on purchases placed on its website by 3 p.m., local time, on Dec. 24.

* Hudson's Bay Co. said proxy advisers Glass Lewis and Egan-Jones both recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the proposed privatization deal by an investor group led by Executive Chairman Richard Baker. Another proxy adviser group, Institutional Shareholder Services, earlier urged shareholders to reject the bid.

* Dollar Tree Inc. promoted Thomas O'Boyle Jr. to group COO, replacing Michael Witynski, who has been promoted to enterprise president of Dollar Tree. Richard McNeely has also been promoted to chief merchandising officer of the group.

E-COMMERCE

* Ocado Group PLC reported that revenue in its Ocado Retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer rose 10.8% to £429.1 million from £387.2 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 1. Average weekly orders grew 10.4% to 350,000 while the average order size was flat at £104.9.

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* Coty Inc. named Pascal Baltussen as its global chief procurement officer, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Baltussen is global vice president of procurement and sustainability at food company Mars Wrigley.

* PZ Cussons PLC CEO Alex Kanellis will leave the company Jan. 31, 2020. A search for Kanellis' successor has been launched and is expected to complete in the first half of 2020. The U.K. consumer goods producer also said in a fiscal first-half trading update that revenue and profit declined year over year due to challenging market conditions in key geographies. It expects full-year sales and adjusted pretax profit to be "modestly below" prior-year levels.

* Prada SpA entered into a long-term licensing deal with French cosmetic-products maker L'Oréal SA for the creation, development and distribution of Prada-branded luxury beauty products starting 2021.

* Household-products maker Henkel AG & Co. KGaA's venture capital arm participated in a funding round for m.Paani Solutions Pvt. Ltd., an Indian startup that provides digital platforms for local retailers.

FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING

* Loblaw Cos. Ltd. issued a recall of select units of its PC Cranberry goat's milk cheese due to foreign material risk.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Metro AG said EPS for fiscal 2018-2019 rose to €1.44 from €1.22 in the previous year as like-for-like sales rose 2.4%. Sales grew 1.5% year over year, or 2.5% at constant currency, to €29.93 billion from €29.48 billion. For fiscal 2019-2020, Metro expects sales to increase by 1.5%, like-for-like sales to grow 3% and EBITDA to be roughly flat. Shares of the German wholesaler were down 2.3% on the morning of Dec. 12.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Dixons Carphone PLC posted a diluted loss of 6.2 pence per share for the first half of fiscal 2019-2020, compared to a loss of 40.7 pence per share in the year-ago period. Group revenue slid 4% year over year, or 3% at constant currency, to £4.71 billion from £4.89 billion. On a like-for-like basis, revenue decreased by 1%. Shares of the electronics retailer were up 6% in morning trading in London.

* Japanese electronics company Yamada Denki Co. Ltd. will acquire a 51.74% in struggling home furnishing retailer Otsuka Kagu Ltd., Reuters reported, citing a statement from the two companies.

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* TUI AG said underlying EBITA for fiscal 2019 declined 25.6% to €893 million from €1.18 billion in 2018, mainly due to the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, while group turnover grew 2.7% year over year to €18.9 billion. The travel company proposed a dividend of 54 euro cents for 2019, down from 72 euro cents in the previous year. It also said it expects underlying EBIT for fiscal 2020 to range between €950 million and €1.05 billion.

* Carnival Corp. & PLC is piloting food waste bio-digester technology on 15 of its ships.

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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 increased 1.31% to 26,994.14, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.14% to 23,424.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.49% to 7,251.27, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.04% to 1,123.59.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due 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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