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Amazon eyes stake in India's Reliance Retail; Seven & i discontinues 7pay app

TOP NEWS

* Amazon.com Inc. is looking to acquire an up to 26% stake in Indian retail stores operator Reliance Retail Ltd. for an undisclosed amount as it aims to gain a small portion of the country's brick-and-mortar chains, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing two senior industry executives. An Amazon spokesperson told the newspaper that the company does not "comment on speculation about what we may or may not do in the future." A spokesperson from the Reliance Industries Ltd.-owned company told the news outlet that the company "evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis."

* Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. will discontinue its 7pay service following the data breach on the mobile payment app in July. The convenience store operator said it forced users to reset their passwords since an investigation showed that hackers may have used a list-type account hacking method to get data.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* Hugo Boss AG reported that currency-adjusted sales for the second quarter of 2019 rose 2% to €675 million, driven by growth across all regions except the Americas, while EBIT increased 3% to €76 million. The apparel retailer expects full-year sales growth to come in at the lower end of its mid-single-digit percentage guidance range and EBIT growth to also be at the lower end of its high single-digit percentage range.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed A/A-1 issuer credit ratings on EssilorLuxottica SA and all of its issue ratings on the company's senior debt instruments following the eyewear manufacturer's agreement to acquire Dutch optical retail chain GrandVision NV. The rating agency, which also maintained its stable outlook on EssilorLuxottica, expects the deal to strengthen the French retailer's presence in Western Europe.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Nordstrom Inc.'s founding family group is in talks to boost its stake in the company to over 50% amid board tensions following a decline in the retailer's shares, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Nordstrom did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.

* Ryohin Keikaku Co. Ltd., which sells products under the Muji brand, plans to open more than 100 stores in the U.S. by 2025, Women's Wear Daily reported, citing Muji North America COO Toru Akita. The company reportedly also aims to launch its Muji Hotel on the west coast in 2022 or 2023.

* South African retail chain operator Woolworths Holdings Ltd. expects its adjusted diluted headline EPS to range between 3.55 rand and 3.73 rand for fiscal 2019. This reflects a further devaluation of the company's David Jones business to A$965 million after an impairment charge of A$437.4 million.

E-COMMERCE

* Amazon said Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president of business development, will take a one-year sabbatical starting in 2020 to spend more time with his family, Reuters reported, citing an internal email sent to employees.

* EBay Inc. paid $160 million for a 5.59% stake in Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd.'s Paytm Mall retail platform, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing a regulatory filing.

* Zalando SE posted second-quarter net income of €45.5 million, down from €51.8 million in the year-ago period. Group revenue jumped 20.1% year over year to €1.60 billion. Zalando raised its full-year adjusted EBIT outlook to the upper half of its previously given range of €175 billion to €225 million and now expects revenue to grow around the low end of its GMV growth guidance of 20% to 25%.

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* Church & Dwight Co. Inc. now expects full-year adjusted EPS to grow 9% to $2.47, the top end of its previously given range of $2.43 to $2.47, and sales to increase about 6%, compared with the previous sales outlook of 5% to 6%. For the three months to June 30, Church & Dwight posted adjusted diluted EPS of 57 cents, up 16.3% from 49 cents in the year-ago period and above the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 52 cents.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky's €5.8 billion takeover offer for Metro AG has so far received a lukewarm response from the shareholders, Reuters reported, citing a filing. As of July 30, only 0.46% of shares were tendered by Metro's investors to EP Global Commerce VI GmbH, Kretinsky's acquisition vehicle, significantly below its minimum acceptance threshold of 67.5% for the offer, which runs until Aug. 7.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Garmin Ltd. raised its full-year 2019 pro forma EPS to $3.90, from the previous forecast of $3.70, and now expects revenue to total $3.6 billion, up from the prior outlook of $3.5 billion. For the second quarter, the company's pro forma diluted EPS of $1.16 beat the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.01.

* Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Masterworks unit acquired record company Milan Records and its sister label Jade for an undisclosed amount. Senior Vice President JC Chamboredon will continue to run Milan Records.

* Sharp Corp.'s first-quarter fully diluted EPS came in at ¥19.75, down from ¥23.25 in the year-ago period, while net sales declined 3.5% to ¥514.99 billion. The company still expects full-year attributable net income to be ¥80 billion, or ¥130.97 per share, and net sales to grow 10.4% to ¥2.650 trillion. Separately, the company announced that it will establish a new subsidiary in Vietnam by February 2020 to manage the operations of its upcoming production plant in the country.

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* AccorHotels' group-share net profit in the first half amounted to €141 million, compared to €2.18 billion in the year-ago period, while consolidated revenue totaled €1.93 billion, up 4.8% on a like-for-like basis and 27.8% on a year-over-year basis.

CASINOS AND GAMING

* Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. completed its purchase of a 75% stake in ICR Cyprus Holdings Ltd. from its parent, investment holding company Melco International Development Ltd., in an all-stock deal worth about $375 million.

* The Stars Group Inc. was granted options by Penn National Gaming Inc. to run online betting and gaming across nine states where Penn operates. Under the deal, Penn will receive an up-front payment of $12.5 million in cash, potential additional cash payments from the exercise of each option, and a revenue share of The Stars Group's offerings.

* Gambling revenue in Macao declined 3.5% year over year in July to 24.45 billion Macanese patacas from 25.33 billion patacas, while accumulated gross revenue for 2019 dipped 0.9% to 173.96 billion patacas, according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Hong Kong retail sales in June slid 6.7% year over year to HK$35.2 billion as retail volume decreased 7.6% from the year-ago period, according to the government's census and statistics department.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.76% to 27,565.70, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.09% to 21,540.99.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.10% to 7,594.24, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.34% to 1,084.77.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PMI Manufacturing index, the ISM Manufacturing index, the consumer spending report, the EIA natural gas 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.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 8 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.